No matter what time of the year it is, ice cream is a go to treat for just about every festive occasion. Which person has not enjoyed this decadent treat. From their first birthday party to their hundredth (if they make it) and every occasion in between. School parties, home parties, work parties. I mean, what is a party without ice cream.
But now you are vegan and think that such a treat is no longer in your scope of enjoyment. But hold on, I have news for you. Vegan ice cream is very much available and it is something you can make at home even without an ice cream maker.
Does the thought of making your own ice cream scare you. After all, such a delicious treat must be quite difficult to make. I have more news for you . Making home made ice cream is easier than you think. Just continue reading and you are going to be surprised at how easy it is to make your own vegan ice cream. And yes. It’s really true. You can do it without an ice cream machine.
How simple it is.
You might be thinking that it is a very involved process to produce great tasting ice cream. On the contrary, just 3 simple steps is all you need to make delicious dessert.
First you need your base
The secret to delicious, creamy, vegan ice cream is coconut milk. However, the coconut milk you buy in the box is not going to do. That is too watery. You need the one in the can with the high fat content. If you use the coconut milk that is too watery, your ice cream will be full of ice crystals. Not at all what you want.
Here is a trick to removing the fat in the coconut milk (separating the cream from the liquid)
Place the can of high fat coconut milk in the freezer, The fat will settle at the top and take on a more semi-solid consistency. Take the can out and turn it upside down. When you have it in this position, cut the can open (bottom of can). You will then be able to pour off the water and leave the fat, creamy portion in the tin. You want to separate the fat from the water because as mentioned before, the water will cause ice crystals to form.
Scrape out the creamy portion and add it to a bowl. Use a hand mixer and whip up this coconut cream, it will start to get thick and form soft peaks. This is the base of your ice cream.
Don’t have a hand mixer? That won’t stop you. Use your food processor or a blender to whip up the coconut cream.
Next, add your flavours
Your choice of flavours is completely up to you .
What do you like? Strawberries, mangoes, pistachio, vanilla, peanut butter, chocolate…this list could get very long very quickly.
Go ahead and put all your other ingredients (fruits, cocoa powder, peanut butter, vanilla etc.) into a food processor or blender and blend together.
Fold in the whipped coconut cream and mix together until combined.
Scrape out the mixture into a freezer-safe container. Cover and allow to freeze overnight (or at least 3 to 4 hours, if you can’t wait that long).
Remove from the freezer and serve. If it is too hard, just let it thaw out for about 5 to 10 minutes until it softens a bit.
Scoop out with and ice cream scoop or a regular spoon and enjoy.
For even freezing and a creamier finish, you can gently stir your ice cream about two or so times while it’s freezing. However, it will still be good even if you simply let it freeze overnight without touching it.
Let’s get down to a real recipe that can guide you into making your own vegan ice cream.
- 1 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup additional coconut milk (you can substitute almond milk or any other non-dairy milk of your choice)
- 1/4 cup sweetener of choice (e.g. sugar, agave nectar, pure maple syrup or honey)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- optional ingredients for desired flavor (e.g. strawberry, chocolate, peanut butter, blueberries etc)
Put the full-fat coconut milk in a bowl and whip with your hand held mixer or standing mixer until it thickens and forms soft peaks. If you don’t have a mixer, whip it in your food processor or blender.
Add the remainder of the milk, the sweetener, salt and vanilla extract and mix again.
In your food processor or blender, add your optional ingredient e.g. strawberries, and blend together.
Pour the ingredient into a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze for at least 4 hours
Remove from freezer, serve and enjoy.
While homemade ice cream is best the day it is made, you can actually keep it frozen for up to a few weeks and thaw before eating.
Don’t like coconut?
Are you saying “I knew I was going to be left out”, just because you don’t like coconut?
Well guess what? You won’t. We are not leaving you out of this ice cream treat. Hey, we are talking about ice cream here. Don’t you worry. For every problem there is a solution and the solution to your problem is banana.
Banana Ice cream
You know all those overripe bananas that you did not know what to do with them but had the wisdom to peel them and put them in the freezer? Well here is where they come into play.
Cut up 2 or 3 frozen ripe bananas (depending on how much ice cream you are making), toss them into your food processor and blend until you get a soft serve consistency.
If you like, you can scoop it straight into a bowl and eat it immediately.
If not, move on to step 2.
Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 30 minutes. This will give you a firmer ice cream texture.
Remove from freezer, scoop into a bowl and eat.
If not, move on to step 3.
We don’t even need a step three but the option is there because you might want to add different flavours to your ice cream.
Again, you can add to the mixture, any flavour you like…..a cup of strawberries, pineapple, cocoa powder, peanut butter…you are going to have fun experimenting.
Here are a three other ways you can make your own vegan ice cream courtesy of the Mushroom Den.
Shake, shake, shake.
Here is another option. You can make your ice cream in a DIY ice cream maker. All you need is some ice and some salt and two plastic bags. One plastic bag to put the ice cream mixture and an outer plastic bag which contains the ice and salt.
Beauty and the Foodie show you how easy it is in this video.
Benefits of making your own ice cream
You don’t have to deny yourself or drive all the way to the store when you feel for some ice cream.
You get to choose what flavours to make and you can even make multiple flavours from the same base.
You control what ingredients go in. (Less refined sugar, no preservatives, no artificial flavours and coloring)
Gone is the idea that a vegan cannot enjoy delicious yet healthy ice cream. You can make it at home and you don’t need an ice cream maker.
Well go ahead and give it a shot.
Which ice cream flavour are you going to try first? Share with us in the comments section below.