Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vanilla Bean Vegan Coconut Ice Cream

Summer brings about the love and craving for ice cream more than any other season. Not sure if it's just part of our American heritage or the fact something cold and creamy just tastes better while we sweat and soak in the summer sun. 
This recipe is basic. A classic. A plain-Jane-vanilla-bean ice cream kinda recipe. But maybe plain, simple, classic and basic is where it's at! This recipe also serves as a good base for almost any vegan ice cream and then when you want to take away the vanilla and add in more or differing got it!  This one is my absolute favorite to top all the summer fruit crisps and crumbles. Or just keep it even easier and top (or mix-in) all the fresh berries you can get your fingers on. 
This handful of berries came from a friends backyard that backs up to a bike trail that has dozens of wild bushes of wild black raspberries growing. My daughter thought this find was the best thing ever- some how it brought out her own independent declaration of not needing me anymore for snacks :) I'm glad she loves to pick berries as much as I do. Hopefully you can hunt down some berry goodness this summer for yourself. For most of us GF or allergy people berries are a great treat just by themselves. Focus on the sweet treat and beautiful food you CAN have and forget about the sweet and sugary foods that hurt and harm you. This simple berry and coconut ice cream treat will have you forgetting any past desserts you can no longer enjoy. If you are looking to make some homemade vegan ice cream I'll share a few of my secrets below... 
Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, egg, nut, seed, and refined sugar-free, VEGAN}

2 cans of full fat coconut milk cream - should amount to 2 cups of cream
(scoop out the cream and save/discard the water in the can)
1 vanilla bean pod scraped
1/2 lemon/lime/orange/grapefruit squeezed (1-2 TB's of juice)
2-3 TB of pure maple syrup
hearty pinch of sea salt

optional: 1 TB of tapioca starch (this ingredient helps the ice cream to be so much easier to scoop from the freezer and even I think allows it to be creamier and melt just the right way instead of it being too hard or icy- you can omit it too, but from my experiments I like it better added!)

In a small saucepan, warm up the coconut cream with the rest of the ingredients. DO NOT warm too much to a boil. Just warm enough for the starch to thicken and turn off the heat and let it cool off. Then use an immersion or regular blender and blend the mixture to get a bit frothy and bubbly. Pour into a container and let full cool off in the fridge for 2 hours- overnight, or in the freezer for 30 minutes. 
Then if you have not invested in the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker- then you might want to in time for this summer. I got this as a birthday gift last year and have enjoyed using it. The instructions before you make the ice cream is to deep freeze the mixture container. It must be super cold! Then once you do that you can hook up the container and follow the instructions- which for this ice cream includes just pouring in the mixture while it has already started spinning. This will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to thicken up the ice cream. It is like soft serve and ready to top or eat, but if you want a more scoop-able ice cream then let the machine run for the allotted time and then pour into a container and put in the freezer and within 30 minutes it will be a perfect scoop!
Once you got your ice cream steps down- you will be willing to make this more often and enjoy it's creamy presence in your life. This recipe can be easily doubled and this recipe recipe makes about a pint of ice cream. This is a great 4th of July treat paired with fresh fruit, picked cherries or wild black raspberries...Did you notice the red white and blue happening here ;) haha!

I hope you give it a try and truly ENJOY it's wonderfulness :)
Much love as always xoxo

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