I am an ice cream fiend. Seriously! My husband and I were talking the other day, and counting the different ice cream makers we’ve had over the years. We started with an old fashioned wooden hand-cranked model from my childhood (which may be where my obsession started), then a Waring electric version that needed ice cubes and salt, then a Donvier or two, several different Cuisinart models and finally my favorite one, the Breville! This baby seriously makes the best ice cream hands-down! I’ve warned my husband that in case of an emergency, grab the ice cream maker (after the dog and family photos). Did I mention that it also sings to you when the ice cream is finished churning? I am seriously smitten!
Anyway, back to the ice cream. I’ve made many different versions of vegan ice cream recipes over the years, with some of my favorites in my Vegan Diner cookbook. But I had an idea last summer of tweaking my ice cream base, and I love it even more! It’s also super easy to make, and you can make the base in seconds in a blender. For those that make ice cream on the regular, you know how important it is to not have to cook your base, or else you have to wait hours for it to chill.
I also like to thicken my ice cream base, which gives you a much creamier frozen ice cream. I know this from my time making all of the ice creams for a fancy LA restaurant. But back then I cooked cream, eggs and sugar together to get that creamy custard base. Even gelato utilizes a few thickeners, which give you that thick and almost chewy texture. It’s my favorite! My base uses a tiny bit of xanthin gum to thicken it. So that is what the xanthin gum does. This enables you to thicken your mixture in the blender without cooking it on the stove (and using a starch). It also has a far superior consistency in my opinion. As much as you might be tempted, don’t omit it!
For the milk I used my go-to soymilk, which is the plain, unrefrigerated cartons of organic Kirkland brand from Costco. They come in a case of 12 and the box is purple. This soymilk has a delicious flavor, which I think gives it a nice neutral taste. I haven’t tried it with almond or cashew milk yet, but will try it soon. My reasoning for using soymilk though is that it’s a richer milk, without being high fat like coconut.
To add a nice richness to the ice cream, without using cans of full-fat coconut milk or cream, I use a couple tablespoons of melted coconut oil. It adds a lovely richness and just enough background flavor without an overwhelming coconut flavor. I use the Kirkland organic coconut oil, but you could also use a refined coconut oil to eliminate any coconut flavor. I give you the choice of 2 to 3 tablespoons. Both are great, but the 3 tablespoons makes it richer. This is totally your call. I usually use 2 or 2 1/2 tablespoons, depending on my mood. I love that this ice cream is on the lighter side.
For the vanilla, make sure to use a good quality vanilla, since there are so few ingredients your vanilla will really shine through. I use Nielsen-Massey Vanilla in mine, often with a combo of vanilla extract and vanilla paste (depending on what I have in my cupboard). If you want even more vanilla flavor, you can do 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon.
I have also made other flavor combos of this ice cream, and will be sure to post some of them soon. If you love ice cream and have an ice cream maker, you are going to want to make this version soon! It’s so good, and I’ve been using it in everything from root beer floats to topping crisps or just serving topped with fresh summer fruits.
Let me know if you make it and what you think. If you do make it and put pics on Instagram, I’d love it if you tagged me so I can see! Use the hashtag #julieskitchenette.
This vegan vanilla ice cream is super creamy and dreamy, plus really easy to make!
- 3 cups chilled plain soymilk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 – 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (depending on how rich you want it)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- In a blender jar, combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla. Blend to mix everything together. With blender running on low, carefully add the melted coconut oil through the top of the lid, blending until is well mixed. Then add the xanthan gum through the top of the lid. Blend until smooth. Try not to over blend the milk mixture, as you don’t want it to get too warm.
- Pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.
- Serve the ice cream right away, or freeze in a covered container until ready to serve. The ice cream is creamiest when eaten right away. If eating out of the freezer, microwave the frozen ice cream for about 30 seconds, or until scoopable (or leave out for a bit on your counter).
- Copyright © 2016 Julie Hasson
- Gluten-free + Vegan