Wednesday, May 30

[Coconut Milk] Ice Cream!!!

We did it. We finally made homemade ice cream. My mom and dad got us the ice cream maker attachment for our KitchenAid mixer as a housewarming gift - almost FOUR years ago. Hey, at least we're finally using it right?? :)

Do you know what my #1 favorite thing is about this ice cream? The price. I would go to the grocery store and buy a teeny tiny PINT of Coconut Bliss for $5.49 plus tax. And that was the cheapest price around! This ice cream makes TWO PINTS and it cost me less than $3. Two cans of coconut milk at $1.48 each, plus a few items you probably have in the pantry.
And the taste and texture were absolute perfection! We made our first batch for a Mother's Day dessert - coconut milk ice cream with fresh fruit, yum! The next week we made a peppermint chocolate-chip version - still gluten-, dairy-, egg- and soy-free, and very very tasty!

Coconut ice cream with fresh mango and strawberries

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream

What you need:

2 cans all-natural, full-fat coconut milk (I love Taste Nirvana!)
2 TB tapioca starch
1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla
1/2 cup shredded coconut

For Mint Chocolate Chip version:
(1/2 tsp gluten-free peppermint extract)
(1/4 to 1/2 cup dairy-free, soy-free mini chocolate chips - Enjoy Life Mini Chips)

What you do:

First, freeze the part of your ice cream maker that needs to be frozen ahead of time. Don't miss this step, or you'll be so disappointed that you won't have ice cream until the next day. How do I know that... ;)

Open cans of coconut milk and pour 1/4 cup into a small bowl. Measure out tapioca starch and whisk into small bowl of coconut milk, until blended together.
Pour the remaining coconut milk into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until milk begins to boil. Whisk in the starch/milk mixture and continue stirring until whole pot of milk is thickened and smooth - this will take one to two minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in vanilla (Mint Chocolate Chip variation: add peppermint here and mix). Pour into a heat-proof container and cover; put into the refrigerator to cool down and chill for four hours.

After ice cream "base" liquid is chilled (wait at least four hours), remove from refrigerator and get your ice cream maker ready.
According to your ice cream maker's instructions, start making ice cream! As far as I know, all ice cream makers are about the same - freeze the container for 18-24 hours, mix and chill your liquid base for at least 4 hours, then set up the appliance.
Turn it on first, pour your liquid base into the frozen container next, and let it mix and freeze and turn to ice cream - for about twenty minutes.

Ice cream in the making
You'll know it is ready because it will be fluffy and thick and creamy, like the best ice cream you've ever had - not like the smashed, packed ice-crystallized stuff at the store. I was so impressed!

*If you are making the Mint Chocolate Chip version, add the chocolate chips after twenty minutes and let them get mixed in well. It will cause a few "bumps" and "crunches" as the container continues to spin, but if you use the Enjoy Life Mini Chips, it shouldn't cause a problem.

Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream ready to go in the freezer in glass SnapWare
Try making this delicious dessert this summer, and come back here to tell me what flavor you tried. The flavor possibilities are endless! A little prep time, creativity, and you'll have homemade ice cream for just a few dollars and completely free of any chemicals, thickeners, or allergens! You won't regret it :)