Strawberries are in peak season and last week I picked 8 pounds of them at a local farm. I’ve been using them to blend into shakes, bake into bread, and to add on top of salads, but I still have plenty left over. To use up some more berries while they’re fresh, I made a small batch of vegan strawberry basil ice cream with homemade topping. Both recipes are simple to make and yield the sweetest result.
The strawberry topping is almost like a compote, or a syrup with thick chunks of berries in it. It’s super versatile and you can use the leftovers on top of waffles or pancakes, stirred into oatmeal, topped over cheesecake, or whatever else you can think of. It was really hard to stop eating it by the spoonful while it was cooking.
Fresh basil is sweet and enlivens the flavor of the strawberries. To use fresh basil in this recipe you must be sure to blanch it first or it won’t freeze properly. You can stir in a couple tablespoons of any other toppings you would like before you freeze your ice cream—almonds, hemp seeds, honey, etc.
Vegan Strawberry Basil Ice Cream
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 can coconut cream
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 cup avage syrup
- 1 cup strawberry purée
- 1 cup strawberries, chopped small
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, shredded
- For the topping:
- 2 1/2 cups (1lb) strawberries, quartered
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 lemon
1. In a large saucepan, add the coconut milk, coconut cream, cane sugar, and agave. Whisk together and bring to a simmer. Once it begins to simmer, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
2. To make the strawberry purée, blend your strawberries until smooth and there are no chunks. Stir the purée into the coconut milk mix.
3. Pour the mix into a bowl and cover then put in the fridge to chill overnight.
4. To blanch the basil, bring a pot of water to a simmer and drop the basil in for a couple seconds and then remove. Drop into an icebath to stop the cooking process and dry on a paper towel.
5. Once chilled, pour the ice cream mix into your ice cream maker and let it churn for about 35 minutes. Stir in the basil and strawberry chunks. Pour into a freezable container and freezer for at least an hour before serving.
6. To make the strawberry topping, add the strawberries and sugar to a small pot. Zest the lemon over the pot using all of the zest on the lemon. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the pot. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
7. Stir the pot occasionally for about 30 minutes until the strawberries break down and turn into a syrup.
8. Remove from heat and let cool. Store in the fridge to chill.
9. Serve the strawberry topping over the ice cream and top with fresh basil.
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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote