Sweet creamy Vanilla Oatmeal Ice Cream made from just 5 healthy ingredients that proves oats aren’t just for breakfast and ice cream isn’t just for dessert!
The lack of an “n” in that title is not by mistake. This is not nice cream. Not banana based. Not made instantly in a blender from just fruit.
This is the real churned deal. Well sorta the real deal. As real a deal as it can be considering it’s made out of a breakfast food, sweetened with a fruit, and contains no cream of any kind.
But it is not made from bananas, which is the main thing that set’s it apart from most ice cream recipes on FOF.
It might seem like I have been neglecting bananas a lot lately, replacing them with oatmeal in ice cream and cauliflower in milkshakes, but I don’t have anything against the. It’s just that frozen bananas are almost too versatile and nice cream such the norm that they have zapped the challenge right out of healthy frozen treats.
I also find it hard to ever truly have vanilla nice cream. Even with a spoonful of vanilla added in, the predominant flavor is still banana. It feels like a lie to call it vanilla. And I just can’t take anything called banilla seriously. But I was really craving that classic vanilla ice cream flavor.
Which I can’t really say that this Vanilla Oat Ice Cream completely satisfied, but it certainly does not taste like bananas! The vanilla flavor is evident, but the medjool date and oatmeal flavors are front and center too. Regardless, making ice cream out of oatmeal was a fun frozen adventure with surprisingly creamy results. Nut-free, lower in fat than coconut cream, and with a unique yummy taste you really just have to try for yourself!
The base. Just because it’s not as easy as frozen bananas -> blender -> done doesn’t mean this ice cream isn’t still simple. Only five elements to this ice cream base: oats, dates, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and a highly recommended pinch of salt. This whole oats-in-the-ice-cream idea was inspired by this hella creamy fruit-free smoothie actually, which proved to me that oats can pull off smooth just as well as chunky. (Sidenote: If you blend that smoothie long enough it warms up and tastes like made-from-scratch chocolate pudding. Just sayin.)
There is no cooking and then cooling and before freezing required here, because who has time for all those temperatures!? Just blend and pour straight into the ice cream maker that I know you remembered to freeze the night before *fingers and toes crossed*! Literally like 5 minutes of prep time, the rest is just waiting.
Churning. I’m just gonna say it: you need an ice cream maker for this recipe. This is not one of those no-churn situations where I’m going to tell you that you can freeze and stir every so often and the texture will be equally as good. No–the texture will be bunk.
Ice cube tray method? You can try it, but I haven’t tested it so I make no promises.
Because this recipe is made with such an unusual base and is much lower in fat than your typical ice cream, the texture is finicky. A real ice cream maker is the way to go, if you don’t have one I’m just going to point you in the nice cream direction.
Freezing. Straight out of the ice cream maker after spinning around for 30 to 40 minutes, you will have an oaty soft-serve consistency on your hands. I recommend transferring the ice cream to a container and freezing for 1-2 hours before serving for the best texture. At that point it will be scoop-able but not too frozen–the perfect verge-of-melty ice cream mouthfeel.
You can keep it in the freezer for a few days, just take it out and let it soften for 15 minutes or so before eating. Running your ice cream scoop under warm water so it glides and creates the silkiest of scoops is a great trick too!
Substitutions. For this recipe I used and recommend using light canned coconut milk. It is creamier and freezes better than other non-dairy milks while still being relatively low in fat. But I did test this recipe with almond milk and it works. The texture is different though, not quite as rich, of course. Right after churning it is almost…fluffy? In a fun way, and still very yummy!
See the almond milk version in action -> HERE
I do not recommend subbing in a liquid or granulated sweetener for the dates as the dates actually contribute to the creaminess of the texture as well as sweetening the ice cream. As always, medjool dates are my top choice.
The oats can be quick cooking or rolled, it really doesn’t matter since you are going to blend them into creamy obliteration anyways.
Many recipes can be dessert or breakfast. Or even dessert for breakfast. But this one truly tastes like dessert and breakfast all in one creamy bite!
Vanilla Oatmeal Ice Cream
- Yield: 4 people 1x
Sweet creamy Vanilla Oatmeal Ice Cream made from just 5 healthy ingredients that proves oats aren’t just for breakfast and ice cream isn’t just for dessert!
