Strawberry Ice Dream
Shared from The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten-Free Cookies, Compotes & Sauces by Rachel Albert (Planetary Press, 2004), with permission from Rachel.
Hands-on: 25 minutes
Churning: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 4 1/2- 5 1/2 cups; 8 servings
Look for small, organic strawberries grown as as close to your home as possible. They should have dark red skins with moist green leaves and stems and smell sweetly aromatic. Avoid berries with white or green shoulders and wilted leaves; they were picked long ago and far away… before they fully ripened.
FYI: Did you ever wonder what it means to hull strawberries? Simply, cut out the stem with a small, sharp paring knife. Mystery solved.
Note: The type of stevia you use matters. I recommend Nu Naturals, Kal, and Wisdom Naturals clear stevia liquid or pure stevia extract powder with nothing added (no fillers, no FOS, no starches). Do not use stevia packets in the recipe below or in my book.
- 2 cups unsweetened, preservative-free coconut milk (regular, not lite; do not use coconut beverage in cartons), divided
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin or 3/4 agar agar powder (not flakes)
- 1/4 cup honey; additional 1 to 2 tablespoons as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract powder or clear stevia extract liquid; additional 1/4 teaspoon as needed (see notes above about type of stevia)
- 1/8 teaspoon finely ground, unrefined sea salt
- 3 heaping cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, drained, and hulled (see notes above)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
1. Add 1/3 cup coconut milk to a small saucepan (1/2 cup if using agar agar). Slowly sprinkle with gelatin or agar agar powder. Let stand for 2 minutes until soft and any dry spots disappear. Warm over medium-low heat, without stirring, until gelatin or agar agar dissolves. Scrape the mixture into a blender, Vita-Mix or food processor. Add the honey, stevia and sea salt. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
2. Purée the strawberries in a blender, food processor or Vita-Mix. You should have about 2 cups of purée. Combine this with the gelatin mixture, the remaining coconut milk and vanilla. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides with a spatula. For a sweeter taste, add 1/8 teaspoon additional stevia and/or 1 tablespoon honey. Blend, taste, and repeat one more time as needed.
3. Pour into 1 or more wide-mouth jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before churning or chill more quickly using an ice bath (takes about 30 to 45 minutes).
4. Scrape the chilled custard into the canister of your ice cream maker. Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Serve immediately, or spoon into several cup- or pint-sized containers. Cover and freeze for 3 or more hours for a firmer texture.
6. Soften solidly frozen dessert by placing it in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes or on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
* Lite Strawberry Ice Dream: Replace half of the coconut milk with lite (reduced fat) coconut milk. Alternatively, use 100% lite coconut milk, but plan to use the batch immediately or within 24 hours before it becomes hard and icy.
* Strawberry Almond Ice Dream: Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or natural almond flavoring or 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur with the vanilla. Proceed with the recipe as directed. Add 1 cup toasted, coarsely chopped almonds to the machine when the mixture reaches the soft serve stage (thick, fluffy and voluminous). Mix for 1 or 2 more minutes. (See book for nut toasting tips and temp.)
Rachel Albert has been a natural foods chef, cooking instructor and freelance food and health writer for 25+ years. She has led more than 1,100 cooking classes in seven states and more than 300 of her articles have appeared in national and regional publications. She is the author of The Ice Dream Cookbook: Dairy-Free Ice Cream Alternatives with Gluten-Free Cookies, Compotes & and the award-winning book, The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook.
Rachel leads group and private classes, cooking parties, kitchen and phone coaching sessions, and healthy shopping tours, speaks to groups in the Phoenix metro area in Arizona.
She runs the gluten-free, mostly dairy free, paleo and primal blog www.TheHealthyCookingCoach.com.