Strawberry Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream

August  8, 2013

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: A vegan ice cream so creamy and rich, it'll bring a smile to the face of even the most die-hard ice cream enthusiast. 

Vegan Ice Cream: Strawberry Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream

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I’ve been on the hunt for a perfect vegan ice cream for a while now. My default has always been my one-ingredient ice cream (and the many variations you can create with it). But let’s face it: sometimes you want a flavor other than banana. Sometimes you want rich, creamy, scoopable vanilla ice cream with a whisper of summery fruit.

Finally, I think I’ve found it. This vegan ice cream has it all: decadent texture, tons of flavor, and a nice balance between the richness of coconut and the bright, tart flavor of fresh strawberries. It’s easy to prepare, and I guarantee you that even the most discerning of ice cream enthusiasts will love it. 

More: Strawberries and coconut will also get you a decadent, impressive raw dessert

Vegan Ice Cream: Strawberry Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream

In vegan ice creams, thickening agents like arrowroot, cornstarch, or tapioca starch serve as an egg replacer and keep things creamy. It’s totally possible to make delicious ice cream work without them, but your finished product may turn out a little frosty. In this recipe, I use arrowroot, but cornstarch and tapioca starch are suitable substitutes

So go get a pint of your sweetest, brightest strawberries, and break out the ice cream maker, because this one, I promise, is a keeper. 

Vegan Ice Cream: Strawberry Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream

Strawberry Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
3 cups (or 2 cans) full fat coconut milk, with 1/2 cup set aside
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (substitute cornstarch or tapioca starch)
1 vanilla bean, split down the center, seeds scraped out (substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons good quality vanilla extract)
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
Pinch sea salt

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


Simon C. November 9, 2022
I am so glad this recipe is vegan! Finding vegan icecream is a pain sometimes!
Roberta D. August 3, 2015
What does "11/2" mean? I'm brazilian and I don't know if it's other language expression, 'cause we only use those measures here: 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 2/3 and 3/4 cups, tablespoons or teaspoons. I never heard of "11/2". Sorry!
Jeanette D. August 3, 2015
I'm sure it's 1 and 1/2 cups.
Angelica March 4, 2015
Gena - Spring is on the horizon... I live with ice cream lovers (my partner and two young kiddos) and I would love to make homemade vegan ice cream. They are not vegan but having what I make available will decrease their cow milk consumption further. Is there an ice cream maker you'd recommend? Thanks!
Sirquincy R. March 1, 2014
sound fire
amy February 13, 2014
Gena be careful not to eat too much raw kale as brassicas are highly goitrogenic which you should have learnt in your nutrition class.
Emily August 19, 2013
There are some awesome vegan recipes here:
MissMuffin August 11, 2013
My grandfather and uncle had bee hives, and they always "robbed the bees". Bees cannot use all the honey they make. You get the excess, not what the queen bee can use.
debbie August 11, 2013
cannot do sugar, how would stevia work?
Gena H. August 12, 2013
Debbie, I can't speak for stevia in this recipe, alas, as I haven't tried it and don't work with the ingredient very often.
Amal A. August 11, 2013
Hmmm cane juice? Can't we use simple syrup instead?
Gena H. August 12, 2013
Yes, you can.
emcsull August 11, 2013
what is evaporated cane sugar, exactly ?
Gena H. August 12, 2013
It's a slightly less refined type of sugar that is vegan-friendly. Regular sugar (if you're not vegan), maple syrup, agave, honey (if you're not vegan), sucanat, and coconut crystals will all work fine.
Sarag August 11, 2013
Will plain old granulated sugar work for someone who is not vegan and whose tiny pantry cannot hold yet another sweetener?
Gena H. August 12, 2013
Yes, absolutely, Sarag.
Nancy N. August 10, 2013
Oh darn, this looks SO fantastic, but it's still high fat with the full coconut milk. I follow a no fat program (Dr. McDougall, Dr. Esselstyn) due to angina. But, oh, how wonderful this looks!
Blaine A. August 9, 2013
What a beautiful sight! I was planning on making some ice cream this weekend. In fact, and I've got some strawberries in the fridge that've now found their higher calling.
Alex @. August 9, 2013
Looks incredible!
Leah R. August 9, 2013
so this is cans of coconut milk? not the stuff in cartons?
Gena H. August 11, 2013
Yup! Cans of coconut milk.
Marian B. August 9, 2013
I'll be making this into a milkshake with some ovverripe bananas this weekend. It's going to be, as they say, bananas.
Anne-Marie P. August 8, 2013
Really loved this recipe until I came to cane juice...sugar???? NO. Not good...can we get a replacement...maybe honey?
Savorykitchen August 8, 2013
I'm sure honey would work as a substitute, but since this recipe is supposed to be vegan, honey isn't an option. I have subbed honey and maple syrup in ice cream recipes for corn syrup (which is not the same thing as evaporated cane juice) with success.
Eileen Z. August 8, 2013
Awesome! I was just going to ask the same question. I will use maple syrup. Looks so yummy :) Thanks.
loveandoranges August 8, 2013
And, for the record, most sugar is also not vegan because it uses bone char (which is exactly what it sounds like) as an anti-caking agent.
Gena H. August 8, 2013
To echo others, honey isn't vegan. But maple syrup or agave would both be perfectly fine. Coconut sugar is also a wonderful choice.
Savorykitchen August 8, 2013
FWIW I will say that I know two vegans who do make a honey exception for local honey only. They're both farmers, and they've reconciled this decision because they feel like the bees already do a lot of work for us (what with pollinating and all that), so they'd understand us taking a bit of honey too. :-)