vegan coffee ice cream with peanut butter swirl


What the heck is the point of summer without ice cream, am I right? I just had a blueberry mascarpone and mint nib combo the other night that nearly knocked my socks off, you know, the only issue being that I wasn't wearing socks.

Oh. Wait. What's that? You can't have dairy? So that means ... no ice cream? No ... fro-yo? 

This would be about the time that I collapse to the ground with a wail, or something equally dramatic. I FEEL. FOR YOU.

But even the people who can't eat dairy shouldn't go through an ice-cream-less life. Not when there's creamy, coconut-based options to be had, and so easily made! Although, I should be upfront about the fact that due to freezing times that this particular recipe might take a day or two to complete.

For this delightfully summer-ish treat, you will need:

2 15-ounce cans of coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup double-strong brewed coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar

A quick note on coconut milk: All the experts will advise you to go full-fat - I didn't. I used one light and one regular, as I found it hard to justify the other way around. The recipe works when you do it this way, but I'm the first to admit that it would be better with both full fat. I mean, you don't need to be a genius to figure that fat makes things better, right? So taste, sure, but the fat will also do a better job of giving you that creamy, smooth ice-cream-like texture. But if you can't justify it either: using 1 can of light will also work.

Combine your coconut milk, coffee and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together and heat until the sugar is melted, about five minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in your vanilla. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.

Now comes time for the fun part! Give your chilled mixture a stir to negate any settling that may have happened. Transfer to your ice cream maker of choice, following their given instructions on churn times. While churning, in a small bowl stir together your peanut butter and brown sugar. Drop into the churning mixture in pieces to allow to distribute evenly (you may need to add more, depending on your personal preference). Transfer your churned ice cream to a freezer-safe container and let it harden for several hours or, again, up to overnight.

Homemade peanut butter!

What I liked about this flavor combo was the salty-sweetness that always seems to be the winning ticket, but without being expected. The coconut base gives a great texture and creaminess, almost reminiscent of actual ice cream. Almost. But still pretty darn good.