There's nothing like soft serve on a summer day. Snacking on something that's cool can make even the hottest days feel a bit more tolerable. Instead of heading out to an ice cream shop, you can whip up this vegan soft serve created by recipe creator and wellness activist Halie Thomas on the latest episode of Alt-Baking Bootcamp, a show on the Well+Good YouTube channel. It pairs creamy coconut with sweet cherries to make a deliciously refreshing dessert.
"It's a super easy recipe," says Thomas, who is the author of Living Lively: 80 Plant-Based Recipes to Activate Your Power and Feed Your Potential ($12). "All you need is a blender and a few frozen ingredients that are super creamy."
To make the soft serve, the process starts the night before. Thomas says to freeze your banana chunks in a bag, and freeze the full-fat coconut milk in an ice cube tray. If you want to use fresh cherries, remove the pit and pop them in the freezer as well. Alternatively, you can buy frozen cherries which already have the pit removed. Cherries are the star of this recipe, and they feature tons of fiber and health-promoting antioxidants that can aid in everything from post-exercise muscle recovery to melatonin production.
Toss your frozen ingredients in the blender. Next, you have the option of leveling up the flavor by adding cashew butter, coconut butter, and/or ground cardamom. "I love using nut butters in this soft serve because it really just brings in this kind of toasty flavor that I really love," says Thomas. "I also have coconut butter here—and this is optional—but [because] coconut butter is just pureed coconut meat, you're getting a really full-bodied coconut experience here with the coconut butter. I also have some cardamom; you can omit this as well, but I just love adding spice to my dishes."
Pour in the oat milk and maple syrup, then blend the mixture until it reaches a smooth and creamy consistency. Spoon your soft serve into a bowl top with fresh chopped cherries and coconut flakes and enjoy! Watch the full episode above to watch Thomas make this vegan coconut soft serve recipe step-by-step, and don't sleep on the complete recipe below.
Nutty Cherry Coconut Soft Serve Recipe
For the soft serve:
1 13.5-ounce can of full-fat coconut milk
1/4 cup unsweetened oat milk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 medium/large banana
1 cup frozen cherries (about 20)
1 tablespoon cashew butter (or the nut/seed butter of your choice)
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, or to taste
For the topping:
1. The night before you want to make the soft serve, pour the canned coconut milk into 12 wells of an ice cube tray. Cut one banana into six chunks and place them in a bag. Freeze milk and banana overnight.
2. Remove the cubes from the freezer 5 to 10 minutes before you make the soft serve.
3. In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine the coconut milk cubes, oat milk, maple syrup, banana, cherries, cashew butter, coconut butter, and cardamom. Blend until thick and smooth.
4. Divide the soft serve among bowls. Serve with coconut flakes and fresh cherries on top.
Get more recipe ideas in Well+Good's Cook With Us Facebook group.
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