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Imagine opening your freezer right now and finding the most delectable, rich, creamy, summer-fresh vegan strawberry ice cream. It's time to turn this delightful daydream into a decadent frozen treat, because there's no shadow of a doubt that your future self will thank you (and thank you, and thank you again).
It's safe to say that life is simply better with this vegan strawberry ice cream recipe. The funny thing is, you may be surprised at some of the ingredients, like white balsamic vinegar, cashews, and coconut oil. But this no-churn vegan ice cream is bound to be your new fave.
If you don't need/want to make vegan ice cream, give this strawberry ice cream recipe a shot!
What's vegan strawberry ice cream made of?
If your interest or perhaps confusion peeked around white balsamic vinegar in strawberry ice cream, let's talk about some of the eyebrow-raising ingredients for this vegan strawberry ice cream recipe here (promise, it all makes perfect sense!)
- Raw cashews: you'll need 2 cups of raw cashews for this vegan strawberry ice cream recipe. If you're used to making vegan food, you'll know the magic of cashews and their ability to become a creamy, dreamy texture when blended well.
** You will need a strong blender to accomplish this and about 2-3 hours of soaking your cashews in a jar or container with water to soften them up.
- Strawberries: ah, the star ingredient! For this ice cream, you'll need 6 cups of diced strawberries. The ultimate situation would be to use local, garden-fresh summer strawberries for the most divine berry flavor. Failing that, whatever you can get at the grocery store will absolutely work. You can use frozen strawberries, just be sure to thaw them first before dicing and including them in the recipe.
- Coconut sugar: You will use 4 tablespoons of coconut sugar to coat the strawberries before you spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast them for 25 minutes. The leftover 2 tablespoons will go into the blender.
- Coconut oil: To help achieve the level of creaminess you've come to expect from ice cream, use coconut oil in place of high-fat cream and high-fat egg yolks that you usually find in a standard, dairy ice cream. Coconut oil helps keep this a dairy-free strawberry ice cream recipe.
- Water: Use 1 ½ cups of water to keep the ingredients moving in the blender so they come together into a silky consistency.
- Agave nectar: ¼ cup of agave syrup will add some sweetness to the recipe. You can substitute it with maple syrup, but the flavor will change. Another alternative is to dissolve granulated sugar in the water (by heating it) and add that instead.
- White balsamic vinegar: White balsamic is quite sweet and just a little bit tangy, kind of like strawberries. When you put the two together something magical happens and the balsamic makes the strawberries taste even more like strawberries. It's a very, very good thing. Have faith. If you don't have any white balsamic vinegar on hand, you can omit. It's purely a flavor enhancer.
- Pure vanilla: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract is all you need to add some warmth and a sweet floral undertone.
- Sea salt: For balance, you'll add just a bit of sea salt so your mouth isn't completely overwhelmed by the sweet creaminess (although, you might not complain too much about that!)
Tips to make the perfect vegan strawberry ice cream
- This dairy-free ice cream recipe is best made during the summer when fresh strawberries are in season. If you're craving it in the winter, lean into the white balsamic vinegar to help bring out the strawberry flavor of the berries you have available to you in the store.
- To make things easier and more efficient, you can use an ice cream maker. If you don't have an ice cream machine – that's ok! – you can still make it. To make this without an ice cream maker, pour the vegan strawberry cream mixture and the remaining roasted strawberries into a shallow pan and put the pan into your freezer. Every half hour, remove the pan and use a fork to scrape the cream and mix it up, making sure there are no hard icy spots. You will need to do this at least 4-5 times. The texture won't be quite as smooth and creamy, but it will still taste delicious.
- A high-powered blender or food processor will also be your friend for this recipe. If you don't have one, consider straining the strawberry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve after you've blended it, so that it's super smooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use frozen strawberries?
You can, however, for this to be the best vegan strawberry ice cream recipe you've ever had, fresh is best. If you're using frozen, thaw them first before you dice them and incorporate them into the recipe.
How long will vegan strawberry ice cream last?
Homemade vegan ice cream will last for a few weeks in the freezer.
Can I use different berries?
While we haven't tested this recipe using other berries, we suspect that other berries will work just as well as strawberries.
- 2 cups raw cashews (see notes)
- 6 cups diced strawberries
- 6 tablespoons coconut sugar (divided)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¼ cup agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Put the cashews into a jar and cover them with water. Let them soak for 2-3 hours.2 cups raw cashews
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the strawberries with 4 tablespoons of coconut sugar and spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast the strawberries for 25 minutes then remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Once they are cool transfer the strawberries plus all the juice to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until cold.6 cups diced strawberries, 6 tablespoons coconut sugar
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add the cashews, HALF of the roasted strawberries and all of their juices, the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar, coconut oil, water, agave, white balsamic, vanilla, and sea salt to a blender or food processor. Blend until the cream is very smooth.OPTIONAL STEP: If you don't have a high-powered blender, you may want to strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve so that it's super smooth.⅓ cup coconut oil, 1 ½ cups water, ¼ cup agave syrup, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate it until it is cold.
- Once the mixture is cold, process it according to your ice cream maker's directions. Add the remaining roasted strawberries near the end and let your ice cream maker stir them in. (See notes on how to make this without an ice cream maker.)
- Once the ice cream looks like soft serve, transfer it to a freezer-proof container and it freeze until it's firm. Let the ice cream soften for a few minutes before you serve it.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our vegan dessert recipes!