• Coconut ice creamI’m here at my dear friend Gigi’s house preparing the kitchen and pantry for when she returns home after back surgery. Now, I get that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but…to get to her upper spine to repair two bulging disks, they are going through her throat. Which means, they’ll be pushing and shoving her trachea and larynx around, and she won’t be able to swallow anything except liquids and purees without experiencing pain for a week. Ouch! I still remember the doctor telling me when I had my tonsils out at five-years old, “yes your throat will hurt after surgery, but, the good news is you’ll be able to eat lots and lots of ice cream and sherbet.” The idea of being able to eat all the ice cream I wanted was incentive enough to sign a waiver for them to perform brain surgery. Although when it comes to ice cream, I don’t need much incentive. And since I have her on a plant-based, anti-inflammatory protocol, I decided to go with a tropical trio of coconut ice cream, and mango and lime sorbets. I doubt Gigi will object to the menu selections and whatever she doesn’t eat, I will.

Recipe notes. Traditionally, eggs and dairy are used to produce “real” ice cream; primarily to produce a creamy mouth feel from the butterfat in cream, along with the protein in eggs, creates an emulsifier and provides a building block to give ice cream its custard like structure. Since this is a vegan ice cream, I’ve substituted coconut milk/cream for regular dairy, and added a cornstarch/ arrowroot slurry as an emulsifier. What you’ll need: 1 1/2-2qt Cuisinart ice cream maker, saucepan, whisk, spatula, and 2-qt container for freezing.


  • 2-cups coconut milk
  • 2-cups coconut cream
  • 3/4-cup Stevia, honey, agave syrup, or palm sugar
  • 1-vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out, or 2-tsp pure vanilla extract*
  • 1/4-tsp salt
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • 2-Tbsp cornstarch or 1-Tbsp arrowroot dissolved in 1/4 cup water


  1. Add first 5 ingredients to a 2-qt saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. If using vanilla bean, remove ice cream base from heat and allow vanilla bean to steep for 1-hour.
  2. Return pan to stove top and bring to a gentle boil.
  3. Add dissolved cornstarch/arrowroot to base and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove vanilla pod and allow to cool before pouring into container’
  5. Refrigerate overnight.

*If using vanilla extract:

  1.  Add dissolved cornstarch/arrowroot to base and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring into container.
  3. Refrigerate base overnight.

Next day:

  1. Pour base into ice cream machine and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Scoop ice cream into container and lay a piece of plastic wrap over ice cream, cover and freeze.