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I was thinking of having “If you change the ingredients in a recipe, results will vary” tattooed on my forehead, but there wasn’t enough room. (Although if my hairline keeps receding at this rapid pace, it may happen sooner than you think.) When I used to teach classes, folks were always wanting to tinker with recipes, especially ice cream, replacing the cream with what-have-you. Or to replace the sugar with something else. I’m not sure why, because I spend an inordinate amount of my life developing and testing recipes to get them just right.


Unless I’ve personally tested it, it’s pretty hard to give my nod of approval and tell what will and what won’t work in recipes, especially when it comes to swapping out sweeteners and dairy products since their counterparts behave quite differently than one might think. Ice cream, of course, depends on cream to give it that particular texture and flavor. But I do like and use non-dairy alternatives at home on occasion and saw no reason why I couldn’t churn up a batch of ice cream without a drop of dairy.

I started with soy milk, thinking that it had the richest flavor of them all and was the most readily available. But my first batch of ice cream had a murky taste, perhaps because I used agave nectar as well with it. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t digging my spoon back in to the container or licking the canister clean when I pulled out the ice cream.

sliced strawberries Isola rice milk

I then considered rice milk, which has a less-pronounced flavor, although it’s slightly less-rich than soy milk. I invited over Theresa Murphy, who teaches vegetarian cooking classes in Paris to come by for a taste and she said the best rice milk in France is an Italian brand, Isola. So I dashed right over to biocoop, a chain of natural food stores in France, and grabbed a liter.

Because rice milk is light, and macerating the strawberries for an hour before blending them up augments their flavor, you’ll find this strawberry ice cream will have a very intense color and the flavor of the strawberries will really come through. One trick I’ll pass along is that if you’re strawberries aren’t perfectly ripe, you can add a tablespoon of crème de cassis. I usually keep a bottle on hand just for that purpose, although I didn’t need to use any here because it’s the middle of strawberry season and the strawberries were pretty terrific.

I also get plenty of questions about alternative sweeteners, and while I like agave nectar, I found that when used as the primary sweetener in this ice cream, the flavor overpowers the strawberries. So I stuck with granulated cane sugar. (You can use refined or light unrefined.) I add a few spoonfuls of honey which add a nice background sweetness and helps keep the frozen ice cream scoopable. I realize that I’m probably stepping on a minefield with that one since there is a debate in the vegan community whether or not honey is vegan. If you don’t eat honey, replace it with an equal amount of another liquid sweetener or sugar.

vegan strawberry ice cream

Adding a bit of kirsch or another liquor keeps the ice cream softer once churned. Traditional ice cream has fat to keep it smooth. But if you don’t plan to eat this ice cream shortly after churning, you might want to take it out of the freezer to let it soften until it’s scoopable. The kirsch is optional and you can check out other options at Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer.

Folks often ask why chunks of fruit freeze too hard in ice creams. It’s because fruit is mostly water (most fruit is at least 80% water, and strawberries are nearly 91% water ) and we all know what happens when water freezes. So unless you plan to eat the ice cream soon after churning, they’re going to freeze pretty solidly. For this ice cream, I puree it just to the point that it’s liquidy, but there are still slight bits of strawberries. You can also puree it until completely smooth and strain out the seeds, if that’s your preference. (See? I do offer some choices.)

vegan strawberry ice cream vegan strawberry ice cream

Good non-dairy accompaniments to a scoop of this strawberry ice cream are a nice dousing with chocolate sauce, alongside a dish of warm nectarine and cherry compote or red wine-poached rhubarb.

Or serve pieces of candied ginger alongside, spoon crystals of strawberry granita alongside and serve them together in a large goblet, or serve a scoop in a glass with a splash of peach leaf wine.

