Somehow plopping “vegan” in front of most recipes is a turn off. It leaves a feeling of dread, that a visit is going to happen to The Hippy Hut™ and next thing you know a bowl of “ice cream” will appear that is full of tofu and sprinkled with stale wheat germ. Fear not, this ice cream even has booze in it! It is smooth, creamy and is LOW-FAT!! With no added thickeners either. Or wheat germ. Just sayin’….(example? A local co-op chain sells vegan pastries but doesn’t label them vegan due to people assuming they will taste weird!) Vegan food should taste great, not weird. You should be able to serve it proudly and have no one guess it is “vegan”.
Anyhow, it can be made vegan with agave nectar or use honey. I found the honey to impart a better flavor, but that is me. We eat a mostly vegan diet for health reasons, not for the lifestyle 😉 And I like honey! But it works great both ways. And on that vodka? Use a good brand. You are not 21 and drinking bottom shelf. At least I hope you are not. I won’t judge if you do 😉 At least buy an “airline” size bottle for the recipe and indulge.
PS: So why the alcohol? Well, it prevents the hard freezing. My last trip into vegan ice cream produced a great tasting but rock hard block of ice cream. This time it was perfect. So yes, you can leave it out but your cream will be hard after freezing. One reason is that this style of ice cream is low in fat, where as commercial ice cream is either high in fat or has stabilizers. I’ll take the booze over more thickeners…..
Strawberry Ice Cream (adapted from here)
- 1½ lbs fresh strawberries (weigh before washing)
- ½ cup + 2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey (non-vegan but tasty)
- 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon)
- 2 tsp vodka
Rinse the berries well, shake dry. Hull the tops (trim the green off) and slice up. Toss the berries with the agave or honey, let sit at room temperature for an hour.
Add the berries with any liquid, milk, lemon juice and vodka to a high speed blender (used my Vitamix). Process on high till blended (30 to 60 seconds). Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, letting drain, then pressing gently to push the mixture through, discard the seeds.
Chill the mixture for at least an hour. Follow your ice cream maker instructions. We have a Cuisinart, for ours we chill the core overnight in our chest freezer, turn on the machine and add in the cold liquid. Process for about 25 minutes, transfer to containers and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.
Notes: I have found it easier to scoop out homemade ice cream if I use the “disposable” mini-loaf pans found in most grocery stores. Fill the pans and seal each in a quart freezer bag. They are washable/reusable. Silicone pans also work well. Most plant milks can be used, almond and coconut would be the preferred flavors.
Makes about 1¼ quarts. Serve topped with more berries (lightly sweetened if desired).