Strawberry Vegan Ice Cream
A lot of vegans complain that one of the things they miss eating is ice cream. Sure there are some commercial brands out there, but maybe they aren’t in your favorite flavor.
Or they are hard to get and quite expensive. And frankly, some of them taste downright disgusting.
If you are a fan of cooking competition shows, you might already know that Art Smith, probably best known as Oprah’s chef, got eliminated from Top Chef Masters because he served a rice-milk-based ice cream that he bought from the store.
The dinner guests he served that to found it so disgusting, he was sent home. Bummer, because I like Art Smith a lot.
And double bummer, because it gave people the idea that all vegan ice creams are gross. I mean, if the commercial stuff that sells in the store is disgusting, how good could homemade be, right?
Enter Vegan Ice Cream
I’ve been making my own vegan ice creams, sherbets and sorbets for more than 20 years now, and I can vouch for the fact that they can be creamy, dreamy, and deliciously satisfying.
And you can ask those people who have eaten it, too. I’ve served all sorts of flavors at dinner parties, everything from vegan Beet Ice Cream to Spiced Pear.
Stay tuned for updates on my upcoming book on vegan ice creams, slated for release this summer…!
But in the meantime, here is the perfect recipe for you to try. Do it now, while strawberries are in the peak of the season. They are gorgeous and full of nutrition.
This recipe uses organic sugar, but you can use agave nectar, although it tends to drown out the strawberry flavor a bit.
You can also substitute other milks, like almond, coconut, or rice milk, for the soymilk. Again, though, they change the flavor and texture a bit.
Recipe: Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream
1-1/2 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup medium or firm tofu
1/2 cup canola or other neutral oil
1-1/4 cup soymilk
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
(You can use fresh or frozen strawberries. Thaw frozen berries so you can blend them in the blender.)
Blend strawberries in the blender until they are pureed. Add remaining ingredients.
Blend 40 seconds to 1 minute, until everything is well mixed and sugar is mostly dissolved.
Chill mixture if you are using an ice cream machine.
If you are not using an ice cream machine:
Place the mixture into a covered container in the freezer. Every hour, mix it vigorously with a fork to break up the ice crystals that are forming.
Repeat this for the next two to four hours, or until the mixture is mostly frozen. Allow it to firm up another few hours before eating.
(You can also do this by re-blending the mixture for just a few seconds, then returning it to the freezer. Repeat every 2 hours for the next 4 or 6 hours.)
This creates a smoother textured product. Otherwise, you’ll get large, crunchy ice crystals in your ice cream, which most people dislike.
If you like them, however, then just freeze it without mixing.
To use an ice cream machine:
Pour the chilled mixture into your completely frozen gel canister (if using one) or your ice cream machine. Process according to your manufacturer’s directions.
Homemade ice cream will get rock hard when you freeze it. Don’t worry.
Just take it out of the freezer 10-30 minutes before you want to eat it. The time it will take to soften enough to scoop depends on how much you have, how big a container it is, and how hot your room is.
Another way to soften the ice cream is to microwave it for about 20-30 seconds, until you can scoop it. But start at 20 seconds, then do another 10 seconds at a time.
Otherwise, you’ll heat it too much and end up with just melted ice cream. THAT is a disappointment!
Want to get a good ice cream machine?
I recommend the Cuisinart ICE-21 Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker. It holds 1-1/2 quarts, enough for this recipe, and works fabulously.
Read my review of Cuisinart Ice 21 Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Maker. I love it so much, it’s why I’m writing a vegan ice cream cookbook!
Also available at the Cuisinart store: