Homemade Vegan Mint Chip Ice Cream
I never thought I would be the type of person who makes her own ice cream. This idea changed when I was diagnosed as lactose-intolerant as a child and later even more so when Trevor and I started dating.
Back when I was diagnosed, there wasn’t a lot of dairy-free food options like there are now. So for a good number of years, I relied on taking those funny tasting Lactaid pills so I wouldn’t have to give up my love of cheese, chocolate and most importantly ice cream. Social events like birthday parties were always a little weird and I soon became known as that kid who had to pop pills in order to eat a slice of pizza or birthday cake.
Years later I was in university, I was on a strict budget and as I slowly stopped taking (or forgetting to buy) the pills, I found that I was able to tolerate eating dairy in small to medium doses. Today I no longer have to take the pills, but since I started dating Trevor, I also don’t purchase as many dairy products since I’m usually stuck eating it myself. When I do buy ice cream or pizza, I tend to feel a little guilty when I eat it in front of him. Food isn’t really that fun unless you get to share.
When we moved to Toronto in 2011, I became a lot more active in finding and making food that Trevor could enjoy that tasted great and wouldn’t make him feel sick. It also helped that in moving to a bigger city, we now had better access to vegan and vegetarian restaurants that catered to a dairy-free diet and health food stores that stocked a better supply of dairy-free alternatives.
The final push occurred a couple months ago when we attended a fundraiser and I was surprised to be the lone-bidder on a brand new Cuisinart yogurt-ice cream and sorbet maker. Score! Suddenly a whole new world was open to me. Sure, on occasion Trevor would buy a pint of dairy-free ice cream, but being a speciality food item they were often expensive and the pints were small so it wouldn’t last very long. With an ice cream maker, I could now make any flavour of his choosing whenever we wanted and we wouldn’t have to break the bank.
Making our own ice cream over the past few months has involved a lot of trial and error, but I’m happy to share this first recipe for homemade vegan mint chip ice cream made with coconut milk. A lot of Trevor’s favourite brands of dairy-free ice cream used coconut milk as a base instead of heavy cream, so I figured that was a good starting point. A couple weeks ago I also purchased Dreena Burton’s Let Them Eat Vegan which has an entire section dedicated to making vegan ice cream. Dreena’s ice cream recipes have been a great crash course in vegan ice cream making and her tips have been a very helpful starting point, especially now that I’m starting to venture out and make some of our own favourite flavours.
The first time I made this ice cream, I swear that my eyes almost popped out of my head in happiness. Trevor was also briefly convinced that I was playing a terrible joke on him and giving him a bowl of the real stuff. This ice cream is creamy, rich and although it’s white (and not green), I swear that it is filled with minty goodness. Add a little dairy-free chocolate chips and you’ll be convinced that it came from the freezer section at your local supermarket.
Homemade Vegan Mint Chip Ice Cream
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk (not light)
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 cup cane sugar*
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp pure peppermint extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 tsp guar gum
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips
- Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, blend together all the ingredients except the chocolate chips for about 5 minutes. Scrap down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and continue blending until smooth.
- Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the mixture has reached the consistency of soft-serve, stir in mini chocolate chips and transfer to an air-tight container.
- Chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours prior to serving.
Read the instructions for your ice cream maker. It is likely that your model will come with a freezer bowl that must be chilled for least 6 hours prior to use. Keep this bowl in the freezer until your mixture is ready.
*If making vegan, check the ingredient list on your sugar to ensure that bone char is not used.