Sunday, June 28, 2009

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I don't really find most sweet dessert type things appealing anymore (especially pastry - blech), but I still have a soft spot for ice cream. I just love the stuff. There is a brand of ice cream I can find at Whole Foods that's made with coconut milk instead of dairy or soy, but the sweetener is agave syrup, which I won't eat due to the extremely high fructose content and heavy processing it undergoes. So now that the weather has been hot I have been making little ice cream treats at home. Last week I made some strawberry ice cream using this recipe from Elana's Pantry but subbing raw honey for agave. It was very nice. This week though, I got some lavender from my CSA and I decided to make a honey lavender ice cream. Forget "very nice," this stuff is AWESOME. And it's completely dairy and agave free! I've used a custard base for it, so it's a little more complicated to make than Elana's recipe, but the result is decadent. The base of this paleo ice cream would be very nice even without the lavender and could serve as a jumping off point for other mix-ins/flavorings.

honey/lavender/vanilla version :)

1 14-oz can full fat coconut milk
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
1 T chopped fresh lavender flowers, optional (1 tsp dried)
3 T raw honey (adjust up or down to taste, but less honey will make it freeze much harder in the freezer)
ice cream maker

Set up a double boiler by placing a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water (be sure it's simmering and not a full rolling boil, as this will give you better control later). Add the coconut milk and lavender to the bowl. Scrape the insides of the vanilla bean into the coconut milk, then throw in the whole bean pod as well. Stirring fairly frequently, heat until the coconut milk is hot but not boiling.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs well in a separate bowl. Once the coconut milk is hot, add a ladleful to the eggs while you're whisking - you want to bring the eggs up to the temperature of the coconut milk without scrambling them. Add in another ladleful of hot coconut milk to the egg mixture while whisking. Take the now hot egg mixture and whisk it into the bowl of coconut milk on the double boiler.

Now, whisk constantly until the mixture thickens to a custard. This may take several minutes. If it's getting too hot and starting to scramble, remove from the heat immediately but keep whisking, then return it to the double boiler. Once it has thickened to a custard, remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool.

Remove the vanilla bean pods. Once the custard is cool enough for you to stick your finger in it and hold it there without burning, whisk in the raw honey. Put the custard base in the refrigerator or freezer until it gets cold. Freeze in your ice cream machine per the manufacturer's instructions.

Straight out of the machine this ice cream has a creamy soft serve texture. If you store it in the freezer for later, just let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before eating to let it soften up a little bit.


emily said...

ohhh, yummy. i am ice cream obsessed lately. this sounds so good.

Adam said...

I just wanted to let you know how awesome your blog is! Keep it up with the great post and fantastic recipes!

Yummy Gatherer said...

OMGGGGG!!!!! I am going to make this!!! It looks so yummy!! Well, as soon as I buy or borrow an ice cream maker. Wow- I was really craving ice cream this weekend.
Thanks Elizabeth! :)

Jenny @ Nourished Kitchen said...

It looks fantastic! YUM!

sugarmagnolia said...

yum! that looks like the real thing. I made some chocolate coconut ice cream the other day, but I didn't have an icecream maker so it didn't turn out as smooth as I would have liked.

(ps, I'm bestrange on the lowcarber forum-- hi!!) :)

Elizabeth said...

Emily - Thanks!

Adam - Thanks so much!

Yummy Gatherer - Awesome!

Jenny - Thanks!

Sugarmagnolia - Hola from the LC forums! :D

Can Eat! said...

I certainly have a soft spot for ice cream - Thank you for a great Dairy free recipe! Oh and I love your blog - I've added you to my blog roll on Can Eat! :)

VN said...

I just made this today, and added a bit of stevia and chopped almonds. Yummy! Pinched my ice cream craving perfectly. thanks for the recipe and keep up all the great work!

Sophie said...

This sounds super yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

Sandy said...

That looks great! I already like the stuff in the store, but this is better, especially since I can put my own (healthier) add-ins. Can't wait to try it!

Tom said...

I made this last night and it was delicious. But after adding the eggs, I couldn't get it to thicken. How thick should it get? Maybe I'm not heating it high enough?


Valary-Mac said...

