For this recipe, choose small organic strawberries that are grown locally, if possible. They should have dark red skins with moist green leaves and stems and a sweet aroma.
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (not lite), divided
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin or ¾ teaspoon agar agar powder
1/3-1/2 cup honey or agavé nectar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 heaping cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, drained and hulled
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Add ⅓ cup coconut milk to a small saucepan. Slowly sprinkle with gelatin or agar agar powder. Let stand for 2 minutes until it softens and dry spots disappear. Warm over medium-low heat without stirring, until gelatin or agar agar dissolves. Scrape the mixture into a blender or food processor. Add ⅓ cup honey and salt. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
2. Purée strawberries in a blender or food processor. You should have about 2 cups purée. Add gelatin mixture, remaining coconut milk and vanilla. Blend until smooth, scraping sides with a spatula. For a sweeter taste, add additional honey or agave, 1 tablespoon at a time. Blend and repeat, to taste.
3. Pour into one or more wide-mouth jars. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before churning, or cool mixture more quickly in an ice bath. To make an ice bath, pour mixture into a bowl and place it into a larger bowl filled with ice and cold water. Chill mixture until cold.
4. Scrape chilled custard into canister of your ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately. For a firmer texture, spoon into freezer-safe containers, cover and freeze for 3 or more hours. Soften solidly frozen dessert by placing it in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes or on the counter for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
TIP: For lower sugar content, use ⅓ cup honey or agavé nectar combined with ¼ to ½ teaspoon pure stevia extract powder or ½ to 1 teaspoon clear stevia liquid.
Each serving contains 179 calories, 12g total fat, 11g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 15mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 2g protein.
Recipe reprinted with permission from The Ice Dream Cookbook (Planetary Press), by Rachel Albert-Matesz.Yields 8 servings