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Ice cream and chilled desserts

Ginger miso vegan coconut ice cream

Prep time 15 minutes | Freezing time 4 hours
yields 500 ml

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed


Published November 30 2019
Updated December 14 2019

Ingredients

150 ml filtered water
12 cup coconut sugar
5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp white miso paste
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 frozen bananas
1 tsp ginger syrup, we used The Ginger People

Method

In a small pan over medium-high heat, bring the water, coconut sugar and fresh ginger to a boil, until the sugar has dissolved. Add the miso at this point and whisk until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside to cool.

Strain the coconut miso syrup into a large bowl, add in your coconut milk and 1 teaspoon of ginger syrup. Mix well until combined.

Pour the mixture into a small loaf tin or similar and freeze for 3-4 hours.

At the 3-4 hour mark, remove your ice cream from the freezer, allow 10 or so minutes to defrost and then break your mixture into chunks, transfer to a blender, add the frozen banana and blend.

Freeze for another 2-3 hours. Just prior to serving repeat the blending step. Your ice cream should be super thick and creamy, ready to scoop.

A no-churn vegan ice cream

Admittedly, I live about three minutes walk from a supermarket, another ten to a health food store and other places within walkable distance to good vegan ice cream. Duck Island's first Auckland outpost is dangerously close. Even without the convenience, I'm a daily food shopper and have always loved cooking and feeding myself, and my partner. I find this incredibly satisfying. As such, given my proximity to vegan ice cream, this recipe is not convenient — it is however different, sweet, salty, super creamy, umami, practically magical. Preparing non-churn ice cream requires patience, some manual labour, but for the love of preparing food, for me at least, this ice cream was worth it.

The rise and rise of the vegan ice cream market

I remember when vegan ice cream was something you'd find in the darkest depths of a health food store. No longer associated with Birkenstocks, body hair and fanny packs — which are ironically now cool, today wellness is, I think representative of progression. People are starting to understand that the wellness interest is the modern lifestyle, a daily pursuit, not something you do to prepare for your summer holiday. And so we are seeing such rapid increases in the demand for vegan ice cream people are awakening to the fact that either a vegan diet or leaning heavily towards one is better for human health, the animals and the environment. Do you remember when Oatly had to increase production by 1,250% in 2018? Oatly still couldn't keep up with demand. Demand for dairy-free milk has been key in propelling the demand in non-dairy ice cream market globally — currently valued at USD 455.9 million, expected to be worth USD 1.2 billion by 2025. A world that primarily thrives on plants is a better world, a healthier place, and it is a world changed — and we are changing it.

Unbeknownst to many, dairy allergies, the kind that result in immune-related issues, chronic inflammation — in particular, acne are commonly reported. There is no shortage of scientific literature on the subject. For many, if you cut out dairy, your skin will by 99% better. That said, some 65% of the global population is lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest anything containing the dairy sugar lactose. This intolerance in adulthood is caused by reduced production of lactase after infancy — the digestive enzyme that digests dairy sugar. I think if anything having those tubs of vegan ice cream in supermarket freezers gave people this wonderful opportunity to explore their options. And perhaps also to suffer less from digestive issues and acne.

Plants are a life-giving energy force

There are so many positives to removing or at least reducing the amount of animal protein in your diet. If you have read the data behind the landmark nutrition investigation The China Study, and its subsequent reinterpretations, you'll understand this is not your average diet book. It is perhaps the most important book ever written about diet and health that details the connection between animal product consumption and the worldwide health epidemic. Or if you read the studies tying climate change to cattle (i.e., dairy?). If you don't immediately see the relationship, Diet For a Small Planet is an excellent place to start. That and probably the most important book on nutrition and politics I have ever read. In my experience, adopting a plant-based, vegan diet has been one of the most empowering moves I have made — to me, food is the ultimate self-care. Dive in and focus less on what you have to give up and more on the incredible acts of self-care you can add to your day.

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