Nothing beats homemade ice cream in the summer! Top that with fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market and your own backyard, and it’s a win-win situation. Summers growing up, I remember going to Gilroy and Santa Cruz to go berry picking. You come back with a bountiful amount of berries, and it’s pie and ice cream time. Today, it’s all about the ice cream! Alongside those fresh berries is their pal, the basil; these two buddies go great together. Pick straight out of your backyard is the best of the best. If there is any herb to grow if you don’t have a green hand, it’s basil! If I can grow it, you can! You can do it all year round too! If you aren’t a huge basil lover, you can totally switch in their team player, mint. Both are great choices! This is also dairy-free and vegan, which is my jam. So let’s beat the heat with this delish dessert and enjoy these summer days!
STRAWBERRY BASIL ICE CREAM
SERVES: 6 | PREP: 30 MINUTES | COOK: 4 HOURS
W H A T Y A N E E D
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 16-oz. carton of fresh strawberries, roughly chopped (plus extra for mixing in)
¼ cup monk fruit (or sugar)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon vodka (omit if making for kids)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons basil leaves, finely chopped (you can do a mix of mint and basil)
I N S T R U C T I O N S
1st, the vodka used is to help prevent the ice cream from becoming rock solid in the freezer. You can’t taste it at all. So if you are making it for kids or anyone that does not desire alcohol, just simply omit it. It won’t change the taste at all.
The night before, make sure the bowl of your ice cream maker is in the freezer. I like always to store mine there. At the same time, you put your bowl in the freezer, start to soak your cashews.
The day after, combine the soaked cashews, almond milk, strawberries, monk fruit (or sugar), maple syrup, vodka, lemon juice, and salt in a high-speed blender. Blend for 2 to 4 minutes to ensure the sugar dissolves, and the mixture is completely smooth. Taste the mixture to make sure the sugar is dissolved if need be. You can add a touch more maple syrup for more sweetness or lemon juice to brighten the overall flavor. I personally like to add a bit more lemon juice.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and flip it on. If you like strawberry chunks in your ice cream, chop some up and add now. You can add about a 1/2 cup. Let the ice cream maker run for 20 minutes. In the last five minutes, add the extra strawberry pieces (if using) and the finely chopped basil. Scoop the ice cream into a loaf pan or Tupperware container. If using a loaf pan, wrap it completely with aluminum foil. Place the ice cream in your freezer to chill for at least 4 hours. Take the ice cream out of your freezer 40 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. Scoop into bowls or cones and enjoy!
B E I J O S K I T C H E N