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Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

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raw dairy free Strawberry Basil Ice Cream displayed on barn wood

~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

I have started a craving within myself…the craving of making raw ice creams!  So this sent me to the Internet to see what exciting recipes I may find.

In the cooking world of recipes, there are hundreds of unique and some not so unique recipes.  Some made my mouth water, some make my lips pucker and some well, just didn’t quite do it for me.

But the beauty of being able to create recipes is that you can give your taste buds and desires permission to play.   So I decided to use this recipe post as a looking eye-glass into my thought process on how to convert an existing recipe over to your own.   First, we need to look over the cooked/processed version… we will be making the raw version.

Cooked Version  Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, raw
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Dash salt

Now we need to break it down… To convert this recipe to raw, we need to look at the role of the ingredients.  The fruit part is easy to convert.  Strawberry for strawberry.  The milk and 1/2 & 1/2 offer two things to the recipe; a form of fat and a creaminess and liquid of course.

In the raw world, we often look to nuts or young coconuts to use as a replacement.  There are many other food items that replace fats and creaminess such as avocados, but we need to think of what would hold up nicely to being frozen or what color they will lend a recipe, so therefore nuts or coconut are our number one choice.

Nut butters can work great in recipes as well.   Sugar is easy to convert over to raw.  There are many alternatives; we just have to decide what flavor we want to impart.  Because we want creamy ice cream and we are not heating it to break down any sugar granules I recommend a liquid sweetener or a sweetener that may come in a fine powder form such as lucuma.

Let’s break them down a little bit:

  • Agave (sweeter than honey,  which means you use less volume) Doesn’t alter the flavor of a dish. Comes raw.
  • Honey comes raw, but it isn’t vegan.  You pick your battle.  There are many slight hints of flavor in honey, it all depends on what you purchase, but the taste of honey is rather mild. It takes more honey to get the same level of sweetness as agave.
  • Yacon comes raw.  To me, it has a hint of a molasses flavor and is very thick.
  • Coconut Nectar is raw and has a deeper flavor as well, again to me, a tad like molasses.
  • Lucuma tastes a little bit like shortbread.

Ok, we have figured out the fruit, the fat, the creaminess, and the sweetener, all that remains are the “spices.”

a close up of raw dairy free Strawberry Basil Ice Cream displayed on barn woodIngredients:

Cooked Version now converted to a Raw Version:

  • 2 cups organic strawberries, diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cup raw almond milk
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup raw coconut nectar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink salt


  1. Place diced strawberries and finely chopped basil in a bowl and let macerate (become softened or broken up by soaking)  in the refrigerator for one hour or overnight.
  2. In a high-powered blender, combine the cashews and water, blend until creamy and no grit is detected.
  3. Add the almond milk, sweetener, vanilla, and salt. Blend until incorporated.
    • I made my almond milk with the following ratios: blend 1 cup almonds + 1.5 cups water + 2 dates.
  4. Pour in the strawberries, basil, and the remaining juices and stir until combined. Don’t blend. We want strawberry chunks.
  5. Place the blender carafe in the fridge or freezer for 1 hour.
    • If chilled in the refrigerator it can stay there for up to 8 hours.  But don’t leave it in the freezer for more than an hour or it will freeze solid.
  6. Once chilled pour the batter into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Enjoy right away or place the ice cream in a freezer-safe container(s).
  8. It is best to take the ice cream out of the freezer about 10 minutes ahead of time, so it can have a chance to soften.
  9. Eat within 1 month.

Freezing Suggestions for Ice Cream:

  1. Use an ice cream machine.  Follow the manufactures directions.
  2. Freeze in popsicle molds or 3 oz Dixie cups with a popsicle stick inserted.
  3. Store the ice cream in the very back of the freezer, as far away from the door as possible. Every time you open your freezer door you let in warm air. Keeping ice cream way in the back and storing it beneath other frozen-sold items will help protect it from those steamy incursions.
  4. Ice cream is full of fat, and even when frozen, fat has a way of soaking up flavors from the air around it—including those in your freezer. To keep your ice cream from taking on the odors, use a container with a tight-fitting lid. For extra security, place a layer of plastic wrap between your ice cream and the lid.
  5. To soften in the refrigerator, transfer ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before using. Or let it stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Wish to make your own raw ice cream, wonder what machine I might recommend, and more? Click (here) to check out the Reference Library!
Another great way to store ice cream is in single serving, freezer-safe mason jars. Perfect for portion control and no extra dirty dishes.

