This year, summer holidays need to be as fun and special as we can make them, even if we are just sitting home alone. I wanted to make a treat at my house and I was set on making red, white and blue foods for Memorial Day this year. Strawberries are everywhere right now, so I was more than happy to make this strawberry vegan ice cream. I also made a super tasty red and blue mixed berry crumble. Both recipes are so good and are great served together.
I love developing “nice cream” recipes. You only need an ice cream base of coconut milk or coconut cream, a sweetener like maple syrup, vanilla or other extracts, and then your additions, such as fruit, chocolate chips or nuts. I like to use a combination of both coconut milk and coconut cream, but you can use whatever you have on hand as long as you add 3-1/2 to 4 cups total. Vegan ice cream is great made with all coconut milk or all coconut cream, too. I always add 1 to 2 cups of plant based milk into mine, too, in addition to the 3-1/2 to 4 cups of coconut products. This doesn’t make it any less creamy, but it does give you more ice cream, with a small reduction in fat per serving.
When using coconut milk to make vegan ice cream, you might find little pieces of the fat will freeze solid. To avoid having those resolidified tiny fat chunks in your frozen dessert, heat the coconut milk slightly before using. Pour the canned coconut milk (or cream) into a medium mixing bowl or a medium saucepan on the stove. Microwave in 10 to 15 second intervals a couple of times, stirring each time to remove any undissolved fat. If you are heating the coconut milk on the stove top, heat over a low heat, stirring occasionally, to melt any fat. The mixture should never get hot, just slightly warm. Let cool slightly before making your ice cream. This extra step is so worth it!
When you make the nice cream it will still be soft, like classic homemade ice cream. To harden the ice cream for scooping, put it in the freezer in a covered container for 20 to 30 minutes, or until it’s hard enough to scoop. I find my ice cream has a small window of “scoopability” and becomes too hard to scoop once that window closes. The solution is to create scoops when the ice cream is just right, then put the ice cream scoops into the freezer until time to serve. I’ve included instructions for that in the recipe.
This nice cream is perfect for birthdays or other celebrations. It’s delicious with fruit pies or cakes and cupcakes.