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No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream [with Gingersnap]

August 10, 2023
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
Enjoy a few scoops of this No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream [with Gingersnap] that combines rich and velvety textures with the perfect amount of bite from the blueberries and gingersnap cookies---all while adding a good source of protein to your indulge. The perfect summer treat for the entire family!

No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream [with Gingersnap]

This No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream [with Gingersnap] will have the entire family going back for seconds! Made without an ice cream machine, this ice cream boasts of it's creamy nutty and blueberry flavors + perfectly spice gingersnap cookie bits; which creates a soft, sweet, and scoop-able treat that everyone will love! Plus, it's incredibly simple and easy to make and has an extra kick-----good source of protein for added benefits! Completely no-churn, just a handful of ingredients, a blender, and a little bit of time. Kids and adults alike will love this rich + creamy homemade ice cream recipe! Dairy-free + vegan options.

Ice cream in a bowl with spoon and blueberries.

Seriously, when it comes to ice cream, I get so excited about it, especially when I get a chance to make my own at home. Homemade ice cream is so simple and fun for the entire family and it's what I often do with my family for a nice sweet treat at the end of the day. This No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream with Gingersnap Cookies recipe is definitely one for the books and I can see it being a true staple in your house going forward. Plus, it's a high protein dessert which is a win in my opinion! And this Skillet Blueberry Cobbler with Cinnamon Biscuits is a great twist on your love for blueberries too!

Despite the fact that summer will soon come to an end, I'm a big believer that you always need something creamy and cool to indulge in (besides this Best Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream, No-Churn Chocolate Oreo Ice Cream, or No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles), and this protein ice cream is sure to satisfy those moments. Granted, most protein ice cream options utilize the option of using protein powders (which this has the same option), however, I love enjoying certain benefits from natural ingredients, which is why I chose to use almond butter. But if you're not a fan of almond butter, I mention other great protein based ingredients further below. Be sure to check out my 10 Delicious No-Churn Ice Cream Flavors Worth Trying for the entire family!

Jump to:

Why You'll Love this Protein Ice Cream

  • It's a no-churn ice cream recipe which means NO fancy ice cream maker!
  • Better than store-bought--promise! Plus, you can make it dairy-free or vegan ice cream.
  • SIMPLE & EASY with the ability to customize the flavors.
  • Rich in flavor, velvety + SO creamy.
  • Perfectly sweet & scoop-able and works in a bowl or on a cone!
  • Ideal for snacking or for hosting kids + adults alike and works great after a workout (hello, protein!).

But when it comes to this ice cream recipe in particular, the type that requires minimal effort + simple ingredients & no fancy ice cream maker----it's a huge hit with the family and is perfect for a sweet cool-down treat over summer or ideal for a cozy winter movie night. Basically, it's perfect ALL YEAR round and can be adapted to be dairy-free!

Ingredients on a white wood table including blueberries, sugar, jam, cinnamon, and lemon.

How to Make No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream

You may have thought that the only way to enjoy homemade ice cream is to purchase an ice cream maker. That is totally false! You can create excellent texture without an ice cream maker if you follow some of my basic principles for no-churn ice cream---especially this blueberry protein version. It does take a little technique to perfect the consistency, but it is so easy that anyone could do it!

If you take sweetened cream, flavor it, and freeze it, you will be very disappointed. Unfortunately, ice cream needs air whipped into it, which is what most ice cream machines do as they freeze the base. Freezing cream will cause it to solidify and you will never be able to scoop it out.

Instead, I use heavy whipping cream and whip it to stiff peaks. Then, I fold it into sweetened condensed milk along with my other mix-ins to keep the mixture airy. This way, I get perfectly scoop-able ice cream once it has hardened in the freezer. However, for an even easier method----you can blend everything in a blender for the right amount of whipping.

Ingredients

Here is a simple list of ingredients to make this No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream with Gingersnap:

  • Heavy cream. Choose organic for the best flavor! (See FAQ section for DF option)
  • Sweetened condensed milk. I use low-fat, sweetened condensed milk for my homemade ice cream recipe. It really enriches the texture and sweetens things up with just one simple ingredient. (Dairy-free option sub for a DF condensed milk)
  • Vanilla. Choose pure vanilla extract to highlight this classic ice cream flavor.
  • Almond butter. This is a great thickener for the ice cream batter, plus it adds a good source of protein. You can also substitute with your fave protein powder or other high protein options mentioned below in this post!
  • Blueberry Sauce/Compote. This adds a bold, velvety texture to each bite. You'll need fresh or frozen blueberries, cane sugar, lemon juice, and preserves or jam.
  • Gingersnap cookies. The sweet, spicy, crunchy, crumbly star of the show. I love how gingersnap cookies are without getting soggy once incorporated. However, you can sub with cake pieces, biscuit pieces, sugar cone pieces, shortbread cookies, vanilla wafers, or even Graham crackers [the cinnamon version].
Blueberry compote in a saucepan with a spoon.

Why Sweetened Condensed Milk is so important!

