Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream – for a warm spring day

As I write this, it is early spring here in New York, but the weather is already very nice and warm. And thus, as I walked through the streets the other day, I had this sudden appetite for ice cream. As you might expect, I don’t usually crave cold ice cream in the winter time, but as soon as the warm weather arrives it does not take too long for me to want some.

It might seem tricky to make ice cream at home, but in fact it is easy and fast to do, and the self-made once – of course – tastes sooo much more delicious! All you need is an ice cream maker; there are very good ones out there, starting at around $50. So treat yourself to one and start making ice cream – you won’t regret it.

In this particular recipe I use fresh lavender to give flavor to the ice cream. I stumbled upon lavender one day in the herb section at Whole Foods, and since then I wanted to try something with it. In general, Lavender adds a subtle floral and lightly sweet taste to dishes. Here, I combine it with vanilla to give the ice cream an uncommon and unique flavor. To extract the lavender flavor, I use the technique of letting the lavender herbs infuse the coconut milk.

Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream

Yields 20 fl oz

Ingredients

  • handful of fresh lavender herbs (0.35oz or 10g)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 can coconut milk (14 fl oz or about 400ml)
  • 1¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (14 fl oz or about 400ml)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (15ml)
  • 5 tablespoons xylitol (60g) – alternatively replace with any unrefined granular sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavor (5ml)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot

Procedure

  1. Wash the lavender. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the vanilla seeds.
  2. In a small pan, mix the coconut milk and the almond milk and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and transfers to a bowl. Put in the lavender, the vanilla seeds and the vanilla bean. Cover with a plastik wrap and let infuse for about 1 hour .
  3. Drain the milk mixture to discard the herbs and the vanilla bean.
  4. Whisk in the coconut oil until foamy.
  5. Whisk in the sweetener – long enough for it to dissolve – and add the vanilla flavor. Whisk in the arrowroot.
  6. Chill the mixture in the fridge and then process in the ice cream maker.
This ice cream can be served with fresh fruits, such as blueberries. The mixture can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge, and processed in the ice cream maker just before serving. Alternatively, if your store your ice cream, and it happens to be too hard when you take it out of the freezer, let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and then it will be ready to be scooped.
Bon appetit

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