This sugar-free, keto pumpkin ice cream in the Ninja Creami is a perfect cool and creamy treat for the fall — without all the guilt.
Forget the pumpkin spice latte when you can make this super yummy, sugar-free, keto pumpkin ice cream! This pumpkin ice cream is also high in protein (39 percent of calories) and low in calories (just 50 calories per serving).
One of our readers recently inspired us to make this recipe (thanks, Barbara!), and we're so glad she did since we love all things pumpkin and ice cream!
This creamy, fall ice cream is made with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, erythritol, almond milk and protein powder (to increase the protein percentage of the ice cream).
You likely wouldn't even guess it's a low-carb or keto-friendly pumpkin ice cream, but it is. But, like we've said before, much of the credit goes to the Ninja Creami (and not us) since it allows you to create rich, smooth and creamy ice cream with non-standard ingredients
Making this ice cream in the Ninja Creami is pretty darn easy, too. You simply blend the ingredients in a blender and then freeze in a Ninja Creami container for 24 hours. After that, it's ready for the Ninja Creami to turn it into ice cream, which takes less than 10 minutes.
Be sure to check out our other Ninja Creami recipes including Keto Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream, Keto Butter Pecan Ice Cream and Keto Cookies and Cream Ice Cream.
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The ingredients for this pumpkin ice cream include:
- Unsweetened almond milk: To create the right consistency, you need a liquid. We use unsweetened almond milk since it's keto-friendly and low in calories. You may substitute with another type of low-carb milk like unsweetened macadamia milk.
- Pumpkin puree: Be sure to purchase puree that is 100 percent pumpkin with no added ingredients. Be careful not to mistake puree with pumpkin pie filling, which contains a lot of sugar.
- Vanilla protein powder: We use a vanilla whey protein powder to increase the protein in this ice cream. Our favorite vanilla protein powder is Quest Vanilla Milkshake. However, you may use your favorite vanilla protein powder.
- Brown and confectioners erythritol: We use Swerve Brown AND Swerve Confectioners Sweetener in this ice cream (you can use another brand of erythritol if you like like). We use a combination since brown adds maple undertones, but we don't want that flavor to overpower the ice cream, so we combine it with confectioners.
- Pumpkin pie spice: To simplify the recipe, we use pumpkin pie spice as opposed to multiple spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc. You can use more or less of it as you like, depending on your personal preference.
- Cinnamon: We add a little cinnamon, in addition to the pumpkin pie spice, to enhance the flavor.
- Guar Gum: Guar gum is thickening agent that helps create a creamy texture in ice creams and sorbets. You may substitute with xanthan gum, but the texture may not turn out as creamy.
How To Make
STEP 1. Combine all the dry ingredients (protein powder, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, erythritol and guar gum) in a bowl and whisk to combine.
STEP 2: Pour combined dry ingredients into a blender and add wet ingredients (almond milk and pumpkin puree) and mix until well combined.
STEP 3: Pour the blended mixture into a Ninja Creami pint container and place in the freezer. Let freeze for at least 24 hours.
STEP 4: After freezing, take the lid off the pint container and place in the Ninja Creami outer bowl. If there is a bump in the middle, slice it down to create a flat surface (so Ninja Creami can mix better). Install the Creami paddle into the outer bowl lid, place the lid on the outer bowl and lock into place according to the instructions in the Creami manual.
STEP 5: Select the Lite Ice Cream mode, and it will spin for several minutes. When it stops spinning, take the container out and assess the consistency of the ice cream. If it's powdery in texture as shown in picture 5 (as opposed to creamy and smooth), then you'll need to respin.
STEP 6: If you need to respin, place the outer bowl lid back on and lock it back into the Ninja creami and push respin.
STEP 7: After it's done respining, take out the outer bowl and assess the ice cream consistency. If its smooth and creamy, as shown in picture 7, then it's ready for serving.
STEP 8: Immediately serve in bowls and enjoy!
Toppings to Consider
You can add some toppings to your keto pumpkin ice cream to enhance the flavor and texture. There are a lot of options including crushed pecans, keto granola, sugar-free whipped cream, keto caramel sauce or sugar-free chocolate chips.
Storing the Ice Cream
Ice cream made by the Ninja Creami is best when eaten immediately. Since it's not made with standard ingredients and in the same manner as regular ice cream, it does not store as well as traditional ice cream.
If you have leftovers, we recommend letting the ice cream melt until soft (which happens fairly quickly) and then storing it back in a Creami pint since you'll likely need to re-run the Creami on it after it re-hardens. Be sure to flatten the surface of the ice cream in the pint before placing it in the freezer.
To serve, simply re-run the Creami process again or respin the ice cream (as it may be frozen) until smooth and creamy.
WHY THE NINJA CREAMI CAN MAKE ICE CREAM OUT OF ALMOST ANYTHING
With traditional ice cream machines, the ice cream is stored in the freezer so it has to maintain its creamy texture while in there. Keeping a liquid creamy at freezing temperatures requires a careful balance of ingredients. For example, in traditional ice cream, if you reduce the amount of sugar in the mixture it will get too hard in the freezer to be ice cream.
By contrast, with the Ninja Creami you start by freezing your mixture into a solid and then the Creami pulverizes it to create ice cream. The benefit of this approach is almost any mixture will freeze to a solid. This is especially useful in low calorie or protein ice creams with non-standard ingredients that won't stay creamy in the traditional ice cream making process. The trade off is that you have to eat it right away and it can't be stored like traditional ice cream.
