I'm exceedingly excited to share these Fruity Dairy Free Ice Cream Floats with you!
Homemade dairy free vanilla bean ice cream (seriously so good) and fruit-flavored sparkling water make an amazing pair. It's like a classy version of the root beer floats I grew up with!
The Best Dairy Free Ice Cream
I quite literally ate a spoonful and tears of joy sprang to my eyes.
Okay, in my defense, I don't eat ice cream that often. Store-bought dairy free ice cream is either packed with junk or way to expensive for me to buy right now.
And sometimes, making it at home seems like a drag even to me, who spends a good chunk of my 168 hours a week in the kitchen.
But when I initially brainstormed this recipe, I grew excited to give homemade ice cream another shot. Sure, I've made dairy free ice cream at home before, but not basic vanilla bean ice cream.
You might look at the ingredients list and assume it's too complicated, but TRUST ME when I say homemade ice cream truly shines when you make it custard style. Creamy, scoopable, not-a-hopeless-block-of-ice ice cream warrants a smidge more work.
Of course, you absolutely can make the homemade dairy free vanilla bean ice cream just to nosh on. No floats required.
What If I Don't Have an Ice Cream Machine?
I use an ice cream machine for homemade ice creams, and I recommend one simply because it means easier prep.
However, if you can't justify the cost to yourself...
Instead of putting the chilled custard in an ice cream machine, transfer it to the freezer. Take it out of the freezer every 30 minutes and give it a good stir. Continue until the consistency resembles soft serve. Then cover, pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream (this prevents ice crystals from forming), and freeze for another couple hours until it's solid.
There you go!
More Homemade Dairy Free Ice Cream Recipes
What about the sparkling water?
You may have noticed I didn't put "sponsored" anywhere in this post. That's because this recipe isn't sponsored by anyone.
I used both Spindrift sparkling water and LaCroix sparkling water, but I quickly favored Spindrift for a few reasons.
First off, Spindrift reacted better with the ice cream and had a wonderful play of flavors, likely due to the fact that Spindrift uses REAL fruit juice instead of "natural flavors".
Next, it was way, way, way prettier than LaCroix, again because that real fruit gives their sparkling water a lovely tint.
Finally, for whatever reason, it stayed bubbly a little longer than LaCroix.
That said, I don't typically favor one over the other. Spindrift is wonderful but has less flavors and is more expensive. LaCroix is freaking everywhere and costs a lot less. I drink both! And they both work for the recipe.
So use whatever fruit-flavored sparkling water brand you'd like. I certainly haven't tried them all!
Homemade paleo vanilla bean ice cream and sparkling water make an amazing pair in these Fruity Dairy Free Ice Cream Floats!
For the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:
- 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
- 2 cans coconut milk, divided
- 4 egg yolks
- ½ cup real maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
For the Floats:
- Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl. Set it aside to let it bloom while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Carefully slice a vanilla bean lengthwise and use the back of the knife to scrape the beans out.
- Add half the coconut milk and the scraped vanilla bean pod to a medium saucepan and bring it just to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and maple syrup. Slowly pour heated milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from seizing. Once it’s fully mixed, pour it back into the saucepan and cook for about 4 minutes or until the mixture thickens to a consistency of heavy cream, stirring the whole time.
- Remove the custard from heat and whisk in the bloomed gelatin until melted. Finally, whisk in the vanilla beans and the remaining can of coconut milk. Cover and chill for at least an hour.
- Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once finished, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for a few hours until scoopable.
- To make the floats, remove the ice cream from the freezer and let it sit out for about 10 minutes or until it’s scoopable. Add 1 large scoop of ice cream to a tall glass. Open the LaCroix or Spindrift and pour over the ice cream. Enjoy!
Keywords: Fruity Dairy Free Ice Cream Floats