I'm personally of the (correct) opinion that it is never too cold for ice cream. In college, I was semi-addicted to the Ben & Jerry's strawberry cheesecake ice cream. Strawberry pieces and a graham cracker swirl... what more could you want? Well Ben & Jerry's hasn't veganized my favorite flavor yet (I'm waiting patiently), but I've made my own version here. We're calling it strawberry shortcake, since there really isn't any cheesecake element - just those delicious, slightly softened shortbread cookie pieces in a perfectly sweet strawberry ice cream base. It's the best!
I used a mix of cashews/walnuts and full fat coconut milk as the base. It's just enough coconut to give it that fatty, rich, luxurious texture, but not enough so that you taste coconut. This is definitely one of the best vegan ice creams I've made to date!
For the ice cream:
3/4 cups raw cashews or walnuts (I used a mix of both), soaked overnight
3/4 cups nondairy milk (I used oat milk)
6 oz strawberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
1 can of full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
To mix in:
4 oz strawberries, fresh or frozen and thawed, chopped into small pieces
3 oz vegan shortbread cookies of choice, broken up into small pieces - I used these accidentally vegan animal cookies from Whole Foods
*You will need a high power blender and an ice cream maker
Freeze inner chamber of ice cream maker for at least 24 hours. At this time, also place the container that you would like to store your ice cream in in the freezer.
Add your soaked cashews or walnuts to the blender with the nondairy milk. Blend, starting on low and moving up to high, until very smooth and creamy.
Add the 6 oz strawberries, coconut milk, sugar, and salt to the blender. Blend, starting on low, and moving up to high until the mixture is very smooth and pink.
Chill the mixture, (in your blender is fine), in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour until cold.
Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker. The inner part of the ice cream maker should have been frozen for at least 24 hours. Start churning and churn the ice cream for 35 minutes without interruption.
Stop the ice cream maker. Add the strawberries and cookies, and churn again for about 3 minutes, until all of the mix-ins are incorporated. If necessary, use a spoon to stir the mix-ins thoroughly into the ice cream.
Remove your pre-chilled ice cream container from the freezer. Add the ice cream, and chill ice cream for at least 2 hours in the freezer before eating. Or, eat it as soft serve right away!
Scoop and enjoy!
Note: If the ice cream is frozen overnight/for longer than 4 hours, it may become too hard to scoop. Microwave in 7 second intervals until it is soft enough to scoop. This does the trick every time!