On Monday we celebrated Victoria Day in Canada. On Thursday before I made this strawberry rhubarb coconut ice cream which we have been enjoying over the extra long weekend burning off calories in-between scoops. Then it was all gone because it was so-so good and healthy compared to any store-bought ice cream. Dairy free, vegan, gluten free and refined sugars free. Clean eating heaven! It would be perfect for Memorial Day weekend!
It is May which means rhubarb and strawberry season. I, as the most loyal seasonal produce shopper, bought three long stalks of rhubarb at the farmer’s market a few weeks ago. Without any idea what I was going to do with it. At first, I remembered my grandma always cooking “kompot” in summer months with any fruit on hand. Think of American (French) version of compote you know but of a juice consistency. Growing up in Ukraine there was no pop or juice. All we drank was water, milk and tea. So, any other drink was really a treat. Grandma also made “kisel'” which was essentially the above mentioned “compote” but thickened with cornstarch. Which slimy texture I found not so appealing as a kid and still think it is kinda weird.
Rhubarb was commonly used in “kisel'”. After debating for a few weeks what I should do with rhubarb (yes, it can survive in the fridge that long) I came to a conclusion that my kids won’t appreciate either of grandma’s signature drinks. Not kisel’ for sure and compote is just too much work when I can buy a box of juice.
So, I decided to make strawberry rhubarb ice cream instead remembering the classic combo used in baking recipes. I love ice cream so much more than pies!
I will admit that I have been having difficulty paying $5 per lb of organic strawberries. It still seems very pricey. Plus I still had a bag of frozen strawberries from last year that had to be used before the new crop. Someone suggested to me to freeze strawberries not hulled and I won’t do it again. It is OK for smoothies but not ideal for oatmeal or ice cream (and that is what we like to use them in).
So, I thawed strawberries a tiny bit and rinsed off the green stuff. They do not have to be completely defrosted because we will be blending and freezing them again. I coarsely chopped rhubarb which my oldest one couldn’t stomach raw. I told him. So, he wasn’t excited about ice cream. Oh how things have turned around once he tried this strawberry rhubarb ice cream!
This coconut ice cream turned out sensational – sweet, creamy with hints of tartness. And the texture the rhubarb adds…makes ice cream airy and pillow soft. The sweetness was spot on. Everyone licked the bowls, even the kids who would never eat rhubarb otherwise.
- 3 large rhubarb stalks, coarsely chopped
- 3 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 14 oz can coconut milk, full fat (I recommend Thai Kitchen)*
- Pinch of himalayan pink salt
- Place bowl of an ice cream maker in a freezer the night before. It is and important step!
- In a blender or food processor, add rhubarb and strawberries; pulse a few times until smooth with a few chunks. Add maple syrup, vanilla, coconut milk and salt; process for a few more seconds until combined.
- Pour ice cream mixture into frozen ice cream bowl, place lid on top and turn it on to start churning. Depending on your ice cream machine it may take 20-60 minutes to bring ice cream to a soft serve consistency. It won’t fully freeze.
- Transfer soft serve ice cream into any container with a lid and freeze for 2-3 more hours. To serve, let thaw for 20-30 minutes.
*I highly recommend to use Thai Kitchen coconut milk as it produces creamy and smooth ice cream thanks to a guar gum. It is available organic and regular. I have tried other brands with less favourable results. Coconut cream from Trader Joe's is good too.