Pumpkin spice ice cream

Pumpkin spice ice cream

Since I over shared a few months back, I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking questions in regards to the current state of my health. Truth is, I figured you’d eventually forget about it and we could just go on like I never mentioned anything, but.. you didn’t. So I guess I should say sorry for keeping you in the dark.


After months of what seemed like handing over vial after vial of my precious blood for no apparent reason, my doctors “diagnosed” me with a condition called aplastic anemia – which is basically a fancy way of saying my bone marrow isn’t producing a sufficient amount of new blood cells. I put diagnosed in quotations because you can’t actually be diagnosed with aplastic anemia unless you have a bone marrow biopsy – I’ve put off having the procedure because the idea of someone jabbing me in the pelvis with a large needle, then extracting my marrow, is an extremely unsettling thought. So, due in part to my fear of needles, and in part to my aversion to medicine, we’re taking the holistic route to treat this thing; no bone marrow biopsy, no medication, no chemotherapy, no bone marrow transplant. I’m counting on nature, for this one.

Cinnamon sticks
Cinnamon sticks
Pumpkin pie spice

Despite it being potentially fatal if left untreated, aplastic anemia is reversible in young, healthy adults. Reversible! Reversible! But in order for the disorder to reverse itself, I have to allow my body to do it naturally; medication isn’t an option. Although I am technically not treating it (my doctors just love reminding me of that), my blood counts are being monitored closely – which makes my holistic approch pretty damn safe. And aside from following a healthy diet and exercising regularly, I’ve started boosting my system with vitamins galore and increasing the already enormous amount of produce I consume on a daily basis. So far, so good, as my once deteriorating health has been on a steady incline.

I feel better. So much better. I’m genuinely happy to be alive and (on the path to getting) well, grateful to have such incredibly supportive people in my life, and feeling pretty fortunate to have the capacity to treat this thing holistically. I’ve got one year to get better – fingers crossed and good vibes for higher blood counts, folks. Now, how about some ice cream?

Pumpkin spice ice cream

When this ice cream was still imaginary, Thom went on and on about how delicious it’d be to load it up with chunks of pie crust. I looked at him, rolled my eyes, and told him there wasn’t a chance in hell that would happen. Chunks of pie crust IN ice cream? Then there I was, standing in the kitchen in my underwear (a regular occurrence in our house), rolling out pie dough. So, in the very near future I’ll show you how to make a mean ass pumpkin pie sundae – and yes, it includes vanilla bean whipped cream.
Notes: The spice measurements below are equivalent to one tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice – so if you have that on hand, add that instead of each of the spices individually. Also, you might be able to get away with replacing the full fat coconut milk with equal amounts of light coconut milk, because the pumpkin puree makes this stuff super thick and creamy. If you don’t have sucanat, replace it with brown sugar. Or maple syrup. Psst, this is super delicious served over a warm brownie.


1 3/4 cups full fat coconut milk
1 3/4 cups light coconut milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup sucanat
1 tbsp pure vanilla exract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together 1 cup of the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, sucanat and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and whisk vigorously to ensure the pumpkin mixture smoothes out. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves; whisk to combine. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Once chilled, pour the mixture into the bowl of your ice cream machine and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Eat ice cream immideately (it will be somewhat soft) or transfer to a container and freeze until ready to consume. Thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 1.5 quarts


38 thoughts on “Pumpkin spice ice cream

  1. Wow! All around. I'm so sorry to hear about what you're going through medically. I admire the approach you're taking and am hoping you can turn this thing around!!! Wishing you all the best!! And the ice cream….dang, girl. Hang in there!

  2. Haha, standing in the kitchen in my underwear is a regular occurrence in my house as well. And I'm so sorry about your diagnosis (or, un-diagnosis?). Hope you can beat this thing… you sound like you're doing well!

  3. Good to hear you are on the mend. I'm not afraid of needles, but the thought of one jabbing into my pelvis gives me the heebie jeebies. This ice cream looks amazing and I wish I were at home right this minute to make it, then promptly devour it. Yum.

  4. Oh my gosh, I must have missed that post! I'm so sorry that you have to struggle with something like that, but overjoyed that you're getting better! And it's so important to have such a positive attitude. Bravo for going the holistic route!Also, can I just say… pumpkin pie ice cream is one of my favorite treats ever. Will definitely have to try my hand at making my own this year! 🙂

  5. Thom is a genius. Pie crust in ice cream is pure amazing.Sending you tons of good vibes, love, energy, healing, whatever you need in order to fight this, girl! Love you like crazy!!! xoP.S. The visual of you in your underwear is making me happy 🙂 haha

  6. So sorry to hear about all your health challenges, but so glad you are on the mend.Wowzer this frozen dessert is right up my alley. Love pumpkin.

  7. I've just found your blog and it's beautiful! Coming to it and first seeing pumpkin spice ice cream, a favorite of mine, wasn't too bad either : ) I think the power of food and health is an amazing thing, so I hope you can get better without giant needles!