First, I must let you know that Sweetened Condensed Milk is a canned milk that has 60 percent of it's water content removed, making it thicker in consistency.

Also, it has 40-45% sugar, making it a great sugar substitute in recipes that use sugar. More importantly, condensed milk creates a caramelized flavor along with it's sweetness, which give the dishes that require it, a beautiful kick of flavor.

That being said---I generally love using the original Sweetened Condensed Milk like the Eagle Brand's version, however, in this recipe, I love using Edward's & Son's Let's Do Organic's dairy-free coconut version for vegan-friendly options.

The Instructions

TO MAKE THE ICE CREAM:

  • In a high-powered blender, add the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, salt, and almond butter, blending everything together until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

ASSEMBLE + FREEZE:

  • Immediately pour everything into a 9x5 loaf pan (or small metal bowl), top with cooled blueberry sauce and crushed cookies and add them into the batter, stirring slightly to incorporate them in the middle. Then top the batter with remaining blueberry sauce and more crushed cookies.
  • Tightly wrap the top of pan with foil paper or heavy duty plastic wrap and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
  • To serve, remove from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes to help it soften slightly before scooping.
  • Bon Appetit!

Great Sources of Protein for this Ice Cream

If you're choosing to use an ingredient other than almond butter based on preference or availability, the following options are a great source of protein to add to this ice cream instead:

  • Protein powder [See FAQ section for more details]
  • Peanut butter
  • Raw cashews
  • Soy milk [Use half the amount as a sub]
  • Oats
  • Greek yogurt
  • Chia seeds [Fold them in after you blend batter; You'll need ¼ cup]
Ice cream in a round pan with blueberry compote and spatula.

Fresh vs. Frozen Blueberries

I like using frozen blueberries for baking or cooking projects because they are super convenient (unless in season). The flavor is more concentrated, plus they’re more affordable.

However, in this ice cream, I chose to use fresh blueberries since they were in season and I'd be making a compote/sauce. Rest assured, you can totally use frozen blueberries for this recipe if that's what you have handy!

Blueberry Puree/Jam 'Sauce'

To switch things up a bit and make a purée or jam sauce for your strawberry topping instead, you'll need just four ingredients:

  • Blueberries. Fresh or frozen berries both work! I love using fresh to reduce the amount of water content.
  • Cane or coconut sugar. Either work well to make your fruit puree. You can also use honey or maple syrup as sweeteners as well.
  • Lemon juice. This bit of acid helps bring out the natural sweetness in the fruit.
  • Blueberry preserves/jam. Adds a great burst of blueberry flavor and adds a nice thickened texture to the sauce.

Make the sauce by first combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan on the stove. Then simmer the berries until they break down, about 5 to 6 minutes. At this point, the sauce should have thickened up beautifully. Finally, remove from heat and let it cool COMPLETELY.

Protein Ice Cream Tips

  • The trick to a perfectly + evenly frozen ice cream is pre-freezing the loaf or metal pan before pouring the batter into it. A good 30 minutes or so would do!
  • When making this dairy-free, be sure to use full-fat coconut milk or cream as opposed to anything that's low-fat, etc. This prevents the consistency from being icy or hard to scoop once ready.
  • Avoid using milk in this recipe as I found that the less amount of liquids helps for a more velvety texture, especially because of the oils from the almond butter. If using Soy milk as a substitute for almond butter, be sure to use only ½ cup and add a frozen banana to the mix to keep the consistency right.
  • If you choose to use protein powder, I highly recommend using the correct type to avoid a grainy or "off" texture. The best choices are brown rice, casein, and pea protein. Also, keep in mind of the brand differences in terms of levels of sweetness and thickness + quality.
  • Be sure to FULLY COOL your blueberry sauce/compote before incorporating it. If it's too warm, it will result in an icy, hard to scoop texture.
Up close shot of ice cream in a round pan with a scoop, gingersnap cookies, and blueberries.

Serving Suggestions for this No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream

Although homemade Blueberry Protein Ice Cream is absolutely amazing on its own, here are some ideas to elevate it to the next level:

Scoop into bowls or cones: Serve the blueberry protein ice cream in bowls or cones for pure ice cream joy.

Make ice cream sandwiches: Get playful by sandwiching protein ice cream between vanilla wafers or sugar cookies for twice the amount of buttery goodness!

Build epic sundaes: Create towering sundaes with multiple scoops of this blueberry protein ice cream, toppings, and crushed gingersnap cookies.

Blend milkshake magic: Whip up creamy milkshakes by blending the ice cream with your favorite milk like this Homemade Creamy Cashew Milk or Almond Milk, then top with whipped cream and cookie crumbs and fresh blueberries or a drizzle of blueberry sauce.

Ice Cream Pie: Press a cookie crust into a pie dish, fill it with the blueberry protein ice cream mix, and freeze until firm. YUM!

Pair with deliciously soft, warm donuts or biscuits: Serve this ice cream with freshly baked or fried donuts like these Homemade Glazed Donuts or Flaky Honey Buttermilk Biscuits for a heavenly combination!