- 3 cups light canned coconut milk (*see notes for substitution)
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (or quick oats work too)
- 10 pitted medjool dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Blend all the ingredients thoroughly on high until creamy and smooth (a full 45-60 seconds).
- Pour into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions until it is a soft serve consistency. Mine took about 40 minutes.
- Transfer to a shallow container and freeze for 1-2 hours.
- Scoop into a bowl, add toppings if desired, and enjoy.
- It will last a few days in the freezer, just remove from the freezer and allow to soften for approximately 15 minutes before serving.
*You can use almond milk or other non-dairy milks, but the texture will not be as rich.
The Vegan 8 says
Oh, this looks so beautiful Natalie! It’s been so beautiful and sunny lately here in Texas and I’m craving ice cream all the time, so your post is just perfect timing!! I LOVE oats in ice cream, adds another thickener and creamy touch. I make a chocolate tahini ice cream with oat flour and can totally vouch for their awesome oat power, lol. And I am so on board with a no-banana ice cream because like you said, it always becomes the dominant flavor. Light coconut milk is always my #1 choice as well, it just gives the best texture and doesn’t taste at all like coconut, the way full-fat coconut does. By the way, for the first time ever I saw an almond milk at the store the other day that wasn’t you know, almost all water and additives, but actually just water and almonds and it was almost as high fat as coconut milk, so I can only imagine how rich and amazing it was! I can’t remember the brand now but I bet it would be sooo amazing in this too.
Anyways, you have just made my day complete with this beautiful oaty vanilla ice cream!! I want NOW! Love all the beautiful closeup shots!!
Oat flour in ice cream–sounds so strange but I can totally imagine that working too!! And with tahini I bet it is super luscious, now I am craving that. Seriously though, the warmer weather has me wanting ice cream every day too…and I’m not resisting very hard 😀 I never considered the taste difference between light and full fat coconut milk, but it is much more mild. I don’t mind the full fat coconut flavor even, not as overpowering as banana luckily. Oooh was it called New Barn? I just saw that brand recently and the ingredient list was pretty clean, maple syrup sweetened even I think. Those gums are so deceiving, I really wish there would be more brands without–gimme the actual high fat creaminess please! Until then, I’ll just keep going through canned coconut milk like a mad woman 🙂 Happy weekend Brandi!
The Vegan 8 says
I can’t remember the brand but I’m going to my grocery here shortly and will look and let you know. It didn’t even have sweetener, it was literally just almonds and water and maybe one other ingredient?? I was so impressed! Haha! Yes, seriously, the gums are super annoying. Whenever I eat storebought ice cream with them, as good as it tastes, it really hurts my stomach!
Yep I find the same thing, I think it’s all those pesky gums :/ Yes please let me know!!
“Banilla”…is this a thing I’ve never heard before?! Not going to lie, I laughed out loud when I read that! You’re so right though, it’s practically impossible to get that true, pure vanilla flavor with bananas – never a problem for me since I love them, but I can see how it may present a problem for certain recipes! I’ve seen coconut milk used before for ice cream and would imagine it’s creamy dreamy, but adding oats would just amp up the thick, perfect texture even more!! Cannot wait to try this. Per usual, so creative, Natalie!!
Most of the time I am okay with banana as “plain” ice cream too, but vanilla is so delicate a flavor and I love it so much! The oat flavor is pretty prominent here, next time I may have to add cinnamon and raisins come to think of it, but it’s still different 🙂 Banilla–I think its a very very little known thing lol.
Emilie @ Emilie Eats says
Totally obsessed with this!! Can’t wait to make it for the warmer weather. <3
Doesn’t it seem sometimes like summer brings ALLLL the good things with it!? 🙂 Thanks Emilie!
Nisha / @rainbowplantlife says
“It will last a few days in the freezer” – haha not in my freezer. This sounds so scrumptious. Love your easy recipes, Natalie.
Lol I know right, I always laugh a little at serving sizes too on ice cream recipes 😀 Thanks Nisha!
Leah M | love me, feed me says
Oh hello creamy frozen magical goodness!! I can’t wait to get home to my ice cream maker!!! Love the simple ingredients and that there’s no heating and cooling because who has patience for that.
