Since I live in the cooler Pacific Northwest, summertime is the only time of year that I find myself craving ice cream. But, when I do have a craving, it hits hard. Luckily Seattle has an abundance of local ice cream shops that feature non-dairy ice cream.
Even though I am grateful for this, it has kinda turned into a problem. I had to face the facts last night when I found myself walking to the ice cream shop for the third straight evening in a row. I think this walk will now be called my "walk of shame."
Since my ice cream cravings don't seem to going anywhere soon, I decided it was time to create my own lighter option that still tastes just as decadent and sweet as any other. The result? A relaxing and delicious blend of lavender, coconut, and banana. And, you don't even need an ice cream maker to enjoy this one!
A few weeks ago my partner and I visited the Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington for my birthday. It had always been a dream of mine to stand in a field of lavender so I was super excited to cross this off my life-list. These photos still take my breath away.
For my ice cream, I used frozen bananas with a little coconut milk for the base. You can use either coconut milk beverage or canned coconut milk in this recipe. Since I wanted a lighter option, I used coconut milk beverage, but if you want a creamier version opt for the full-fat canned coconut milk. This ice cream can be made using a standard food processor and you won't need any other special equipment. The bananas add a wonderful sweetness so I didn't add any extra sweeteners in mine, but you can add some agave nectar, maple syrup, or another sweetener of your choice if desired.
Lavender Coconut Ice Cream
1 cup coconut milk beverage or canned coconut milk
1 - 2 tablespoons edible lavender flowers (depending on how strong you want the flavor)
2 bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen
natural sweetener (agave nectar, maple syrup, etc) to taste, if desired
Add coconut milk and lavender to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir thoroughly. Let steep, covered, for 20 - 25 minutes.
Strain mixture, reserving milk and discarding lavender. Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze for several hours or overnight.
Once frozen, break apart the frozen coconut milk into chunks and add to a food processor. Add the chopped frozen banana. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy, adding additional sweeteners if desired. This will create a creamy "soft serve." If you want harder "ice cream," put the mixture into the freezer for 15 - 20 minutes to harden, then scoop and serve.