For the past eight weeks, I haven’t been eating dairy because it looks like JuneBug has a dairy and soy protein sensitivity. At first, I was really bummed to cut out dairy (I mean, c’mon, CHEESE!), but it actually hasn’t been all that hard. Part of that, I’m sure, is because there is that whole motherhood gene that makes sacrifices for your kid not quite feel like sacrifices. But I also think a big part of is there are so many great non-dairy alternatives to traditional dairy foods. One of my favorite dairy alternatives has been coconut milk!
I love the coconut flavor, the richness, and how well it seems to work in most of the dairy roles. There is great coconut milk yogurt on the market. Coconut milk makes an awesome base for soups and smoothies. And it makes some of the easiest, creamiest, most delicious vegan ice cream on the planet.
If you’ve been afraid to make ice cream before, this recipe is a great place to start—it’s really pretty much impossible to mess up! The texture comes out perfect every time, which is always a struggle with homemade ice cream. I think the key is using my favorite ice cream making method—cornstarch. Many traditional homemade ice creams involve making a custard out of egg yolks, and often it results in an icy, hard ice cream. But the cornstarch method is quick, easy, and always gets you a super creamy and scoopable batch!
It probably goes without saying, but this vegan ice cream is very coconut-ty, so if coconut flavor isn’t your thing, you might want to skip past this one. But if you’re a coconut fan like I am, you’ll love this stuff! I think for my next batch, I might mix in some cocoa and sliced almonds to make a vegan Almond Joy ice cream. Uh, yum!
As JuneBug gets older, she’ll (hopefully!) grow out of her tummy issues, and I can eventually resume my regular consumption of all things dairy, but for now, I’m just fine pouring coconut milk on my cereal and eating this ice cream. Enjoy!
- 1-15 ounce can lite coconut milk
- 1-15 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Shake the two cans of coconut milk well, open and reserve ½ cup of the lite coconut milk in a small bowl. Pour the remaining lite coconut milk, the full-fat coconut milk, maple syrup and salt into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and reserved coconut milk. Set aside.
- Bring the coconut milk to a low simmer—do not boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, and heat until thick and bubbly—about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Transfer the ice cream base to a heat-proof container and refrigerate until cold—about four hours. Churn in the basin of an ice cream maker per the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze until solid, about an hour.