JonPaul and I are in Florida this week with the kids and it feels sooo good to get away. Even though I get to spend most of my days at home with my little guys, there is something so special about spending time together as a family out of our home, and away from the everyday hustle and bustle.
We’re spending most of our time here in Florida riding bikes, jumping waves at the beach, swimming in pools, and of course, eating as much ice cream as we can.
I’ve always been a huge lover of ice cream. It was for sure my favorite food as a child. However, I never liked the way it made me feel. The rich dairy never settled well with my tummy.
Which makes it so great that there are so many “dairy-free” ice cream options today. And making your own dairy-free ice cream couldn’t be simpler.
In this recipe, I’m using coconut milk for the base. I love the way the rich, creamy milk gives the ice cream a silky texture. I’ve played around with a lot of coconut ice creams in the past (including this salted caramel coconut ice cream) have always been so happy with the result.
The great part about working with coconut milk is that it’s a great base for just about any flavor combination. Here I played around with using lavender, which is an ingredient I’m not that familiar with. Lavender is one of those tricky flavors. Its floral notes are light and delicate, but if you add a little too much it almost tastes “soapy”, so you have to be careful.
To balance out the floral notes, I added in salty chopped pistachios that bring a wonderful earthiness to the ice cream. Honey for a little sweetness, and of course a few sprinkles of white chocolate – because why not?! The result is an ice cream that’s light, refreshing, sweet and salty. And best yet, I still feel great (even after two bowls ;).
The key to making great ice cream is planning ahead. It’s really important that your ice cream base is really cold, AND that the base of your ice cream maker is really cold. I like to put the base of my ice cream maker in the freezer for at least 12 hours (if not longer). This is the ice cream maker that I’ve had for years, and I love. It’s simple to put together and use, and works great. But any ice cream maker will do the trick 😉
- 3, 13.5oz cans of full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp of corn starch
- 1 tbsp of dried lavender
- 1 tbsp of vanilla
- ½ tsp of salt
- ½ cup of honey (or agave)
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- ¼ cup of chopped white chocolate
- Place the base of your ice cream maker in the freezer at least 12 hours prior to making your ice cream (I also like to add the container I'm putting the ice cream in, in the freezer as well).
- In a small pot, heat up all of the coconut milk, except for ¼ cup. Set the extra ¼ cup of coconut milk aside in a small bowl.
- In the saucepan with the coconut milk, add the honey, salt, vanilla, and lavender. Bring up to a low simmer, and stir everything to combine until the honey is completely incorporated. Allow the ice cream base to continue to simmer on a very low/gentle heat for another 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a slurry in the bowl with the reserved coconut milk and cornstarch. Whisk together to fully incorporate.
- Add the slurry to the coconut milk in the pot, and stir to combine. Bring to a low simmer for a few minutes until the slurry helps to thicken the milk. Do not overheat, or bring to a boil.
- Once the ice cream base has thickened, strain it through a sieve (or other fine mesh strainer) to remove the lavender. Place the ice cream base in the fridge for 4-6 hours to cool completely.
- When you're ready to churn your ice cream, remove the ice cream maker base from the freezer and your ice cream base from the fridge. Churn the ice cream based on your machine's directions.
- Once the ice cream is fully churned, transfer to a loaf pan (or another container of your choice). Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and white chocolate. Give a gentle mix to combine, and then add a few more right on top, along with a sprinkle of lavender.
- Place plastic wrap directly on top of the ice cream and place back in the freezer for another 4-6 hours.
- To serve, remove the ice cream from the freezer and allow it to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Scoop into serving dishes of your choice and garnish with chopped pistachios and chocolate. Serve and enjoy!