Dairy-free ice cream is almost always a disappointment. Its texture is rarely sufficiently smooth and creamy, the flavors are often totally off balance, and it’s hardly ever satisfyingly rich. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There is one simple solution to ensure that every vegan ice cream you ever eat again is utterly perfect (providing that you made it at home, and didn’t make the mistake of buying another disappointing one from a decidedly un-vegan ice cream parlor), and that life-changing secret is coconut milk.
Soy milk is never going to make an ice cream that is as wonderful as a classic, whole-milk-based one. But coconut milk comes a whole lot closer. And, as an added bonus, this vegan ice cream is so much easier to prepare than “normal” ice cream.
To make one pint of vegan ice cream, blend together one can of coconut milk and one-third of a cup of agave until completely smooth. Then it’s time to add the flavorings. Here you can be as creative as you want, as long as you remember to taste as you go to make sure the flavors are right. For chocolate ice cream, add half a cup of melted vegan chocolate chips; for vanilla, add one teaspoon vanilla extract and the seeds from one vanilla pod; for strawberry, add half a cup of strawberry purée. Blend the mixture with the flavorings added, until combined.
Now that all your preparation is done, you simply need to add the mixture to the chilled bowl of an ice cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, transfer to a freezer-proof container and allow it to set for at least four hours before serving.
When you do serve this soy-free, vegan ice cream, make sure you give it all the attention it deserves: Why not top it with vegan hot fudge sauce, rainbow sprinkles, and chopped toasted nuts? This totally healthy, homemade ice cream is worthy of a decadent celebration.