How to make coconut milk ice cream

You’ll see from my last post Red Berry Coconut Milk Popsicles I’ve been experimenting with coconut milk as a base for children’s treats.

My children love ice cream, show me a child that doesn’t, hey? But I do feel a prang of Annabel-Karmel-wouldn’t-approve mum guilt if they eat it too often, baring in mind the Grandparents are loose canons when I’m not around!

So making a coconut milk ice cream eases my mum guilt and the kids love it, totally oblivious that it’s a healthier choice, so it’s win win. This sugar-free ice cream still has a creamy consistency and a nice refreshing flavour.

Inspired by the tub of Neapolitan ice cream (sooo retro) that my parents have in their freezer, for my children no less, I decided to make strawberry, chocolate and vanilla coconut milk ice cream. All three recipes are below and are gluten free, dairy free and suitable for vegans.

Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I want to quickly point out these ice creams are really easy to make, whether you use an ice cream maker or not. They’re a perfect alternative for anyone looking for a creamy treat that’s dairy free. The healthy result is just as decadent tasting.

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 25 minutes churning time
Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk – pop them in the fridge for an hour first
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 8 tbsp honey (swap for maple syrup for vegans)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. (You can whisk in a bowl if you don’t have a blender)
  2. Adjust the flavour to your taste – adding a touch more honey if you like a sweeter taste
  3. If you are using a ice cream maker, pour the mixture into the bowl and churn for 25 minutes, or until smooth and creamy (follow the manufacturer’s instructions). Then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 1-2 hours before serving.
  4. If you are not using an ice cream maker pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or until firm.

Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Infused with both vanilla bean and vanilla extract, this ice cream screams vanilla. Not only does the combination add more flavor, the extract helps prevent ice crystals. The result is perfectly creamy and delicious. My kids think I’m a legend for making this!

It’s so easy, you’ll never need or want to put ice cream in your shopping trolly again.

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 25 minutes churning time
Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk – pop them in the fridge for an hour first
  • 50g of sugar
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup (can substitute with agave nectar instead)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and scraped
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (use 1 tsp for a milder flavour)

Instructions:

    1. Put the coconut milk, sugar, maple syrup, sea salt, scraped vanilla bean and vanilla extract to a blender and blend for 2 minutes on high, until completely smooth to fully dissolve the sugar.
    2. Check the taste and add more sugar or maple syrup if you require a sweeter taste.
    3. If you are using a ice cream maker transfer the mixture and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions – usually 25 minutes.
    4. Once churned, transfer the ice cream to a large freezer-safe container and smooth the top using a spoon.
    5. Cover securely and freeze for 1-2 hours.
    6. If you don’t use an ice cream maker transfer the mixture to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 4-6 hours, or until firm.

Strawberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Prep Time: 10 minutes + 25 minutes churning time

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk (I used 800 ml of Coco Vita as an healthier alternative)
  • 500g fresh strawberries (can use frozen if you prefer)
  • 8 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

I used Coco Vita coconut milk for this recipe, which is a healthier option but it makes a more frosty, less creamy ice cream. A bit like a sorbet. Still very nice and fun for kiddies!

Instructions:

    1. Combine half the coconut milk, the maple syrup and the vanilla extract in a small saucepan over a medium heat and whisk to combine. Simmer for a few minutes, until the mixture is bubbling slightly.
    2. Meanwhile, stir together the other half of the coconut milk and the arrowroot starch in a small bowl. When the mixture in the saucepan is bubbling, add the arrowroot coconut mixture all at once and whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture suddenly starts to thicken. Do not let it boil, though.
    3. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat, add in all of the raspberries and blend with a stick blender until completely smooth.
    4. Place in the ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes, until firm. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 1-2 hours before serving.
    5. If you don’t use an ice cream maker put mixture into an air tight container and freeze for 4-6 hours.

Notes:

  • When using an ice cream maker don’t forget to place the metal bowl in your freezer beforehand for 24 hours.
  • For all three recipes take the ice cream out the freezer 10 minutes before serving to soften.
  • You can also run your ice cream scoop under hot water first to make scooping easier.
  • I used this SunSir Mini ice cream maker, which was less than £20.

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