I love ice cream. It is definitely one of my most favorite things in the world. I also have a small child who loves ice cream, or as he calls it, “cold”. Obviously ice cream is ok in small doses, but I wanted to make something with that same texture and just as sweet, but with less guilt. Think of this as a smoothie.. it’s all fruit, you can skip the sweeter all together if you wish and enjoy it any time of day. Like for breakfast, which my two year old likes best.
So this is just a couple ingredients: pineapple, 1 can coconut milk, lime juice, basil and honey. We have a gorgeous lemon basil plant that was in need of a good trim (trim your herbs often and they’ll stay nice all summer!) so we had a big surplus of lemon basil. It’s just like it sounds, a citrusy basil, but classic basil will work just as well.. or you can omit it all together. But it really imparts a nice summery, fresh flavor. A flavor that compliments a number of fruits, like strawberries, blueberries or citrus.
The pineapple I used was one I bought fresh then cut and froze. I let it thaw slightly so it was a little slushy-soggy, and blended that with the coconut milk and basil. I think it blends better this way, but fresh is fine too. At this point, taste the mixture and see if you need to add sweetener and how much. Same for the lime. If the fruit is super sweet or super sour, you may choose to omit one or the other.
Once you have everything blended, let it sit for a few hours to allow the basil to steep and intensify. I blended my fruit in the morning and when I got home that afternoon, threw it in the ice cream maker for a snack. It’s important to keep the mixture chilled, as it will freeze faster. Also, I’ve included some instruction for freezing if you don’t have an ice cream maker. And one final note, this makes an amazing cocktail. Blend this up with rum for a frozen drink or just float a little on top for a really refreshing adult dessert.
Pineapple Basil Vegan Ice Cream
Whole, fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup basil leaves
2 tbs lemon juice
pinch of salt
honey, to taste
In a blender, combine pineapple, basil, coconut milk, lemon juice and salt and blend until very smooth. Add honey (or sweeter of choice) as needed. Chill the liquid for a few hours. Add cold liquid to ice cream maker and churn.
Alternately: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture in a plastic bag for two hours. Break up, freeze for another hour, break up and blend. Freeze until firm.
Also try: strawberry and basil or pineapple and cilantro!