This basil chocolate chip ice cream is a vegan and dairy free twist on a classic! It’s made with a coconut milk and almond milk base and it’s totally creamy and dreamy!
As these “balmy” 40 degree days start rolling in here in the northeast I can’t help but think about that nostalgic summertime cup of creamy, dreamy ice cream.
That pastel green color that doesn’t occur in nature. Those itty bitty chocolate chips. And the refreshing taste of mint flavored extract…YUM!
Well not exactly yum to the artificial color, flavor and sweetener but more so to the feeling of summer. Mint chocolate chip was and STILL is one of my favorite flavors.
And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m above regular ice cream or artificial flavors. Every summer I succumb to the fact that my stomach will hurt for the rest of the day just for the chance to down some deliciously creamy, dairy-laden mint chip, chocolate chip cookie dough or rum raisin.
All I’m saying is if you do struggle with dairy and find yourself at home, give this lactose free ice cream a try because your belly will thank you : )
If you’re new to dairy free living check out this post: How to live your BEST dairy free life!
How to make vegan basil ice cream:
I decided to take a classic like mint chocolate chip ice cream and help it grow up a bit. That means:
- Bye-bye artificial flavors and colors
- No dairy (a real treat if you’re lactose intolerant)!
- We’re swapping mint for BASIL…oh la la basil ice cream
Standard dairy ice cream is typically made with milk, heavy cream, eggs, white sugar and additional flavors/mix-ins.
The fat and sugar is what gives the ice cream it’s creaminess and sweetness.
So how do you get the consistency and taste right without dairy?
For this recipe, I used more natural ingredients that are most true to the flavor, fat content and texture of dairy-full versions like:
- Coconut milk
- Almond milk/Coconut milk blend
- Dairy free chocolate (I like Enjoy Life brand)
- Maple syrup
- Natural flavorings (i.e. real basil)
Disclaimer: If you purchase any of the linked products, I will receive a commission. I do however use the products I recommend and stand by how awesome they are!
Does it actually taste like ice cream?
Whenever I tell Tim we’re having something vegan he gives me a look of skepticism. Not because he is against vegetables per se but because he’s concerned that it will taste like a weird imposter of the real version. And if the original option already tastes good, why make the swap?!
I totally get that logic. I don’t like to eat anything that tastes weird either; life is too short to eat bad food.
I’ve tried a lot of store dairy free ice cream brands and it’s a real struggle to find one that actually tastes like ice cream.
Often times when the base is coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk or soy milk, those milks are the only flavor hanging onto your taste buds for dear life.
But that’s not a concern with this homemade basil ice cream though. It’s creamy, rich and sweet just like your favorites!
Variations for different homemade ice cream flavors
This basil ice cream recipe’s main flavors are of course BASIL and chocolate chips, but you can change this up quite a bit:
- Make mint chocolate chip
- Swap the basil for fresh mint springs in the recipe
- Keep it simple and make vanilla ice cream
- Skip the first step of the recipe (below) for basil ice cream and you’ve got vegan vanilla ice cream
- Go CRAZY!
- Mix in all your favorites before freezing like coconut flakes, shortbread cookie bits, pretzel bits…whatever you like!
- 1 13.5 oz can, full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup almond milk or almond coconut milk blend I use Califia Farms Toasted Coconut Almond Milk Blend
- 4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves and stems
- 1/8 cup + 1 1/2 tbs maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt I use fine sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped up dark chocolate bar
- Heat a pot on low-medium heat. Add coconut milk, almond/coconut milk blend and basil to the pot. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Add maple syrup, vanilla and salt to the coconut milk mixture. Stir ingredients together. Let the mixture cool to room temperature on the counter.
- Refrigerate the mixture 2 hours to overnight. Remove the basil stems and leaves from the coconut milk mixture. Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions. With my ice cream maker it's a milkshake consistency.
- Add churned ice cream to a freezer safe container. Stir in the chocolate chips and freeze at least 2 hours. Enjoy!
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see how it turned out! Snap a picture and tag @brightrootskitchen or use #brightrootskitchen on Insta.