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

Use very ripe, tasty strawberries for this. Rice milk has a neutral flavor so the strawberries should really do most of the work in this. I don’t strain out the seeds in this ice cream. But you can strain them all out, or just some of them. As mentioned, I did try soy milk and didn’t like the taste. But for a richer ice cream, you can replace half of the rice milk with coconut milk. For those who eat dairy, you can use heavy cream in place of the rice milk. I left the liquor optional because some people avoid alcohol, but it does help keep the ice cream softer once frozen; since rice milk doesn’t have the fat of cream, it helps to keep the ice cream smoother. As mentioned, because this ice cream has much less fat than traditional ice cream, it will become quite firm when frozen for a long period of time. So eat it shortly after churning or remove it from the freezer before scooping, to give it time to soften.
  • 1 1/2 pounds (700g) fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar or honey, (or 1/2 cup, 125ml agave nectar)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) plain rice milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • optional: 2 teaspoons kirsch, vodka, or orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • Slice the berries and toss them with the sugar (or agave) and honey, and let them macerate for one hour at room temperature.
  • Puree the berries and their liquid with the rice milk, lemon juice and liquor, if using, with a standard or immersion blender. You can puree it until completely smooth and strain out some or all of the seeds by pressing the mixture through a mesh sieve. Or you can leave it slightly chunky and omit straining it.
  • Taste, and add more lemon juice or liquor*, if desired.
  • Chill thoroughly, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. *You can add up to 3 tablespoons of liquor to this ice cream; the alcohol softens the texture so the more you add, the less-hard the ice cream will get. You can find more tips at the links below.

Related Posts and Recipes

Buying an Ice Cream Machine

Making Ice Cream Without a Machine

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Tips for Vegetarian Dining in Paris

Vegetarian Restaurants in Paris

French Sugars

The Vegan Scoop (Amazon)

What is Gelato?

Rhubarb-Berry Jam

Ingredients for American Baking in Paris

Agave-Sweetened Chocolate Ice Cream

Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer



    • Daniel

    I think I’m going to have to give this one a try. I made vegan ice cream once from one of our cookbooks (not vegan, but love the variety it offers). This one called for silken tofu, and I promise you that I’m never having it again. Ooof, that was terrible. You may want to add that to your list of banned products. At any rate, this one sounds much nicer. And the strawberries here are just gorgeous right now!

    • Emm

    This looks beautiful! We don’t eat dairy, so this will go down a treat I’m sure! It’s the middle of winter here in New Zealand so I’d have to try it out with frozen berries, should be ok aye? If defrosted first? Another great idea that I make for my kids, is to just blend frozen bananas with frozen berries and a little bit of soy milk until creamy and ice cream like…..then eat immediately. Yum, thanks David.

    • Heather(eatwelleatgreen)

    I agree, if there’s no temptation to lick the canister clean, it’s just not worth the effort of making it in the first place. I’m curious, if you make this gorgeous looking dessert with rice milk, does it taste creamy like ice cream, or does it taste more like a sorbet?

    • David

    Emm: Yes, you can use frozen strawberries. Ones that are IQF (individually quick frozen) and unsweetened.

    Heather: I was surprised that the flavor of the soy milk ice cream wasn’t so great. I know there’s a difference in certain soy milk brands, so perhaps another one might have been better. But the rice milk hit the right flavors for me.

    When just-churned, it has a texture and flavor of smooth gelato, yet when frozen, it has a fruity, sherbet-like feel because of the reduced fat.

    • Mark

    Great looking ice cream. I never knew it could be made with non-dairy ingredients.

    • Catofstripes

    Thanks for a vegan recipe, I read your blog religiously to get ideas I can veganise but this is a treat. And you’re right about the honey, but we won’t go there!

    • Jessica @ How Sweet J

    The only vegan ice cream I have ever had has been made with young thai coconuts. Good to know you don’t have to use them since they cost an arm and a leg!

    • Scaret Pippin

    What a delicious looking ice-cream, I recently discovered your blog and it’s beautifully photographed food and great recipes and am really enjoying reading. Thanks!

    • Sarah

    Thanks for the post. As a person who is so lactose intolerant looking at gelato hospitalizes me I appreciate this post. I am going to try it this summer, which means, NOW

    • Tricia

    Like! Please keep posting on these vegan friendly YET tasty desserts!

    • Amy

    Almond milk is my FAVORITE non-dairy milk. It doesn’t have the beany flavor of soymilk, but is more creamy and robust in texture than rice milk. The almond flavor is very subtle, not overpowering at all. Think raw almonds, not marzipan! Right now, I love using it to make puddings.

    I’m not sure how available it is in France, but it’s becoming quite easy to find in the US. I have seen it at almost every grocery store in my area (Dallas/Fort Worth metro) near the organic milk and soy milk.

    Half almond milk, half coconut milk sounds like a good mix with strawberry!