Keto Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream in the Ninja Creami (Sugar-Free)
- Ninja Creami (Use the 1x conversion button below if you have the original CREAMi)
- Ninja Creami Deluxe (Use the 1.5x conversion button below if you have the Creami Deluxe)
- ½ scoop Quest Vanilla Milkshake Protein Powder
- 1 ¼ cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- ½ cup Pumpkin Puree
- 3 tablespoons Swerve Confectioners
- 3 tablespoons Swerve Brown
- ½ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Guar Gum
- Prepare the base: Combine all the dry ingredients (protein powder, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, erythritol and guar gum) in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour combined dry ingredients into a blender and add wet ingredients (almond milk and pumpkin puree) and mix until well combined.
- Freeze: Pour the blended mixture into a Ninja Creami pint container and place in the freezer. Let sit for at least 24 hours.
- Turn to ice cream in the Ninja Creami: After freezing, take the lid off the pint container and place in the Ninja Creami outer bowl. If there is a bump in the middle, slice it down to create a flat surface (so Ninja Creami can mix better). Install the Creami paddle into the outer bowl lid, place the lid on the outer bowl and lock into place according to the instructions in the Creami manual. Select the Lite Ice Cream mode, and it will spin for several minutes.
- Respin (if necessary): When it stops spinning, take the container out and assess the consistency of the ice cream. If it's a powdery in texture (as opposed to creamy and smooth), then you'll need to respin. To respin, place the pint container back in the Ninja creami and push respin. After it's done, take out and assess the ice cream consistency. If smooth and creamy, serve immediately. If still powdery, continue to respin until you reach the desired consistency.
- This recipe was designed for the original Ninja Creami. If you have the Ninja Creami Deluxe use the 1.5x conversion button in the ingredients section of the recipe card to adjust the ingredient amounts.
- When freezing your mixture make sure your pint is on a level surface in the freezer and that you don't fill the pint past the fill line.
- The Creami instructions also recommend freezing for at least 24 hours to make sure its fully hardened.
- Depending on the recipe and your freezer's temperature, you may need to respin multiple times. For example, if our mixture is frozen at a low temperature, we typically need to respin multiple times. We've even had situations where we needed to respin as much 8 to 10 times. If this happens to you frequently, consider increasing the temperature of your freezer.
- If you want to include any mix-ins like sugar-free chocolate chips or candy, simply add them to the spun ice cream and press the mix-in button to incorporate. If you use the other settings, your mix-ins will be shredded too finely.
I'm afraid this recipe might need a little work or else I inappropriately expected it to taste a little more like the milky custard that pumpkin pie actually is. It was merely ... fine - a little blah, a little watery and a little too vegetal. The pumpkin flavor married well with homemade hot fudge sauce and I ate the whole pint, but it needed to be more creamy and have a caramelized milk/cream flavor. You've taught me that the fat level must be low to continue to use powdered erythritol sweeteners, but is there some middle ground? I would not be averse to doing crock pot batches of evaporated alternative milk (I know, not so simple anymore) or using some of this one fairly carb-y Nestle product called Media Crema Lite with has less than 20g for the nearly 8 oz. can. The Crema Lite is like an evaporated (and caramelized) light cream and I'll have to write to them as well to get the accurate nutritional info for the whole can. The fat is higher than alt milk beverages but not as high as heavy cream. I actually have a can about to expire so I may do another experiment before getting your guidance. Maybe the whey protein can be increased to help with the dairy aspect without resorting to cream cheese? Will keep you posted!
Thanks for your feedback! Yeah, we worked on this quite a bit and decided to call it pumpkin spice instead of pumpkin pie since it's not like pumpkin pie. It's more pumpkin flavor with pumpkin spice. We actually bought 5 regular pumpkin ice creams from the store and replicated it after our favorite. Now, it would be creamier if we used heavy cream but we decided to make it high in protein and lactose-free, and after many attempts this was definitely our favorite. We didn't find it watery, so not sure why that would be the case on your end. Of course, you can always add more pumpkin spice for flavor if desired. But, we still like it and served it over the holidays. Let us know if you have luck with the crema lite. It's an interesting idea, although we usually stick to simple and common ingredients for everyone. You just have be careful when adding more whey protein as it comes with a strange aftertaste.
Thanks for the info and the distinction! It was only watery a little in my mouth which I assumed was from the extra moisture from the pumpkin puree (Aldi brand - not Libby's) so that it read to me as a pumpkin sorbet a bit. I have to tell you the Media Crema Lite, though adding 270 calories (300 for the crema less the 30 or so for almond milk it replaced) and 30g of fat, was spot on for making this pumpkin pie ice ice cream with also increasing the whey protein to 1 scoop. Your spice level was still great with this mixture. The level of fat added of 30g is far less than the 80g using HWC and let me still use Swerve confectioners for the all the sweetener without crystallization. I kept to confectioner's since you said that crystallization is more of a problem as fat content goes up though I added 1/2 tsp unsulphured molasses (2.5-3g carb) to provide the brown sugar aspect. So I used the whole $3.39 can of the Crema Lite for this experiment, it was very successful but an expensive specialty ingredient with a resulting moderately high calories and too many carbs to eat the whole pint. Maybe I can get away with just half the can? Also, I just made coconut beverage evaporated milk (with no caramelization and some loss of the fiber due to coagulation) so I'll try again soon. Thanks again!
Oh wow, that's great to hear! Will have to try the crema lite - very curious to see how it turns out. In our experience, our higher fat recipes do taste better but unfortunately have more calories. Like the idea of adding unsulfured molasses too. Giving it a try and thanks so much for sharing all your experiments. We get excited by this stuff!