  8. Conjuring up as many good vibes as I can muster, lady. So happy to hear that you're already feeling more awesome without the invasive, modern medical procedures. Sending strength and light; although it seems like you've got it in spades already :)xoLaura

  9. I had a similar thing a few years ago. I boosted my immune system tremendously, and was able to recover holistically. Our bodies are capable of impressive things.

  10. I had no idea about your health struggles. At the age of 19, I was diagnosed with leukemia and treated with chemo and a bone marrow transplant from my sister. I just turned 30, and am doing well. If you ever need to talk, I'm totally here for you! On a lighter note, the pumpkin spice ice cream looks wonderful. 🙂

  11. I also, was not aware of your health struggles. I hope you're on the road to health quickly. Health is certainly one of those things I know I don't quite appreciate until it's gone. Sending lots of positive vibes your way :).And that pumpkin ice cream looks amazing. Always love your simple, brilliant photos.

  12. I am sorry to hear about your health issues but I am glad to hear you are taking a holistic natural approach rather than filling your body with medications and other potentially dangerous things. I prefer to take the same approach you are with all of my health ailments until I feel like I am doing myself more harm than good. I send you lots of positive and healing thoughts for a speedy recovery. Take care and be well, I would say with this ice cream being around, that shouldn't be too hard!

  13. Jess! I had no idea. They originally thought I had acute leukemia (apparently the blood picture is very similar to aplastic anemia). Anyway, happy to hear you're doing well 🙂 Also.. I think you live, like, a mile away from me. Which means we should get together!

  14. I'm cheering for YOU to healing the body of YOU ❤ So glad to hear that you are in the process of letting it do so!…and what better way than a fabulous and healthy ice cream, right!?Ohhh so much love and miracles to your day!

  15. This ice cream was delicious! I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. What did you mean when you said "I have one year to get better", if you don't mind my asking. Would you get the biopsy done or start treatment after 1 year if you don't improve? Good luck to you!

  16. Now I'm kicking myself that I ate all my pumpkin puree! Oh well, that's what the canned stuff is for right? Anyway, this looks amazing and I love that you used coconut milk. Too awesome for words.

  17. Ashlae! I had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma when I was 21yrs. I did chemo and 9 years later I'm doing great (knock on wood ;). Totally hear you on the bone marrow biopsy – I thought it would only hurt for a moment and I had a specialist do mine…it was what it was, that's for sure. The pain eventually goes away though…I love your attitude about this and that you are doing it holistically. I think you are awesome and LOVE reading your blog. Pumpkin ice cream looks killer!

  18. Ashlae, I had no idea! I'm so sorry to hear you've been going through something so traumatic. I'm thinking of you, and sending the best of all vibes for you to keep on feeling better, and beat this thing. Please keep us posted.

  19. i am so sorry ashlae. I would read all your posts thinking you would talk about it after the last post. sending you lots of good vibes and prayers. I hope the natural healing works. That is the best possible solution.hugs!That pumpkin spice those gorgeous cinnamon sticks and the ice cream. fall love.

  20. I am just so glad to hear that you're feeling better! Kudos to you for trying to improve your health naturally- you are one inspiring lady!This ice cream looks so crazy good! This time of year, in my pre-vegan days, I couldn't get enough of pumpkin frozen yogurt and this totally is making me crave it! I wish I had an ice cream machine and/or free time right now to make this! I can't wait to see your sundae!

  21. Wow, I'm so sorry about your health troubles, but I love that you're going the holistic route for treatment. Go you! Gosh, those cinnamon photos. Stunning. I will have to make this ice cream soon.

  22. Glad to hear that you're on the road to recovery. I've donated stem cells myself so I understand the gravity of such illnesses but hooray for alternative treatment options! This ice cream looks killer, I've been meaning to try a pumpkin gelato recipe for a while now and this might be just the extra incentive I needed to make it happen.

  23. Oh my goodness! I'm sorry to hear you have been sick, but glad to know you know what the cause of your illness is and are taking measures to reverse its impact on your body. Being young, it's hard to imagine that your body can be affected by anything major and I can only imagine how scary it must be. Sending you warm, healing thoughts! I'm a big believer in putting good things in your body to help it down the road to recovery. x

  24. So sorry to hear of your condition Ashlae, just admiring your strength right now and wishing you well! This ice cream looks fabulous by the way, must make some soon. Also, liking the coconut milk addition. Hugs to you!

  25. Sounds like a beautiful plan, dosing yourself up with loads of goodness and letting your body do its healing thing. And for sharing – amazing. Big love 🙂

  26. I just made this and it is sooooooooo amazing. (especially for those of us who are trying to heal our bodies with food) OH MY GOODNESS!!! You can eat it like ice cream, or as a pudding soufflé…and I think I am going to make a pumpkin latte with the mixture!! Thanks so much for this recipe! I will be making it a thousand times over!

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