Wow, how good is this? The sun has been shining now for over a week (hence the lack of being inside writing blog posts - sorry about that!). So what better way to break my sunshine induced blog silence than with a post about vegan ice cream.
The vegan ice creams on the market are certainly a lot better than 25 years ago, but I find them either a bit too sweet or far too expensive. A couple of years ago my parents bought us an ice cream maker and I really haven't used it as much as I should have done, but the warmer weather had me breaking it back out of the cupboard and thinking about getting creative with it again.
I have a really good book of vegan ice cream recipes called Vice Dream but many of the recipes call for cashew nuts which can get expensive (although the recipes are all raw which is a bonus). Recently though I saw another recipe book where the foundation for all the recipes was a mixture of coconut milk and soya milk, and the process seemed a lot simpler and quicker. I didn't buy that book as once I had the idea in my head I thought I could just apply any amount of flavour ideas and custom adjustments to that basic concept. Try different milk alternatives, healthier sweeteners than just sugar, and think outside the normal flavour box. So I give you my first creative flavour concept inspired by our garden; Lavender Ice Cream.
Lavender Summer of '13 Ice Cream
500ml milk (soya, almond, oat, etc)
400ml (one can) coconut milk
2 tablespoons of agave syrup (more if you like it sweeter)
8 sprigs of lavender flowers
Put the soya milk (or equivalent) in a saucepan with the agave syrup and the lavender flowers and heat up gently to a simmer for a few minutes then turn off.
Let it sit and infuse until it is completely cool.
Take out the lavender flowers
Whisk in the coconut milk then store in the fridge until you are ready to put it in the ice cream maker. Alternatively, if you don't have an ice cream maker, you can put in a container in the freezer until mostly frozen, then take out and mix up again before repeating it a few times more, but I must admit I have never had great texture results with this method in the past.
We had ours 'proper childhood summer' style in a vegan ice cream cone.