Vegan pumpkin pie ice cream

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This back-to-back post is me trying in my way to make up for the long lapses in this recipe log of late. Not that anyone's been waiting around with baited breath or anything--but when I let gaps widen, I just get this nagging sense of things being...incomplete. I know you know what I mean.

What's been most aggravating about the cyber silence has been that there have been so many recipes I've wanted to share/stop myself from forgetting. There's also been a big, monstrous, lack of time. Also a little, shadowy voice that begs, 'what's the point', says 'go to bed'. Until this week.

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I had taught an after school cooking class to kids at the school where I used to work. The class over, I was stood at the sink washing dishes calculating for the umpteenth time how much money was essentially paying to take said class once childcare was factored in. And I found myself feeling a little ridiculous. Don't get me wrong--this particular circumstance is the epitome of resonant, genuine "not in it for the money" intentions. I enjoy it, and I get to see the friendly faces of the wonderful school community and people where I used to work. But in that tired moment I just felt almost embarrassed, like a hanger-on behind whose back everyone must be raising eyebrows for randomly showing up. And then at that moment, a parent of one of the students walked in and handed me a Starbucks card. Her eyes welled with tears as she thanked me for taking the time to offer the class, how her son loved it, and how his prior school experiences had been rocky, with a lack of enrichment opportunities.

And just like that, everything turned around. I felt recharged with a sense that every little effort counts. Showing up matters. Taking a moment to check in means something, even if it's just a check-in with your future self. Posting a recipe is a worthwhile action, even with minimal description (which, apparently, this is not, but might have been.)

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And speaking of. Let's talk pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin chili, pumpkin shakes, pumpkin pumpkin...I love it. I love the cheeriness, the versatility, all it symbolizes. So what did it take me so long to throw it into the ice cream maker with coconut milk, spice, and a little maple syrup? Maybe because every mom's favorite frozen banana blender trick with some pumpkin puree and spice mixed in works just as well and is healthier. (Really, it's scrummy.) But the ice cream maker version sans banana is just that bit decadent and special and worthwhile. Try and see. Ice cream isn't just for summer. ; )

Vegan pumpkin pie ice cream

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pie filling), or 1 3/4 cups
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk (light works great!)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup pure maple syrup depending on taste
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in fridge for 2+ hours.
  2. Place in an ice cream freezer and process according to directions.