You might have made a new year’s resolution to eat healthier, but wouldn’t it be great if you could find healthy recipes for your favourite desserts that are so delicious you want to eat them all year round?

I came up with this ice cream recipe that happens to be vegan and incredibly healthy, because I was trying to find the quickest and easiest way to make my own ice cream in a student kitchen without having to use bananas. I like the convenience and ease of freezing bananas and blending them into an ice cream-like dessert, but I don’t really love the taste. So, I tried to find a replacement, and this is how I discovered the incredible magic of sweet potatoes.

Because of their naturally creamy texture and high sugar content, sweet potatoes make a great alternative. And unlike bananas, their indistinctive taste means they’re great to use as a basis for different flavours. They work particularly well with peanut butter, which has a strong flavour that makes you completely forget about the sweet potatoes and transforms it into a really rich and indulgent dessert that you can enjoy completely guilt-free. 

Being half-Japanese, I got the inspiration to use sweet potatoes for a dessert recipe because they’re used in a lot of traditional Japanese sweet snacks. Popular ones include imogashi (thin, crispy sweet potato sticks covered in sugar) and daigaku imo (deep-fried sweet potato covered in a sweet and sticky soy sauce glaze). You can even buy sweet potato-flavoured Kit Kats in Japan!

Not only is this ice cream so much cheaper, healthier and more delicious than shop-bought ice cream, but it’s also incidentally vegan (and dairy-free/egg-free of course, as well as gluten-free), so if you have any friends with dietary requirements, make it for them - they’ll love you for it! So much better than the fruit salad they’ll be used to being served at formal…  

Dietary requirements aside, the recipe is perfect for students cooking in a tiny communal kitchen because it’s so easy and only requires three very basic ingredients that you’ll be able to get in any supermarket. All you need to do is cook your sweet potato (you can even microwave it if you’re feeling particularly lazy), freeze it and blend with peanut butter. You’ll need a hand-held stick blender/food processor/NutriBullet – but even if you don’t have one yourself, you can, for once, take advantage of having a communal kitchen – someone’s bound to have brought one in.

Another great thing about the recipe is its versatility: if you don't like peanut butter or if you’re allergic to nuts, you can swap it for your favourite spread! Nutella would also work well, as would Biscoff spread (Biscoff spread is also vegan, and you can buy vegan/dairy-free versions of Nutella). To make this into an even more decadent dessert, you could mix in some peanuts for extra crunch or swirl in some strawberry jam.

Basically, you need this ice cream in your life! Go buy some sweet potatoes now!

Rhian's Recipes

Easy 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Ingredients (serves 2):

1 sweet potato

2 tablespoons (smooth) peanut butter

Sugar/maple syrup, to taste


  1. Peel the sweet potato and cut into small pieces
  2. Boil for about 15 minutes, or until soft enough to pierce with a fork and drain (or pop in a microwave until soft)
  3. Mash the sweet potato with a fork
  4. Put the mash in a freezer-friendly container and once cooled, place in freezer until completely frozen
  5. Place the frozen mash into your blending device of choice along with the peanut butter and sweetener of choice
  6. Blend until it forms a thick ice-cream-like texture – you will probably have to mix it around a few times during this process to make sure it’s all evenly blended
  7. Serve up and enjoy immediately!