Fun fact: one time I tried making a low fat ice cream with almond milk in my ice cream maker but it just froze solid and then the twisting part actually snapped. It was disastrous ahaha.
Oh my goodness, that is terrifying!! And sad–poor ice cream maker! I didn’t know that could even happen. Almond milk was definitely not cut out for making the best vegan ice cream unless you have the Ben & Jerry’s magic ice cream secrets or something 😀
Oh my gosh, you’ve done it again! Can you see into my kitchen? I think you are my fairy godmother who addresses all my kitchen challenges – since I’ve been struggling to create a good vanilla oatmeal ice cream myself. I’ve been using maple syrup, molasses and/or coconut sugar for sweetners, though, so maybe the secret is in the dates (I think your love for dates is rubbing off on me). I am glad I remembered to put my ice cream bowl back in the freezer after the last batch because I now see it being used later today – while it snows in April!!!!
Hehe yes I have a little magical mental connection with your current kitchen experiments, here to offer a spark of inspiration whenever I can 🙂 Oooh but molasses in oatmeal ice cream sounds so yummy flavor-wise! Although yes, I think the dates are definitely helpful for texture. Dates/date paste doesn’t really freeze all on it’s own so it helps keep the entire mixture from freezing solid. I hope they are the secret and your next batch is perfection! Oh the number of times I realize too late that the bowl isn’t frozen ugh! Combatting frozen weather with frozen snacks, I love it 🙂
So I’m pleased to say the dates worked magic! If you want all the details, I used the light coconut milk as you suggested (which I had also picked up by “lucky” mistake) and actually like it much better than the regular. I’m not a big coconut fan and I found the flavor to be much less overwhelming while still offering the creamy texture. I only had one container left though and couldn’t bear to wait to make it until aftergoing to the store for more so I downsized the recipe to two cups total liquid and made up the difference with water (though next time I may have to try cashew milk) which I had warmed a bit to soak my dates because I’m struggling to get by with just a food processor right now. I also cut back to one cup oats and 4 dates. While the dates were soaking in the water I soaked the oats in the coconut milk. After the date water had mostly cooled I blended, or I guess I should say processed, it all together and let it sit in the refrigerator to finish cooling for about an hour. It didn’t get nearly as smooth as a blender, but it wasn’t too bad. Letting it sit seemed to help it thicken up a bit more close to what I would consider perfection. And after coming out of the ice cream maker I nearly fell over from delight! Oh my goodness. Oat Cream is amazing and totally hit the spot! You are a kitchen genius and I am forever greatful. Your recipes have produced more joy in my kitchen that I have had in a very long time and I truly cannot thank you enough. I think my Ice Cream machine has just been dubbed the perfect appliance for preparing oats 🙂
“Oat Cream”–YES!!! I am thrilled that it worked so well Sarah, hopefully the delicious taste was worth all that experimention. Yes it takes some heavy blending even with my Vitmix so I can imagine just a food processor makes things a bit trickier. But letting it sit will definitely help with the thickness, I have found that with many oat batters/mixtures in the past. I’m glad the coconut flavor wasn’t too strong for you, although I think cashew milk, especially homemade, would taste great in here too! Hehehe I never thought oatmeal and ice cream machines would be so magical together either, but I suppose we’ve been proven deliciously otherwise? Thank you for the great feedback, very good to know. Enjoy!
I’m kinda speechless at the moment. And can’t stop staring at this creamy goodness ? Just, wow! Oats in ice cream? I never would have thought, yet I’m not surprised that oats work their magic again! I really really wish I had an ice cream maker. Adding it to my list of kitchen gadgets I “need.” This looks insanely creamy and I’m so shocked at the short ingredient list. You’re amazing! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted vanilla nice cream and been disappointed – you can’t put enough vanilla in to cover up the banana flavor. Mmmmm and then you’ve got coconut milk here which is obviously the creamiest, richest choice – paired with dates is perfection! These photos are so dreamy, Natalie! Wish I could dive in with a spoon right now ?
