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Dairy Free Coconut Ice Cream

If you want your dairy free ice cream to really taste like ice cream - light and creamy, you need to use an ice cream maker. The ice cold stirring (churning) process is what creates those tiny ice crystals throughout the mixture, giving it that classic texture.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, after blending all the ingredients, you can just pour it into a container and freeze it (stirring occasionally as it freezes will help add a bit of air), but it will still have a very heavy dense texture.

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How many times has this happened to you after opening a can of coconut milk... you push the spoon in to scoop out the hardened cream and either the liquid squirts up everywhere and makes a mess, or the spoon slips in too quickly and you cut yourself on the can?? Both have happened to me, and then I finally got smart. Open the can from the other end (or opposite of how it's been sitting on your shelf)! Since the coconut cream will float to the top and harden, if you open the other end you can easily pour off the liquid first.

Pour the liquid into  bowl, then spoon in all the hardened coconut cream. Use a mixer to blend it back into a smooth creamy consistency.DairyFreeCoconutIceCream2

Toasting the shredded coconut first heats up the oils inside, allowing all that flavor to be infused into the coconut milk. Once the mixture has steeped for 30 minutes, strain, then discard the shredded coconut.DairyFreeCoconutIceCream2a

You can use regular sugar or sweetened cream of coconut - which will add even more coconut flavor.  Once everything is mixed, chill it in the fridge for an hour then pour it into an ice cream maker.DairyFreeCoconutIceCream3

Dairy Free Coconut Ice Cream
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Prep time:
Cook time:
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Serves: 8
You can omit steps 1-2 if you like, but it really does add another rich layer of coconut flavor to this ice cream.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup coconut flakes, toasted
  • 3 cups canned coconut milk, well blended (full fat)
  • ¾ cup (sweetened) cream of coconut
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Toast the coconut flakes in a dry saucepan over high heat until golden, shaking pan often. Reduce heat to medium, add the coconut milk. Heat until very warm.
  2. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mix. Strain mixture through mesh sieve, pressing any excess liquid out from the coconut (discard coconut).
  3. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth, If you are using sugar, you many need to heat mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. Chill for 1 hour or until cold.
  4. Pour into ice cream maker and allow to churn until thick, about 15-25 minutes. Scoop into a container, seal and freeze until firm.
Notes
Cream of coconut is completely different from coconut cream Cream of coconut is essentially a liquid sugar flavored with coconut. It is found in the drink/cocktail mixes section of the grocery store (same stuff they use to make pina coladas). Whereas coconut cream, also called canned coconut milk, is the thick stuff you'll find in the Asian/ethnic section of the grocery store. You can replace it with an equal amount of white sugar if desired.

Use this ice cream to top off our Grilled Rum Pineapple for a delicious dairy-free dessert!

8 Responses to Dairy Free Coconut Ice Cream

  1. Elaine January 28, 2015 at 8:14 am #

    Śounds delicious & I love making my icecream in freezer, trying to be more gluten free. Learn something new everyday from your emails.thank you.

  2. Linda January 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    This sounds promising. I am gluten and sugar intolerent so I'm hoping to sweeten the coconut cream with stevia. Have you heard if that works and how much is used?

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley January 29, 2015 at 9:38 am #

      I have never tried used artificial sweeteners in ice cream. However my only concern would be the texture of the ice cream. Sugar obviously adds sweetness, but it also contributes to lowering the freezing point so the ice cream is scoopable, and not rock hard. Please let me know how it turns out if you use stevia (and how much you used)!

  3. Jean January 28, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    so glad your hear to help me out.i just found out I no longer can eat wheat .what and adjustment.im running around trying to find food I can eat.i love pasta and tinkyada pasta joy,brown rice pasta was very good. I also found kinnikinnick food white bread.which I can make a sandwich with and tasted good.a little,pricy, but I don't care as long it taste good.thank you .I well be trying out all your recipes.

    • Angie Halten (Admin)
      Angie Halten (Admin) January 29, 2015 at 10:05 am #

      There are so many more gluten free pastas on the market now - and they actually taste great! The trick is finding one you like the taste and texture of. Check out our article: How to Chose & Cook Gluten-Free Pasta, it will give you some tips on what to try. Yes, unfortunately gluten free breads are expensive. But once you find a bread recipe you like the taste and texture of, it is so much cheaper to make your own. Look through our bread recipes in Recipes/Breads&More/Breads&Buns to see if any interest you. A great place to start would be our White Sorghum Bread.

  4. Lerae February 3, 2015 at 9:10 am #

    I just wanted to add another trick to getting coconut milk out of the can. I store my cans upside down in the pantry then I can open them right side up :). Sometimes it's hard to open the bottom of the can 😉

  5. Mary October 10, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

    Instead of getting rid of the coconut, can you put it into the ice cream mixture to freeze and maybe add some nuts too?

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley October 10, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

      All the flavor will have been steeped out of the coconut, but of course you can keep it in if you want to add texture to the ice cream (as well as nuts).

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