Ah. Puns puns puns puns.
So, right after I decided to be vegan for a week (which wasn’t 100% effective, but still pretty good) I started my time of the month. I wanted ice cream pretty badly. But, Ben and Jerry’s does have a non dairy ice cream option, so I thought I’d try it. Sunday after a production meeting, I ran to Walgreens expecting them to have some, they did not. I decided to google how to make vegan ice cream, and it looked pretty easy.
Now, I have always believed that desserts shouldn’t be healthy, it’s fine to eat healthy most of the time, but it’s completely ok to indulge every once in a while. This ice cream, while vegan, is not really healthy. The base is full fat coconut milk and it does a pretty good job at mimicking a dairy ice cream base.
The recipe I used called for an ice cream machine, which I have. However, I had it churning for a while and it never changed, so I ended up putting it straight into the freezer. This resulted in it being very hard when frozen, but leaving it out of the freezer before serving softens it up just enough.
Here’s what to get from the store:
Full fat coconut milk
Honey or agave
Coconut Milk Ice Cream
(From the Kitchen)
2 (13- to 15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup agave syrup, maple syrup, honey, turbinado sugar, or cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional extras: nuts, chocolate (or carob) chips, fruit puree, cacao nibs, etc.
- Shake the coconut milk: Cans of coconut milk separate into a thick, creamy layer and a thin watery layer on the shelf. Before opening them, shake the cans of coconut milk thoroughly to incorporate the layers.
- Set aside 1/2 cup coconut milk: Open the cans of coconut milk. Measure 1/2 cup and set this aside.
- Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan: Pour the remaining coconut milk into a 2-quart sauce pan.
- Add the sweetener and salt to the coconut milk: Measure the sweetener (agave, maple syrup, honey, or sugar), and add it to the coconut milk, along with the salt.
- Warm the coconut milk on the stove: Warm the coconut milk on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sweetener has completely dissolved into the coconut milk, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved coconut milk: Measure the cornstarch and add it to the reserved 1/2 cup coconut milk. Whisk thoroughly until the cornstarch is totally dissolved.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the coconut milk: Pour the cornstarch mixture into the warm coconut milk while whisking gently.
- Heat the ice cream base until thickened: This is your ice cream base. Increase the heat to medium. Stirring occasionally, continue cooking the base until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not allow the base come to a boil.
- Stir in the vanilla: Remove the base from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Chill the base: Pour the base into a shallow container. Let the base cool slightly on the counter so it’s not hot when you put it in the fridge. Before refrigerating, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface — this coconut milk base doesn’t form a skin quite as badly as a milk-and-egg base, but it doesn’t hurt! Cover the container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or for up to 3 days.
- Begin churning the ice cream: Remove the base from the fridge. It should be completely chilled and slightly pudding-like in texture. Pour the base into your ice cream machine and begin churning.
- Churn until the ice cream is the consistency of soft-serve: Churn the ice cream until it thickens considerably and is roughly the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Depending on your machine, this could take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes — keep an eye on it! If you want to add any extras, add them now and churn a few more seconds until they are fully incorporated.
- Transfer to freezer container: Scrape the ice cream into your freezer container. Press a piece of parchment or wax paper against the surface to prevent ice crystals from forming.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours: Transfer the container of ice cream to the freezer and freeze for at least 4 hours to harden the ice cream.
- Warm slightly before serving: If your ice cream is too hard to scoop, let it warm a few minutes on the counter before scooping. I find that coconut ice cream melts a little more quickly than milk-based ice creams, so don’t wait too long!
Wednesday it was about 70 degrees outside. I was off so I went to the Lake Front Trail to take a walk. I’ve lived here for 7 months and I hadn’t gone down there yet. It was beautiful. I love this city so much .
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