    • sian

    This sounds great!
    I’m not vegan, but LOVE ice creams and try to cut my absurdly high double cream consumption and especially glad it uses rice milk, which I much prefer to soy.

    One question: is it sweetened or unsweetend rice milk? Some has insane amounts of sugar (equal to soda) and that would obviously affect recipe.

    In return: in exploring vegan and ‘raw’ options for ice cream, I discovered one of my all time favourites: cashew nut butter, water and medjool dates -blitzed and churned. That’s all. Can’t remember the measurements I thought worked best on top of my head , but have it written down at home if this is of interest…(Cashew nut butter you can get from health food shops)—you can even add cocoa powder for a very rich chocolate ice cream…

    • David

    sian: Yes, the recipe calls for ‘plain’ rice milk, without flavorings or sugar.

    Amy: There is almond milk here, I believe, but many people are allergic to nuts, so I used rice milk.

    Jessica: Young coconuts are great, but I can’t imagine most folks having access to them. Plus that’s quite a bit of labor!

    • kayenne

    hmm… how would a non-dairy creamer (that powdery thing they use for coffee) work in “enriching” this one?

    the only acceptable boxed soymilk i’ve tried so far is the Silk brand. the chocolate flavor doesn’t even taste like soymilk. i love fresh soymilk though… maybe that will work better?

    • Maddie

    I’ve been making boatloads of your ice cream in the past few weeks. The salted butter caramel, mint chip, and peach have all been fantastic! But even though I’m not vegan, I appreciate a lighter recipe every once in awhile…really, all these frozen treats are going to be my downfall otherwise. :)

    • JennyBakes

    It looks delicious. I never wanted to try substituting non-dairy ingredients because I was worried about the fat content, so this looks like a good place to start. I know you don’t want people to make changes, but strawberry season is already past here and I’m seeing a lot of peaches. Peaches don’t seem far from strawberries in water content, not like trying to substitute watermelon.. what do you think? :)

    • Tags

    Isn’t this really a strawberry-rice sorbet when it comes right down to it?

    • Meredith

    You should have been on Top Chef Masters! Art Smith got eliminated when he made a dessert for vegans and bought strawberry rice ice cream instead of making it himself. He said he didn’t feel comfortable making a vegan ice cream. One problem though- I thought vegans didn’t eat honey because its an animal product?

    • David

    Jenny: You could use peaches; I would peel & cook them first then puree them. Am not sure of the quantity without testing it myself, though ; )

    Tags: Sorbets don’t have any dairy (or on a technicality, perhaps one could stretch that to say dairy ‘like’?) products in them. Sherbets do, although Italian gelati sometimes only have fruit puree, milk, and sugar, similar to this.

    Yet you’re probably right, although I’m not sure if the definition of sorbet includes anything like rice. Maybe this could be called Vegan Strawberry Iced Rice Milk??

    • RJM

    Thanks for the recipe!
    But correction — there is no debate in the vegan community as to whether honey is vegan. It’s not; that’s a fact. While some people who identify as vegan do consume honey, and that is their own choice to make, it is not vegan.

    • David

    Hi RJM: I’m not the expert on vegan diets or veganism, so I yield that to others, but was interested in reading the various debates at Vegan Action and an interesting article on Slate, The Great Vegan Honey Debate. For that reason, I presented a version with honey and an alternative without.

    On a similar note, I was surprised when I toured a sugar refinery a few years ago and learned granulated sugar is filtered through bone char. The scientist leading the tour told me he was vegetarian, and that the sugar was indeed vegetarian.

    • Anna

    People seek variations on recipes for all sorts of reasons. Some of us have to consider health as well as taste (I use a low carb diet to maintain normal blood glucose instead of taking diabetes drugs, while at the same time I focus on foods that have a long tradition of supporting healthy populations, as well as limit processed “fake food” ingredients which are novel to the human diet).

    I understand ice cream isn’t considered a “health” food, but it need not be a “bad food”. Homemade ice cream certainly can be much a healthier indulgence than highly sweetened and artificially flavored commercial ice cream, esp when made with much lower amounts of sugar, as well as milk and cream from pastured dairy herds and rich egg yolks from pastured hens.