Coconut is so good for you!!! Eating this would give your whole body a treat. Seriosly. (not just the taste buds, which just can't be severed when it comes to ice-cream).
I've discovered, as many people say you will, that a Tbsp of coconut oil a day will aid in weight controll, better brain funtion, along with hair skin and nails to optimum preformance and comfort.
The oil, (extra-virgin unproscessed, organic,) contains an acid that revs up the fat burning substances in the body, and speeds the metabolism safely.
Several natural fats will do that, including avacodo oil, and-- yes its true-- raw, organic whole milk.

Jen said...

We eat Paleo and I have been craving ice cream! I am soooo going to make this today! Keep up the great postings!!

julia said...

i made this for a dinner party and it was awesome! loved the idea for lavender flowers & put them in some truffles as well. thanks!!

Amy said...

my friend @foodphilosophy tweeted this recipe & I am so excited to try it since I can have all of these ingredients on my very strict diet! Thanks so much!!!

Cindy said...

I made this yesterday--it was delicious! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

Tyler Morse said...

My daughter is lactose-sensitive, so as the ice cream maker in the family, I've been trying various non-dairy recipes. This one is a great coconut milk ice cream! The honey and vanilla overpower the coconut milk flavor for the most part (I left out the lavender), and the honey gives the ice cream a really creamy texture. I make a chocolate coconut ice cream as well, and I have to put that in the microwave for a few seconds before scooping, but this honey vanilla recipe is scoopable directly from the freezer. Thanks for sharing!

Auggy said...

Just came across this while looking for coconut milk ice cream recipes. In place of the eggs, you can use chia seeds for the binder. 1 egg = 1t ground chia seeds + 3T hot water

This recipe looks really good and I can't wait to try it out!

Amy said...

Just made this last night. Can't say I'm a fan - the consistency was good but I'm not really liking the lavender. When you say 1 T do you mean fresh lavender or dried? I used dried and it is very overbearing. Also in the future would like to strain the custard to remove any small pieces of lavender so it only imparts flavor and don't find myself chewing on little flower bits.

Will use the base again to try other recipes, and will probably double the amounts since it makes very little.

Elizabeth said...

Amy - sorry it didn't work too well for you. I think I did use fresh lavender, so an equal amount of dried would definitely be too strong. I'll edit the recipe to reflect that. I don't mind eating the little flower buds myself. :)

Laura Henning Zavaleta said...

Is it possible to do without a maker? I don't have one and no way to get one where I live.

kristina thomas said...

this recipe is spectacular! i made mine is plastic bags using salt/ice since i lack an ice cream maker. i was very impressed! well worth the time and effort. i also used reduced fat coconut milk, and there was no difference in taste to me. i love this and am already thinking of more ingredients to ass to this base. thanks a bunch ! :D

Kristina Thomas said...

@ Laura Henning Zavaleta

you can so make this w/o an ice cream maker!

Take the cooled custard and put it into a gallon sized zip lock bag (close tightly! or yourll have salt seasoned ice cream :P) then place that bag into another gallon sized zip lock half filled with ice cubes and 6 TBSP of table salt. Shake vigorously for about 10 minutes or until your satisfied with the consistency. Take the ice cream bag, WIPE IT OFF well, cut a hole in the bottom corner and squeeze out into a bowl and serve. It works very well :)

Michael said...

I want to make this into chocolate do you think raw cocoa powder and bite size pieces of dark chocolate would work? I am thinking of adding the chocolate pieces once it has cooled and just before the ice cream maker. Do you think that will work?

Laura Plummer said...

im excited to try this :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, its really good to read. I make a chocolate coconut ice cream as well. thanks also for sharing.
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Boseph said...

I really love this recipe as a base for dairy free/soy free ice cream. I tweaked the recipe a little so it would really have that comforting ice cream feel for those who are used to regular dairy-made ice cream. The only thing I did different was I doubled the amount of vanilla bean, tripled the amount of honey in the recipe and I used 2 tbsp dried lavender (finely chopped or ground) to really give the ice cream it's signature flavors. It is also extremely delicious with bits of shaved coconut (unsweetened) in it for anyone who likes that bit of crunch in their ice cream. I can't wait to try this recipe with bananas added, yum!

Boseph said...

I really love this flavor but I've remade it about 8 times and it always turns into very crystalized crispy kind of sorbet.. not very "ice creamy" at all... unfortunately I haven't been able to obtain the creamy/smooth texture that regular ice cream contains :( Am I doing something wrong? Any suggestions on how to prevent ice crystals from forming? I've tried making it in both an ice cream maker and just putting it in the freezer. Both have produced the same icy results.

Paleo Diet said...

You've made some good points there. I looked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

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