Eating ice cream brings you back straight to your childhood when you and your friends would chase the ice cream truck down the road and then enjoy that deliciousness for a couple of minutes.
However, if you have, since your childhood became a vegan and started abstaining from all animal products, you may find it more difficult to find the ice cream that suits your taste and your diet style.
However, there are plenty of vegan alternatives available, and you can also make your own ice cream. If you are interested in making vegan vanilla ice cream at your home, read this article to find out all about it.
Why Vegan Ice Cream Is Fantastic?
But first, let’s answer all the doubts you might have about the quality and taste of vegan ice cream. The flavor of vegan ice cream follows along the same path as traditional ice cream, but it has some divergence, such as the oddly delicious avocado and lavender flavors. Besides, vegan ice creams can be enriched with phenomenal toppings.
Furthermore, vegan ice cream is better for the environment, since the absence of dairy means there is less carbon footprint. It is also good for your health because it uses less sugar and fat, but it still manages to maintain the creamy texture and fine taste.
If you are lactose intolerant, or simply have a sensitive stomach, this vegan treat poses no threat. It is the same if you have gluten or nut allergy because most vegan products are free of these ingredients.
What To Use As A Milk Substitute?
Of course, it wouldn’t be possible for the vegan ice cream to have the creamy texture of the regular ice cream without a good dairy substitute.
There are plenty of supplements for dairy that is rich in flavor and creaminess.
Here are several of them that are absolutely amazing:
1. Banana puree makes a creamy base that simply melts on your tongue.
2. Full-fat coconut milk results in creamy, decadent and coconutty taste and texture.
3. Almond milk makes a divine base for the ice cream, but since the fat content is lower, it doesn’t provide the creaminess as the coconut milk.
4. Cashew milk has a bland flavor profile, so it is the ideal canvas for experimenting with different flavors.
5. Oat milk is savory and delicious, and the taste of oats can be easily masked with toppings and syrups.
6. Hazelnut milk provides a divine taste and silky texture.
7. Brazil nuts give a velvety butter-like texture.
Will Coconut Milk Make The Ice Cream Taste Like Coconut?
If you want the texture of your vegan vanilla ice cream to be the closest as it gets to the dairy-based creams, you should still opt for full-fat coconut milk because it has unctuousness and fattiness that can’t be found in any other alternative.
The main dilemma with using coconut milk is whether the ice cream will taste like coconut milk since it is the main ingredient? The answer? Yes, it will, almost always taste like coconut, but what’s wrong with that? Coconut is amazing flavor, but if complemented with other strong flavors like dark chocolate or mint, it can be masked a bit. With vanilla, that is usually not possible.
If you add arrowroot starch or cornstarch to the coconut milk, you will get an even better consistency.
What To Use As A Sweetener?
Ice creams need to be sweet, but if you want yours to be healthy, you won’t use the harmful sugars. One great way to include sweetness into your ice cream is to use agave. Its syrupy nature prevents forming of the ice crystals and keeps the cream really smooth.
Alternatively, you can use granulated sugars (e.g., turbinado or cane), maple syrup or honey, if you are OK with having it in your diet.
Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Now that you know everything there is to know about making delicious vegan ice cream, you are ready to receive the best vegan vanilla ice cream recipe, so keep up.
● 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
● 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or 2 tablespoons cornstarch)
● ½ cup agave (or turbinado/cane sugar or honey)
● 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
● ¼ teaspoon salt
● Optional extras: fruit puree, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, nuts, etc.
● Ice cream machine (minimum 1 1/2 quart capacity)
● Measuring cups and spoons
● 2-quart saucepan
● Plastic or glass dish, for cooling the base
● Plastic wrap
● Freezer container
● Wax paper or parchment
1. Shake the cans of coconut milk to make its texture consistent, because when they are stored for some time, they tend to separate into a thin watery layer and thick, creamy layer.
2. Open the cans and set aside half of one cup.
3. Pour the rest of the coconut milk into a saucepan.
4. Add the sweetener you have chosen to use and a pinch of salt.
5. Warm the coconut milk over medium-low heat, while stirring frequently. Do that until you notice the sweetener has dissolved into the milk. It usually takes up to two minutes.
6. Take the half cup of coconut milk you’ve set aside and whisk the starch you’ve decided to use it. The starch needs to be completely dissolved in the milk.
7. Add the cornstarch-coconut milk mixture to the saucepan.
8. Increase the heat to medium. Cook for up to eight minutes until the base is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir occasionally. The base shouldn’t come to a boil.
9. After you have removed the ice cream base from heat, it is time to stir in the vanilla extract.
10. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and let it cool on room temperature before you put it in the refrigerator. Also, before refrigerating, you should cover the container with a plastic wrap. The ice cream base should be refrigerated for minimally four hours, but it can remain in the fridge for up to three days.
11. After the base is completely chilled, pour it into the ice cream machine and start churning. Do that until the consistency resembles soft-serve ice cream. Depending on your machine this process can last somewhere between ten and twenty minutes. If you want to add any extras, this is the stage in which you will do so.
12. Transfer the cream into the freezer container and press a piece of wax paper or parchment against the surface to avoid ice crystals formation. Seal the container well.
13. Freeze for minimally four hours before serving.
14. If you notice that your ice cream is too hard to scoop when you try to serve it, leave it sitting at room temperature for a few minutes.
Vegan ice creams are marvelous, and you will see that for yourself if you try out this fantastic recipe. Just remember, coconut milk based ice creams tend to melt faster than regular ones after they are served, so make sure you get right on eating as soon as you scoop this deliciousness.