Vanilla everything is so tricky, especially compared to chocolate which takes over flavor of just about anything even when sometimes you don’t intend for it too. It’s actually almost a little annoying how versatiley perfect dates are? But makes for fun experiments! I actually finally caved on the ice cream maker last year because I was missing nice cream so much on AIP. 2 cans coconut milk + a little tapioca starch + vanilla + maple syrup makes for delicious aip ice cream–I make it way too often hehe! I’ve been editing more ice cream photos all weekend, and the diving in desire is real?
Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness says
This looks amazing! I just got a new ice cream maker and am dying to use it!!
Ooooh how fun, you have a delicious homemade ice cream-filled summer ahead of you!! If you do test this recipe out, I hope you love it Cathleen 🙂
This looks delicious! Does the full recipe make about a pint?
It makes more than a pint, probably the equivalent of about 2 pints or so 🙂
This looks amazing… can’t wait to try this weekend! do you think full fat coconut milk would work okay, rather than light?
For sure, in fact that will make it extra creamy and delicious 🙂 I hope you enjoy!
AMAZING!! this was SO creamy and delicious.. Thank you!
I am so happy to hear that you liked it Emma! Thank for the feedback and enjoy😊
Thank you so much for this recipe that I can’t wait to try.
In using the oats for creaminess, I’m thinking that cooking the oats even for about 3 minutes
would give some shine to the finished ice cream. What are your thoughts regarding cooked/uncooked oats?
Hi Rita! Sure, you could try cooking them first. Although that will thicken the entire milk/date/oat mixture which will make it hard to blend, so you may need extra milk. But taste wise it will be fine, and oats are more digestible when cooked so great idea 🙂 Hope it turns out perfect!
Thank you Natalie. I got impatient and tried it with soaked and blended. Maybe it was
my fault but it came out super airy. I will keep trying until I get it right though.
Next up, cooked and blended. Thanks again for this cool recipe. Btw, I love ice cream
so much winter is never a deterrent.
Airy? How interesting, I wouldn’t have expected that. I am intrigued to hear how it goes with cooked, ice cream experiments are probably my favorite kind of experiments haha. I’m with you–ice cream YEAR ROUND 🙂
Hi.Would oat flour work in place of the oats? My blender sucks and would not be able to pulverize the oats fine enough for this delectable treat.Also,are we(your biggest fans) ever gonna see you in your videos?? That would so awesome!
Sure, oat flour would be fine too. I would still blend it as best you can with your blender though so it’s not gritty. And thanks for the kind words <3 I honestly just hate being on camera so I can't promise it, but maybe 🙂
Hi Natalie, I cannot praise you enough on your kitchen geniuness! I know you said that this must be done with an ice cream maker, but since I do not have one, I was wondering if this method would work: after blending all ingredients together and freezing until solid, if I cut some blocks and process them in the food processor, do you think it would become creamy?
Yep, that should work too. Maybe not quite as creamy, but in my experience the re-blending the next day thing works pretty darn well (a trick I didn’t discover until after posting this recipe) Enjoy!
I’m trying out a “version” of this using coconut milk (and adding nut butter for fat/creaminess)! I’d love to see non-dairy milk ice cream recipes from you! I usually have these on hand and I’m just starting with my new ice cream maker! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂
Those both sound like yummy additions, let me know how it turns out🤗 I do need to get more ice cream maker recipes on here, they are my favorite summer thing, so thanks for the suggestion! I do have this chocolate one if you wanna give it a try: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/vegan-chocolate-ice-cream/
Todd Brown says
This looks awesome!
What is a serving size?
One serving is 1/4 of the batch, or usually about 2 scoops 🙂
Love this! But I’m the YouTube you used out milk but in this written recipe it’s coconut milk… what milk did u use in the YouTube? Thank you
Either will work! Coconut is a bit richer/thicker so will make for a creamier texture 🙂
Rob Horan says
I’m probably going to get yelled at for this, since its non-vegan, but as a healthier alternative to ice cream, while still retaining some of the elements, I’m curious as to how this would work with whole milk or evaporated milk.
Hi Rob! Ha no yelling, no worries at all I am not personally vegan either so totally understand the Q. I think whole milk would be fine here, it has the fat level you need. I’ve never tried ice cream with evaporated so not as sure how that one would work but you could experiment!