In continuing with our Blueberry Lavender obsession, we bring you the best recipe yet: ice cream! (Bonus points for the fact that today is National Ice Cream Day, but we didn't plan that or anything ;))
As we've said before, ice cream is one of our favorite desserts to make vegan. All you need is the right equipmen: A high-quality ice cream maker and fresh ingredients. Then, vegan ice cream is truly just as delicious as its dairy-full counterpart. When we first started making vegan ice cream a few years ago, we only used coconut milk for the base. Coconut milk certainly creates a creamy ice cream base. However, we found that soaked cashews create a more velvety and rich texture. The other nuts also keep the flavor from being overly coconuty. We aren't bothered by the subtle taste of coconut. However, some people that aren't used to it may be put off by the flavor, especially if they don't love coconut.
Why do we use coconut milk for our homemade ice cream instead of other non-dairy milks? The higher fat content in coconut milk mimics heavy cream in traditional ice cream. However, when we say coconut milk, we don't mean the watered-down formula you find in the refrigerated section. Look for canned full-fat coconut milk (NOT the "lite" version), which is often in the Asian section of the supermarket.
We used the leftover homemade lavender syrup from yesterday's Blueberry Lavender Margarita recipe to sweeten the ice cream. The syrup gives the coconut-cashew base a subtle floral undertone. We also added a few drops of lavender essential oil to boost the flavor. If you don't have any on hand, it's not essential to the recipe. Lemon juice and zest brighten the flavor and pairs so well with fresh blueberries. The overall flavor is reminiscent of a blueberry muffin, and you can't go wrong with that!
And if you have some blueberries left over, why not use them for a breakfast of Vegan Blueberry Pancakes the next day?Print
Creamy, delicious and completely dairy free! Lavender adds a slight floral sweetness.
- 1 cup unsalted cashews, soaked 2 hours at room temp
- 1 can (13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries + 1/2 cup frozen blueberries to mix in
- 2/3 cup lavender infused agave syrup*
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
- 3/4 cup agave syrup
- 8 stems of lavender flowers
- Add the syrup and lavender to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, cover and let infuse 30-40 min.
- Soak cashews in room temperature water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse.
- Pre-cool ice cream maker if necessary.
- Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until creamy. We typically go through two full blend cycles to ensure all cashew and blueberry pieces are well incorporated.
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker, press start, and try to wait patiently!
- Add 1/2 cup frozen blueberries when machine indicates, or fold them in once ice cream is finished. Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe sheet pan, cover, and let harden for a few hours. Remove from freezer about 5-10 minutes before scooping. Enjoy!