Homemade ice cream may be the epitome of good food in the summertime. Need proof? July is National Ice Cream Month according to holidayinsights.com. Vegan strawberry ice cream, made from coconut milk, frozen strawberries, and maple syrup, is how we are celebrating the occasion.
Think back to your own childhood. People of a certain age may remember a hand-cranked ice cream maker on hot summer days, with a generous supply of ice cubes and rock salt. Fast forward decades to see how homemade ice cream memories can be made in 2020. Kids can have a ball with an ice cream ball. Once ice and rock salt are packed in the ice cream ball, the cylinder is filled with the ice cream liquid. Then the kids — and perhaps some adults — get to shake, roll and pass it around for 15 to 20 minutes.
There are endless ice cream recipes on the internet. While my favorite is probably basic vanilla with chopped up peanut butter cups, it was this vegan strawberry ice cream that won rave reviews among kids and adults alike at a recent gathering.
Ice cream balls can be purchased from Amazon or LL Bean. The one I have is no longer made, but there are used ones available on Amazon. Newer ones by the same company, YayLabs, are available on LL Bean.
(Disclosure: The Amazon link is an affiliate link. If you click through and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.)
Active time: 40 minutes Total time: 40 minutes
- Ice cream ball
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 14 oz canned coconut milk (full fat), refrigerated
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- about 5 lbs of ice cubes
- 1 cup rock salt
Put the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator or cooler filled with ice the night before you want to make the ice cream.
Scoop the chilled coconut milk into a blender. Add the frozen strawberries and maple syrup. Puree until smooth and creamy. Stir with a spoon to see if the lumps of strawberries have been pureed. (A few small lumps are fine, tasty even.) Puree again if necessary.
If you aren’t ready for dessert, put the mixture in a container, and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
When the players are ready to make ice cream, remove the lid from the ice end of the Ice Cream Ball. Fill with as much ice as possible, adding 1 cup of rock salt as you go. Close lid securely. Do not use the plastic wrench to tighten the lid on either end; use the wrench only to open the lids.
Remove the lid from the end with the metal cylinder and pour in your mix. Close the lid securely.
Have a ball!
Shake, roll, and pass it around as you mix and freeze the ingredients. Roll it down a short hill, give it a gentle kick, or come up with your own way to make it fun.
Here’s a condensed version of the manufacturer’s directions. Check the ice cream after 15 minutes. Scrape the hard ice cream off the sides of the can with a wooden spoon (an up and down motion works best) and mix this with the more liquid ice cream in the center. Then check the ice end. Pour out the excess water and add more ice and up to 1/3 cup of rock salt to enhance the freezing ability. Reattach the lid and then play with the ball for another 15 minutes.
For whatever reason — outside temperatures in the mid-70s, the ingredients, the ice, or how much we moved the ball — the initial 15 minutes was too long. (Or maybe I can’t tell time.) After 15 minutes, a wooden spoon wouldn’t budge the ice cream frozen to the sides. I used a butter knife to loosen it, then I could break it up and stir it with the liquid. It didn’t need to be rolled around again. It was still delicious, only a little more difficult to stir. (I don’t recall having this problem on very hot days at Lake Powell with dairy-based ice cream.) Check it after 10 minutes to be on the safe side.