In the case you live under a rock, you might not have noticed the homemade ice cream and popsicle craze going on right now. It is summer, so what better time to savor sun-ripened fruits or enjoy a cocktail on a stick? There are dozens of vegan ice cream recipes in the magical internet machine and most are basically the same (2-4 ingredients) with just the amount of sugar varying. Let’s talk about a few methods and ingredients. Remember, I’m learning as I go and I’m loving this vegan Raspberry Lavender Ice Cream and thought you’d like to try it too!
There are several methods to prepare ice cream. Remember we are talking vegan recipes, otherwise it would be cream or a custard style combination. One method involves heating coconut milk to evenly dissolve the sugars and allowing it to cool before blending in an ice cream machine. The second method requires the use of a high-speed blender to thoroughly incorporate the sugar with the milk, thus saving the time of cooking the mixture. I use the blender method but the cooking method works well too, I just like to save time.
Now let’s talk sugars. Sugars, like other factors, affects the texture of ice cream. I’ve only played with coconut palm sugar, organic sugar and a blend of raw, organic agave and organic sugar. The coconut palm sugar lends a bit of a smokey, molasses-like flavor to the ice cream but it’s nice when paired well (recipe to follow on another day). Organic sugar gave a clean, neutral flavor and in the case of this berry recipe allows the berries do the talking instead of competing with other flavors.. I use so little sugar in my everyday cooking this is one of those simple indulgences.
All this being said, David Lebovitz touches on some of the factors that come into play with ice cream recipes here. I’ve been inspired by the Hungry Moose page too, I think she wrote an ice cream cookbook.
TIP 1: If you follow the instructions, using frozen berries, you will not need to chill the blend before pouring into the frozen barrel of the ice cream maker.
TIP 2: If you'd like to make this a chunky ice cream additions can be made in the last 30 seconds of the ice cream maker's cycle. If adding berries, be sure the are pre-frozen so they somewhat whole.
TIP 3: If you would like to infuse the coconut milk with herbs warm the two but be sure the milk is then chilled before starting with the recipe.
- 2 (14-ounce cans) organic coconut milk
- ½ cup organic sugar
- 1 cup local raspberries, frozen
- ¼ teaspoon crushed dried lavender buds
- optional additions: cookie crumbs, frozen berries, chunks of goat cheese, coconut flakes or crushed macadamia nuts
- Puree coconut milk, sugar, raspberries and lavender in a high-speed blender using the ice-cream smoothie setting or on high for about 45 seconds. The blend should be bubbly.
- Process the blend in your ice creme maker, per your machine's instruction. My particular Cuisinart needs only 25 minutes.
- Enjoy as a soft serve or scoop into a freezer safe container and cover.
- Freeze for 4 hours to enjoy a scoopable ice cream. If the ice cream becomes too stiff allow it to rest on your counter to soften.