Nothing screams summer like fresh strawberries and ice cream. So how about combining the two for the ultimate summer treat? This vegan strawberry ice cream recipe uses coconut milk for a silky, creamy texture. Don’t scrimp here: canned full-fat coconut milk is a must for this recipe to turn out right.
Fresh strawberries are loaded with healthy antioxidants that are great for heart health. Additionally, they are rich in micronutrients, such as minerals, vitamin C, and folate, and non-nutrient elements, such as phenolic compounds, that are essential for human health. These super fruits are anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and are a great source of fiber as well.
Note that strawberries are listed as #1 on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list for pesticide contamination. Be sure to always splurge for organic strawberries. Their porous skin absorbs pesticides and other chemicals, so no amount of rinsing and washing will remove all pesticides from your berries.
Coconut milk is high in LDL (healthy) cholesterol and may help decrease overall cholesterol levels as well as the risk of heart disease. It also contains a lipid called lauric acid, which many can support the immune system. Coconuts also contain medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which improve metabolism and increase weight loss.
Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk
3/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 vanilla bean, split
2 cups fresh organic strawberries, hulled and quartered
- Vigorously shake cans of coconut milk before opening. Scoop out 1/2 cup of coconut milk and set it aside.
- Combine remaining coconut milk, agave, and salt in a saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk reserved 1/2 cup coconut milk with cornstarch. Gradually add to the warm coconut milk mixture.
- Scrape vanilla bean into the saucepan (including the pod). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not to allow the mixture to boil.
- Remove mixture from heat, discard vanilla bean pod, and pour into a separate bowl to cool. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours.
- Meanwhile, mash strawberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the berries become very juicy.
- Remove from the heat, and use an immersion blender to break up any large chunks. Set aside.
- Churn the coconut ice cream base in an ice cream machine following the manufacturer’s instructions. When thickened to a soft-serve ice cream consistency, slowly ladle in strawberry sauce with ice cream machine running.
- Spread ice cream into a baking pan and freeze for a few hours (or overnight) until firmed up completely.
- Serve with fresh strawberries.