Time 10h 30m
After the success of our chocolate lavender cake and relaxing lavender smoothie, we decided to experiment with these beautiful purple flowers once more. And with summer approaching, we thought, what better time to make delicious vegan lavender ice cream?
This wonderful ice cream is not only super creamy and flavourful but also much healthier than a classic gelato. That's because we made it sugar-free and low-fat using bananas, zero-calories erythritol, and coconut milk. And the great news is you can make it even without an ice cream maker!
Traditional gelato is soft and creamy because it's very fatty, and because it gets churned by the ice cream machine. To make our lavender ice cream lower in fats, dairy-free, and vegan, we relied on canned coconut milk and mashed bananas. When combined together, these two ingredients yield a lovely creaminess quite similar to that of the classic ice cream. But with only a third of fats!
Using ripe bananas also adds natural sweetness to the ice cream, meaning you won't need much added sugar. The bananas will slightly affect the final colour of the lavender gelato, giving it a duller purple hue - but we believe it's an acceptable compromise to make the ice cream lower in fats and sugars.
Finally, if you don't have an ice cream machine, we'll give you step-by-step instructions on how to make the ice cream without it. It's a simple process that will require very little work from you, but you'll have to be home for the whole day. So this recipe is perfect to make during a cosy weekend spent at home.
But just how healthy can ice cream be? Well, one serving made of two big scoops (about 100g/3.5 oz) has only 130 calories, 8% RDI of sugar and 12% RDI of fats. That's right, 100 grams of ice cream for only 130 calories. Amazing right? Welcome to Foodaciously!
- Canned Coconut Milk
- Dried Culinary Lavender
- Ripe Bananas (peeled weight)
- Lemon Juice
If you use an ice cream maker, remember to pre-freeze the machine's bowl, preferably overnight.
If you don't have an ice cream maker instead, we'll explain how to make the ice cream without it; but make sure you have a freezer-friendly container or use a loaf tin.
Add the blueberries to a blender and blitz them into a puree (1). We'll use them to give the ice cream a nice purple colour, without using artificial colourants.
Then, add them to a pot along with the canned coconut milk, dried lavender flowers, and erythritol (2).
Stir well and bring the milk to a boil.
Let the mixture simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
The purple pigments from blueberries' skin will leak into the milk, giving it a lovely violet colour, while the lavender will infuse the milk with its flavour.
Now, remove the pot from the heat, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Next, transfer the hot milk into a heat-proof bowl, filtering the lavender flowers and blueberries' pulp with a fine-mesh sieve.
At this point, you can follow our recipe and use the bananas, or use whipped coconut cream.
Bananas will make the ice cream super tasty, creamy, and naturally sweet without adding extra fats. But with bananas, the gelato will take on a duller purple hue. If you want a bright purple colour instead, check our tips below on how to replace bananas with whipped coconut cream. Do consider that the recipe won't be as healthy, though.
Ok, now blend ripe bananas with lemon juice in a food processor.
Then, incorporate the banana puree into the lavender milk.
If you use the ice cream maker, let the ice cream base cool down completely in the fridge. Then, pour it into the machine's cylinder and process the ice cream according to the manufacturer's directions.
For those who don't have an ice cream machine instead, transfer the ice cream base into a freezer-safe container.
Then, freeze the lavender ice cream for 5 hours.
Here comes the part where you replace what the ice cream maker does: stirring while the gelato freezes.
After the first 5 hours, take the container out of the freezer and stir the ice cream well to break down the ice crystals.
Then, put it back in the freezer and freeze it for 5 more hours.
Once again, take the container out of the freezer and give a last vigorous stir.
Finally, put it back in the freezer and keep it overnight.
You can now enjoy your homemade vegan lavender ice cream.
Before serving it, let the ice cream soften at room temperature for up to 15 minutes as it will be easier to scoop out. Enjoy!
If you want to give the ice cream a brighter purple colour, swap bananas with whipped coconut milk. To do so, follow these instructions:
Keep two coconut milk cans in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Open them and, without tilting the tin, scoop out just the top cream layer and discard the water (or use it as a tasty base for your next smoothie!).
Whip the coconut cream in a bowl with an electric whisker until it's fluffy.
You can now use it in place of mashed bananas.
Erythritol is a safe and natural sweetener with zero calories and sugars. If you can't find it, you can replace it with maple syrup, but it will slightly affect the final colour of the ice cream.