Hmmmm… coconut. Coconut makes everything better, as it’s rich, creamy, nutty, and nourishing. I use coconut milk, coconut water, and coconut flakes in many of my recipes, but for this ice cream, I'm also using coconut flesh from a young Thai coconut. This is the secret to luscious, healthy vegan ice cream, along with a hint of vanilla and sea salt to bring out the flavor.
And here’s one more little secret. I love dessert for breakfast! I suggest piling this Luscious Vegan Coconut Ice Cream high with seasonal fruit (strawberries in summer, persimmon in winter, and everything in between) and kicking off your day with a great big bowl of it. There’s no guilt, as this recipe features smoothie ingredients in a soft-serve form. And you can also change it up however you’d like with spices (cardamom, cinnamon, ginger?) or the addition of your favorite dark chocolate. Yes to all of it!
What you need:
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
- ¾ cup coconut water from a young Thai coconut
- ½ cup coconut flesh from a young Thai coconut
- 3 frozen bananas
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly toast ½ cup shredded coconut for about 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside.
- Into a high-speed blender, add coconut water and remaining ½ cup untoasted shredded coconut. Blend until smooth. Add mixture to a cheesecloth and strain into a bowl. Discard pulp and add coconut milk back to blender.
- Add coconut flesh, bananas, vanilla, and salt to blender and process until creamy. Top with toasted coconut and serve immediately as soft-serve. For a firmer, scoopable consistency, freeze overnight in a sealed container.
>> Why sea salt in ice cream? A touch of salt brings out the natural sweetness and elevates the coconut flavor.
>> Freeze bananas once they begin to brown, as that indicates the perfect amount of sweetness. I always like to have frozen bananas on hand for nice cream and smoothies.
>> Vanilla bean powder is my go-to ingredient when I want a rich vanilla flavor. A little goes a long way!