Dairy Free Roasted Strawberry and Honey Ice Cream

 Summery, sweet, refreshing, creamy, and all the things you'd ever want in a dairy free ice cream, this Roasted Strawberry and Honey Ice Cream has just that... in every spoonful.

Man, I am a big time ice cream lover. There isn't much about it not to like, really. With so many flavors out there, there is something for absolutely everyone, right? Who doesn't like ice cream? and, while I can't have much in the way of dairy - that doesn't stop me from enjoying ice cream. No, I don't just suffer through a bowl of normal ice cream. It's not quite that worth it to me, but thankfully there are amazing dairy free options out there. Right here, right now.. I have a fabulous example. I am a big fruit ice cream girl, and so is my husband. This one hits hard for us both.

There is an ice cream shop that my husband and I love here in Raleigh, North Carolina, called Two Roosters. They make all their own ice creams, and each month they come out with some crazy and wild seasonal flavors. They're so fun, but one of their signature flavors is a Roasted Strawberry and Honey ice cream. It's fabulous, and it's one of Michael's very favorite picks. It's doesn't stray too far from a traditional strawberry ice cream, but theirs' just hits all the extra perfection boxes. 


The roasting of the strawberries brings out all of the sweetness that those beautiful strawberries contain, and roasting them with the honey develops such a rich and deep flavor that is unmatched in any other pairing. Unfortunately, Two Rooster's creation is not dairy free, so I don't get to enjoy scoop for myself. I knew I had to recreate it on my own and share it with the world.. it's just delicious.

If you're not a fan of the flavor of honey, don't be scared away. This ice cream does not taste heavily of honey. It just adds a beautiful sweetness, hint of floral, and adds a nice balance to the strawberries when it mellows out in the roasting process.

Although, if you're wanting to make this ice cream fully vegan, you can swap the honey for maple syrup. You'll have to call it... "Roasted Strawberry and Maple Ice Cream" then. :) It'll still be very delicious.

Why Coconut Milk?

The coconut milk used for the ice cream base only adds to the creaminess, due to the high fat content of canned coconut milk (make sure to use full-fat), and the roasted strawberries harmonize with all the flavors present. Thankfully the ice cream does not taste of straight coconut. While I love coconut, I do not want for all of my dairy free ice creams to taste of coconut. So, having the strawberry and honey flavorful enough to take over the coconut flavor.. makes me a happy camper. This is a delicious creation, and I can't wait for you to try it.


What Ice Cream Machine Should I Use?

I recommend a compressor Ice Cream machine. My cousin, Mary, from Barefeet in the Kitchen did a very intensive testing and review on a ton of at-home ice cream machines, and you can find her research and reviews here. 

I adore my Breville Ice Cream Machine, and while it is very pricey - it is very worth it. There is no freezing of the bowl, making sure it doesn't thaw too quickly, or any of that. Plug it in, turn it on, pour the ice cream base in, and start churning. It's a wonderful thing. I'll never go back.

If you have a basic old-fashioned homemade ice cream maker, this recipe should work in that, too. However, this recipe only makes about 1 1/4 quarts of ice cream, so I might would double the recipe if you were to make it in a large machine. 

What You'll Need for Roasted Strawberry & Honey Coconut Milk Ice Cream:

- Strawberries: fresh with tops removed and quartered

- Sugar: to make sure that the honey does not overpower the strawberries, I like to use a little bit of sugar in addition to the honey when roasting the strawberries.

- Honey

- Salt: this helps to draw the moisture out of the strawberries & help them break down quicker. It also helps enhance all the flavors.

- Full Fat Coconut Milk: always from a can, and always full fat. I prefer Thai coconut milk, but I have also used other coconut milk. Certain brands work better than others, from my experience. I have not had good luck with Trader Joe's coconut milk in ice cream recipes - for some reason. Make sure your coconut milk is fresh, and that it is not really old. You'll have major issues, trust me. I try to buy my coconut milk only a couple weeks before I need it to ensure freshness.

- Sugar: to sweeten up the ice cream base

- Vanilla Bean Paste OR Vanilla Extract: for ice cream, I always prefer vanilla bean paste, because of the extra flavor and added bean specks. But, use what you have.

- Ground Ginger: this little touch of ginger simply helps to liven up some of the flavors present in the strawberries & honey, and it adds such a lovely warm, earthy touch. It's so delicious and inviting. 

- Salt: to bring out all the flavors & make it all taste delicious

- Soft Pink Gel Food Coloring (Optional): I typically try to avoid added food colors, especially when there are so many naturally beautiful foods. However, for this recipe - I wanted a touch more of a pink color. So, I added one drop of light pink color. Feel free to leave this out if you'd like.


How to Make Non Dairy Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream:

1. First, you'll need to roast the strawberries. This is extremely easy. Combine strawberries, sugar, honey, and salt in a baking dish and roast for 40 minutes at 350°F. 

2. Let the strawberries cool completely and separate into two halves, we'll blend half in the ice cream base and the other half will be mashed up and added in as a "mix in."

3. In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Warm over medium-low heat until warm and all sugar is dissolved, but do not boil.

4. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

5. Add half of the roasted strawberry mixture into the vanilla coconut milk base and blend until smooth - I used an immersion blender, but you can use a food processor or blender.

6. Mash the remaining half of strawberries with a fork or potato masher, or chop with a knife and set aside. These will become a mix in in the ice cream later on. (If you do not like pieces of fruit in your ice cream, feel free to blend it all smoothly into your ice cream base.

7. Once the ice cream base has cooled, pour into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

8. When the ice cream is almost finished churning, add the mashed strawberries and finish churning.

9. Serve immediately for a soft-serve ice cream consistency, or transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve. When ready to serve, let sit out for 4-5 minutes to soften before scooping. Enjoy.



In search of other scrumptious recipes? 

Here's a great and quick weeknight dinner idea. It's a classic that your whole family will love... even those picky kiddos. These Sloppy Joes are the best you'll ever make; they're a perfect way to sneak in some extra veggies through onions and bell peppers. I am a bit of a Sloppy Joe snob, and I can fully say these are the best out there. I will never search for another recipe. Trust me. They'll become your favorite, too. And, your kids will devour them just as quickly as you do.

Needing a fun activity to do this summer, or are you just craving a bite of nostalgia? Well, these Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats are just the perfect cure for that. They're buttery, sweet, crunchy, and just soooooooo good. Better than the store bought ones, and even better than your childhood ones. I'm sorry, Mom.

Strawberries still have you feeling fruity? Well, this fresh Blueberry Buttercream is a great choice and so easy to make. It's fast, simple, light, buttery, and sooo creamy. It's perfect on any cupcake, cake, brownie, or other dessert. However, its dang good on THIS pistachio cupcake, or lemon, coconut, or almond cake. Gracious. I'm hungry now.

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