This vegan ice-cream is perfect for hot summer days, as it has all the creaminess and texture of non-vegan ice-cream, thanks to the whipped coconut cream, but is also much lighter and more refreshing, as it doesn’t have any dairy in it. It tastes almost like a frozen strawberry smoothie, and is absolutely delicious! This ice-cream is also free from refined sugar, only using maple syrup as a sweetener, so it will set pretty hard in the freezer, which explains the addition of the vodka, and the necessity of removing it from the freezer 20 minutes before you want to eat. However, the lack of refined sugar isn’t all bad – because it only has (mainly!) healthy ingredients, it is entirely acceptable to eat for breakfast… which I have done…!
One of the best things about this ice-cream is that it’s so easily customisable; once you have the coconut and banana base you can add any flavours you want, maybe some mint extract and cacao nibs to make a healthy mint choc chip? Or how about adding peaches instead of strawberries to make a creamy peach ice-cream? Once you have churned the ice-cream you can either put it in a tub to freeze, or spoon it into ice-lolly moulds to make an exciting treat for the kids! The cacao and almond crumb is, of course, entirely optional, but I do find that it adds a lovely crunch of texture.
Strawberry and Coconut ice-cream:
- 2 tins of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp. vodka
- 200g strawberries
For the cacao and almond crumb:
- 50g almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp. cacao powder
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- For the ice-cream, take your tins of coconut milk out of the fridge and turn them upside-down, then open with a tin opener. You should be left with the clear coconut water on top and the coconut cream on the bottom. Tip the water off into a jug (it’s great used in smoothies!) and scrape the cream into a bowl.
- Whisk the cream using an electric whisk until it is light and fluffy, and has stiff peaks. Set this aside while you make the rest of the ice-cream.
- Chop the bananas into chunks and put into a food processor with the almond milk, strawberries, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and vodka, then whizz for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Spoon the coconut cream into the food processor and blend until it is combined. Pour the ice-cream into a jug, then tip into your ice-cream maker and churn according to the instructions.
- When the ice-cream has churned, spoon into a freezer proof container and freeze for 3-4 hours until completely solid.
- Meanwhile, make the almond and cacao crumb by toasting the almonds in a frying pan until brown and crunchy. Then add in the coconut oil, salt, honey and cacao powder, and cook over a low heat until they have all melted together and formed a coating for the nuts.
- Leave the nuts to cool, then blend briefly to break down the nuts and form a crumb. To serve, take the ice-cream out of the freezer 20 minutes before you need it, then serve in bowls (or teacups!) with the cacao crumb.