Miso Nice Cream (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free)

It’s just plain cool how life works if you create space for a little quiet.

For most of my life, I was a workaholic in the city. Then I left Chicago and moved to the country to force myself to slow down. Access to some seriously beautiful nature has helped a lot, but habits follow you no matter where you go. I knew that going in, although honestly, I was hoping it didn’t apply to me. [shakes head]

When I wrote YumUniverse the book, I literally poured every waking moment into its creation at the expense of my own health at times—I didn’t think there was any other way to do it. When I was done, I was a proud mama, but there was no way I was writing another book. Then, after time had dulled the edges a bit, I had an idea for a second book, and with it more ideas for how I could write one in a smarter, more balanced way.

I’m using book 2 as an opportunity to build some important new habits for my own life. For example, before I did any work on the book each day I went outside for a 3-to-4-mile walk, run, or walk-run. No worky until I took care of me first. For the first few weeks it was a challenge because my gotta-get-it-done-anxiety brain pushed back hard, but eventually, I craved this time, how it made me feel, and then nothing got in my way. I also took breaks throughout the day and most importantly, I stopped working every night by 9–9:30pm and created a little sleep ritual for myself.

  1. Leave the phone in the kitchen to charge—don’t bring it upstairs
  2. Take an epsom salt bath
  3. No devices in bed—read a book or close your eyes

These simple guidelines have been a game-changer and they’ve eradicated the stress tornado I usually operate in. The clarity! What a gift. I was able to make efficient decisions about the book the entire time. I was able to be succinct, cut things—let them go instead of holding on so tightly (ex: the recipe below).

I sent in my manuscript last week, and the very next day woke up, had my walk, and then threw a bunch of clothes in a suitcase and drove for the shore. I arrived just in time for my favorite timeframe on the beach—4pm-ish to sunset. I unloaded the car, grabbed a chair and sat in the sand to just be still.


Some of you know I’ve been working through some feels about YumUniverse for a while now, but some healthy ideas for the future have been galvanizing these past few weeks. Here’s what I know:

  1. I’ve been craving real connection with YU—the kind that goes beyond a mutual love of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies or kale. I have cool stuff, inspo, and ideas to share in addition to tasty new recipes.
  2. I’m going to spend more time cutting through the noise, the overwhelm, and the time-sucking to-dos and write to you directly each weekI want more back and forth with like-minded peeps, so my efforts are going to focus on the newsletter. I’m going to share the weekly things that touch my heart, make my tastebuds sing, and the amazing tools that help me find health and happiness in my own life. I hope they will do the same for you because health and happiness are not mutually exclusive. Sign up here if this sounds good to you.

How will it all unfold? We’ll see. I have some projects to complete and some exciting new ones to start. I’m just going to follow my curiosity, tell fear to zip its mouth, and go from there.

During my break from things, I’ve received some very supportive letters from YU. I’ve also received a few nasty ones. I thank you all for taking the time to share your feelings with me because I read it all.

Here are the facts: I had to take a break. This site and what and how I plan to share moving forward is going to be better for it.

In honor of the good feedback and the not-so good feedback, I’m sharing a recipe that I’ve decided to cut from the book for the very same reason. I personally LOVE this recipe and the name :). And while some of my recipe testers loved these flavors, some others? Not so much.

I’m curious what YU think—give it a try. And know that if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can aerate by blending an extra minute or two, then simply freeze.

Miso Nice Cream Ingredients:
[dairy-free, gluten-free]

1 vanilla bean pod (how to open, or 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract)
3 cups canned coconut milk
½ cup Sucanat (or coconut sugar)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch/flour
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Azuki Bean miso (or any other miso you like), to taste
1 teaspoon fresh, minced ginger
A pinch of fine-ground sea salt

Let’s get started.
Lightly press vanilla bean pod so it lays flat on a cutting board. Then, carefully slice all the way down its length with a sharp knife and open. Use the back of the knife or the back of a spoon to scrape out the caviar-like seeds and tap them into the blender.

To the blender, add remaining ingredients and blend for 1 minute. Transfer to a large pot and heat to medium-high. Continuously whisk together remaining ingredients until velvety smooth and starting to simmer. Remove from heat and chill ice cream for 2–3 hours in the fridge until thoroughly cooled.

Pour mixture into the ice cream maker and process until firm, but scoopable—serve now! Or freeze, thaw, and serve later.

I’m curious what team you’ll be on. #TeamMisoNiceCream or not so much?

What do you think of this recipe?

Tell me with a comment below and show me a pic! #yumuniverse

Read the comments or add yours.

Comment Rules

  1. Emily

    Good for you! Taking time for yourself is such a priority, and I’m glad that you have been doing it. Bravo!

  2. April

    Yeah you! For taking time to disconnect and refocus. I think it’s an essential life habit that many forgo.

  3. Heather, This looks so creative and fun! As an Aturvedic practitioner I avoid cold foods – but this is a wonderful way of adding warming elements for optimal digestion. Good luck with your new routine. We all need more self care, more reminders, and inspiring examples. Thank you for leading the way by taking care of YU.

    • Thanks so much, Laura. I bet you could use the ice cream as a tasty base for a warm bread pudding or rice pudding 🙂 Might be worth a try! Let us know if you do 😉

  4. Robin

    I am rooting for this one, very excited to try it 🙂
    Just today I put it out to the universe that I am opening my heart to like minded humans to share and celebrate the beauty and love that sustains me .. and now your newsletter update. So it begins! I like the way your new path sounds.

  5. I think it’s awesome that you took some time away for yourself and to refocus – I think everyone needs to do that every now and then! I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store!
    Ok…this ice cream sounds AMAZING!!!!! I love miso, but never in a million years would have thought to use it in a sweet recipe like this. I’m so intrigued!
    Hope you have a beautiful week!

    • Thanks so much, Mandy… I love salty and sweet combos, and with the umami from miso and the creaminess of the coconut milk, I thought, why not? I loooove this one. Let us know if you try it!

  6. Thank you Heather, I love the recipe, and will share it! I also love that you wrote about your morning routine. I am a health coach, and I preach this to my clients. It has made all the difference in the world for me also.

  7. Kayla

    Your Miso Nice Cream looks so good Heather! I have never seen miso used in nice cream before. Need to try this soon! I love how creative all of your recipes are! Thank you for sharing! Also thank you for being so honest with all of your readers. And you are so spot on about needing to take care of yourself first. Kudos to you! I have started to realize that and have started implementing that too. Excited for the new information/content that you will be sharing and for your newsletter too! Thank you so much Heather for all of your recipes and inspiration! Much love and gratitude, Kayla 🙂

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