“You should borrow my ice cream maker. You’ll think of something fun to make with it,” my friend Amanda insisted, as I was leaving her house one evening after a casual dinner.
Ice cream. This isn’t an area of cooking that I had ventured too far into before this recipe, but having this lovely ice cream maker in my hands, it seemed to be a serious shame not to try my hand at making some sort of creamy frozen treat. Challenge accepted!
After researching how many insanely different ice cream recipes there are out there, I threw up my hands and hit the kitchen for inspiration. Some cans of coconut milk in my pantry stared back at me, offering the promise of a good dairy-free start to a tasty ice cream recipe. “Okay, okay. But, what to add to the coconut? Hmmmm. These leftover strawberries from last week need to be used up. They’d be really tasty all pureed up and thrown in there! And these dates will be perfect for sweetening! Oh and chocolate! Chocolate always makes ice cream better! ” And thus, this ice cream was born. My recipe development process is clearly super high tech and fancy, huh?
This recipe is about as easy as homemade ice cream gets, requiring no cooking and just six natural ingredients you probably already have kicking around your kitchen. The prep time is minimal, though the ingredients do need some time hanging out in the ice cream machine until they become a magically delicious frozen treat. Luckily, that is the machine’s job and not yours. So, you can pretty much walk away, read that book you’ve been meaning to finish, and forget that you’re even making something until the timer goes off and your ice cream is done.
*Note: 24 hours prior to making the ice cream, be sure to put your ice cream maker bowl into the freezer to properly chill.
Make 6 servings
2 13.5 ounce cans of full-fat coconut milk (this is the kind I used)
5-7 dates, pitted (depending on how sweet you want your ice cream)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 a cup chocolate chips (this is the kind I used)
1. In a blender, combine the coconut milk and dates. Blend until smooth and the dates are very well chopped.
2. Add the strawberries, vanilla extract, and sea salt to the blender. Run again until the mixture is smooth and consistent.
3. Pour the coconut milk and strawberry mixture to the ice cream makers. Turn on and allow the ice cream to churn for 30 minutes while you read that book.
4. After 30 minutes, slowly add the chocolate chips to the machine and run until the ice cream is your desired consistency.
5.Once the ice cream is done, enjoy immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe container and allow it to harden for a few hours. Let the ice cream stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving. The ice cream should keep in the freezer 7-10 days.
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