Common Q + A's for this Protein Ice Cream

How long does this ice cream last?

When kept in an air-tight container, ice cream lasts for about 2 weeks.

Can I use Coolwhip instead?

Yes and No! If you want to make this recipe even faster and easier, you can replace the heavy cream with 2 cups of cool whip, however, the texture won't be as solid and "ice cream" like as this one. Cool whip creates a more "gummy" and a less smooth texture. Simply place the cool whip in a stand mixer bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients until uniform. Then place in the loaf pan and freeze as directed.

Can I make this ice cream dairy-free or vegan?

To make this ice cream entirely dairy-free, simply substitute the heavy cream for full-fat coconut cream or milk (refrigerated overnight), the condensed milk for dairy-free sweetened condensed milk, and ensure that the cookies are dairy-free/vegan. Also, ensure that the blueberry preserves/jam is vegan-friendly.

Can I use another cookie besides gingersnap?

Of course! You can sub with cake pieces, biscuit pieces, sugar cone pieces, shortbread cookies, vanilla wafers, or even Graham crackers [the cinnamon version].

How long does it take for the ice cream to freeze?

The freezing time can vary depending on your freezer temperature and the depth of the ice cream in the container. Generally, it takes around 4-6 hours for the ice cream to become firm. It's best to check its consistency periodically and adjust the freezing time as needed.

Can I use canned blueberry pie filling instead?

Of course! If you're short on time or just don't want to make your own blueberry sauce/filling from scratch, you can definitely purchase an organic can of blueberry pie filling as a substitute. It has the right consistency which creates a velvety texture to this ice cream.

Can I use any type of protein powder?

If you choose to use protein powder, I highly recommend using the correct type to avoid a grainy or "off" texture. The best choices are brown rice, casein, and pea protein. Also, keep in mind of the brand differences in terms of levels of sweetness and thickness + quality.

Do I need an ice cream maker to make protein ice cream?

Not at all! For this ice cream recipe, you'll just need a blender or an electric stand mixer for a standard method like in my No-Churn Vanilla Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles.

How can I make this ice cream thicker or creamier?

The best way to ensure the perfect creamy, thick texture as traditional ice cream is to use high-fat ingredients like sweetener condensed milk, heavy cream, or add additional ingredients like a frozen banana, raw cashews, or additional nut butter.

Scoops of ice cream in a round pan with a scoop and blueberries.

Other Protein Packed Recipes to Try Next!

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream [with Gingersnap] recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.

Up close of scoops of ice cream in round pan with blueberries.
Scoops of ice cream in a round pan with a scoop and blueberries.

No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream [with Gingersnap]

August 10, 2023
5 from 2 votes
Enjoy a few scoops of this No-Churn Blueberry Protein Ice Cream [with Gingersnap] that combines rich and velvety textures with the perfect amount of bite from the blueberries and gingersnap cookies---all while adding a good source of protein to your indulge. The perfect summer treat for the entire family!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients

BLUEBERRY SAUCE/COMPOTE:

  • 2 cups organic blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ cup organic cane sugar
  • ½ lemon, freshly-squeezed
  • 3 Tbsps organic blueberry jam/preserves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

ICE CREAM:

  • 2 cups organic heavy cream, VERY COLD
  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 cups organic gingersnap cookies, roughly crushed
  • 1 cup Almond butter (See Notes!)

Instructions

TO MAKE THE BLUEBERRY SAUCE:

  • In a saucepan, add together all ingredients over medium-high heat, stirring until combined. Once blueberries begin to soften, continue stirring until mixture begins to thickened a bit, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

TO MAKE THE ICE CREAM:

  • In a high-powered blender, add the heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, almond butter, vanilla, and salt, blending everything together until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

ASSEMBLE + FREEZE:

  • Immediately pour the ice cream "batter" into a 9x5 loaf pan (or small metal bowl or round cake pan), followed by ¾ of the COOLED blueberry sauce, slightly stirring everything around (best with a spatula or spoon) to create a "swirl" look. Next, add the crushed gingersnap cookies and add them into the batter, stirring slightly to incorporate them in the middle. Then top the batter with the remaining ¼ of the blueberry sauce and more crushed cookies.
  • Tightly wrap the top of pan with foil paper or heavy duty plastic wrap and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
  • To serve, remove from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for a couple of minutes to help it soften slightly before scooping and adding it your fave bowl(s) or cone(s).
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: When kept in an air-tight container, ice cream lasts for about 2 weeks.
  • DAIRY-FREE OPTION: To make this ice cream dairy-free, simply substitute the heavy cream for full-fat coconut milk/cream (chilled overnight), the sweetened condensed milk with dairy-free sweetened condensed coconut milk (Edwards & Sons has a great option), and ensure that the cookies are dairy-free friendly. 
  • PROTEIN: For this ice cream, I chose to add natural protein like Almond butter to the batter, however, feel free to sub with protein powder, peanut butter, etc. 

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 2mg

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