Another great way to store ice cream is in a single serving, freezer-safe mason jars. Perfect for portion control and no extra dirty dishes.

Another great way to store ice cream is in single serving, freezer-safe mason jars.

Push pops! Another great serving suggestion. Link above.

Push pops! Another great serving suggestion. Link above.

6 thoughts on “Strawberry Basil Ice Cream

  1. Marlys Wilson says:

    Aimee Sue:

    I absolutely love this recipe and make it at least three times a week. I made the mistake, at first, of using the almond milk I make for granola with two cups of water and while it’s good it’s not as good. When I use 1 1/2 cups of water, 3 dates, the vanilla it’s spectacular. Another problem I had at first and it was either too much water or I need two days b/w to get my freezer unit really cold? The ice cream didn’t freeze appropriately. One trick I learned was when the mixture goes in the freezer I put it in my stainless steal bowl and it gets done a little faster as I can’t wait to eat it. I’m going to try some of your other ice cream recipes but can’t get enough of this. Thank you so much.


    • amie-sue says:

      Sounds like you had an adventure here Marlys :) I can see why putting the ice cream in a stainless steel bowl would speed up the process if needed. So far I haven’t had this issue but thanks for sharing your experience. Always a pleasure to hear from you! hugs, amie sue

      • Marlys Wilson says:

        Aimee Sue: Guess what I’m making your strawberry basil ice cream right now. Big surprise, huh??? Tomorrow I will make your spinach, ginger, and beet smoothy. Then onto your award winning bread. I have another question. Now that I’ve finally decided you are absolutely right 1 1/2 cups of water only for the almond milk for a creamer drink and adding 3 to 4 nice big organic dates I think it is almost like the Hadley’s famous date shake we would stop for on our way to our family desert cabin. Any suggestions about using your nice and creamy almond milk and adding some of your ice cream for my childhood date shake? Also, I read somewhere you have a source for organic dates, yes? If so please share. Hugs, ~marlys p.s. I appreciate you so much:-)

        • amie-sue says:

          Hi Marlys…. such timing we have. hehe I am not sure exactly what you are asking here, “Any suggestions about using your nice and creamy almond milk and adding some of your ice cream for my childhood date shake” Help me. haha
          I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Naked Date (http://www.healthynakeddates.com/nakeddates/about-us/) They grow them in AZ but funny enough their cold storage is in the next town to us, about 10 miles. I bought cases from them her in Hood River when they came for the Oct. Fest, last Fall. I frozen them. They are amazing!

          I hope you enjoy all your goodies… have a blessed evening and I so appreciate you too Marlys :)

          • Marlys Wilson says:

            Hi, Aimee Sue:

            Ok, last night I made the very best batch of strawberry/basil ice cream ever. Practice makes perfect, huh. I’m having some for breakfast before my spinach and beet smoothie.

            I’m thinking that the creamy almond milk taste almost like the Hadley’s date shake that I would look forward too growing up. It does need to be of a thicker consistence though to be a shake so it occurred to me that if I’d added one of your non-dairy ice creams, but I would have to leave out some of the flavorings (i.e. strawberries/basil), for a rich vanilla ice cream and then put it in the blender along with the almond milk and some more dates, that I would achieve the wonderful shake without the dairy? Would you suggest I use the strawberry basil without the strawberries and basil or would it have the smooth consistency without the goodies?

            Thank you for the date tip I will look into that right away.


            • amie-sue says:

              Morning Marlys,

              Practice does make perfect or at least adds more fun to life. hehe Sounds like a great way to start your day. :)

              Yes, I can see that the base of this ice cream would be perfect to use for your Date shake, sounds so yummy!! You might need to add a little extra liquid since you won’t be putting in the 2 cups of strawberries but you can always test as you go. Good luck and have fun! Keep me posted if you try it. Have a blessed day, amie sue

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