Summer Recipe: Gou Qi Zi & Fresh Cherry Ice Cream

Cool off from the inside out with this delicious and healthy twist on an old summer favorite! Making ice cream in a high-power blender is an easy way to incorporate more luscious seasonal fruits to enhance dessert, while using the whole fruit for the added nutrients and fiber. (Okay, so maybe it isn’t exactly health food, but a lot closer than store bought!)

Makes about 4 cups


    • ¾ cup whole grass-fed milk (can substitute almond or coconut milk, in which case you can consider adding ¼ cup  coconut oil for added creaminess)
    • 3 cups ice cubes (crushed ice is easier)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup dried Gou Qi Zi/Lycium/Goji berries, soaked 20 minutes or to slight plumpness
    • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
    • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (can substitute raw honey or a tiny bit of stevia)
    • For a “chunky cherry” type ice cream, add ¼ cup chopped walnuts, almonds or cashews


      1. Soak the Gou Qi Zi/ Lycium/Goji berries in a small amount of cold water until softened (we soaked them for 20 minutes), then drain water. In the meantime, pit and chop the cherries.
      2. Add all the ingredients in the order listed above in a high-speed, high-power blender (Vitamix or similar).
      3. Start with the lowest mixing speed and quickly increase to the maximum. If possible, use a tamper to press the ice cubes into the blades. You’ll know that the ice cream is frozen when you see a few distinct mounds at the top.
      4. Stop the blender as soon as the ice cream is smooth. Serve immediately.
      5. For a “chunky cherry” type ice cream, add in the nuts and cherries just after the ice cream is blended smooth. Turn the blender back on low speed for just a few seconds to stir the fruit and nuts into the ice cream without crushing it.

      Note: this is a soft ice cream that tastes best when eaten fresh from the blender. You can still freeze any extra, but best to blend it again later with a little fresh milk or fruit.


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