    Sometimes I make ice cream with coconut “milk” instead of dairy cream and milk. Coconut milk has a rich silky mouthfeel like cream as well as the fat I think ice cream needs (fat also slows the absorption of sugar into the blood stream and doesn’t create incredibly high BG spikes like low-fat ice cream and frozen yogurt does). I don’t use any soy analog foods, and the starch in rice “milk” wouldn’t meet my LC needs. I’ve made almond “milk” which I’d consider trying in homemade ice cream, but I wouldn’t use commercial almond milk as it’s too processed and full of additives and usually sweeteners. BTW, almond milk dates back a long time; it has a long history of used in the Middle East and Meditterean region as well as in Medieval European cooking on the many Holy Days that forbade dairy.

    One way I increase scoopability of homemade dairy ice cream is to reserve some of the heavy cream and softly whip it before folding it into the rest of the ingredients just before churning in the ice cream machine. This increases volume somewhat, so care must be taken not to overfill the freezer bowl or it will spill out as it expands during freezing. This way ice cream is scoobable after just a couple minutes out of the freezer – even when stored in my deep freeze (which at -15°F is much colder than my refrigerator freezer).

    • starman1695

    I think you need to find a new name for this concoction. Obviously, it’s not ice cream if it’s not made with cream.

    • Lydia

    Great post, the first sentence made me laugh. You made me feel better for not wanting to tinker with your recipes.

    I wish this was available a couple of weeks ago when I tried to make strawberry ice cream- I made it with cornstarch instead of eggs just to see, and the resulting ice cream was rock hard. A veritable brick. Why would that be? I thought that cornstarch worked as a stabilizer too, and it was Mark Bittman’s recipe.

    Anyway, thanks for being my ice cream guru.

    • David

    starman1695: I, too, am amused when people put chicken on a salad and call it a “Chicken Caesar”, serve an espresso that’s far more than a tablespoon of liquid, or use cooked vegetables (or a worse infraction to the Provencal: grilled tuna!) on a salade Niçoise.

    However in some instances, names get tweaked because certain foods are modified to meet dietary guidelines. For this case, I tend follow our neighbors in Italy at the gelaterias, whose definition is perhaps more expansive than those used elsewhere as well as their ice creams (gelati) have less butterfat, and often only use milk, or soy milk, as I recently saw on my trip to Rome.

    • Vicki

    Fantastic recipe! Will give it a try for the dairy sensitive grandchildren. This should make their day.

    • Kat

    Since, as you say, “If you change the ingredients in a recipe, results will vary,” I hope you’ll humor this question!
    I was looking through all your ice cream recipes last night, and noticed the recurring amount of egg yolks was five. I have my own hens, and they lay very large eggs. Ridiculously large eggs, actually. So I was wondering last night, as I drooled all over my computer screen, how many grams (or ounces, if you prefer) 5 egg yolks should be?
    Thanks so much!

    • Foodiebia

    I thought you wrote “Fools often ask why chunks of fruit freeze too hard in ice creams.” As it turns out, that’s essentially what you meant anyway.

    • Lauren Wall

    Looks amazing David! We have been buying beautiful organic strawberries at our local farmers’ market and have been eating them as is (in all their pure glory), but if I start to get bored I will give this recipe a try. I made coconut milk ice cream not long ago during my vegan kick, but it was too intense for me. I’ll make sure to try rice milk next time:)

    • Joy

    Thanks for the tips. I am glad you used rice milk instead of soy. I like the flavor of rice milk more than soy.

    • Jeanne Y

    Awesome!!! Ice cream + strawberries = deliciousness. And the fact that it’s vegan is pretty great, too.

    As an aside, I also find it ridiculous when people tinker with recipes… only to complain later that the recipe came out not to their satisfaction. Oh le sigh, I say! :D

    • Charlotte

    thanks for the recipe! I can’t digest cow’s milk very well so this is appreciated. I’m looking to make ice cream with goat’s milk ( contrary to believe farm fresh goat milk is not goaty tasting). Anyway, my ice cream will be of a custard base but I’m not going to use cream. I don’t want to use any gum stabilizes. David have you used or anyone else used arrowroot powder to thicken ice cream bases?

    • Natalie Yasmin

    The color on this ice cream is breathtaking!

    Food is magic, and yet writings about food can often be boring. You manage to make the experience of reading about food as wonderful as actually consuming it (well, almost!).

    After reading a series of your ice cream recipes, I walked out of my office and announced (to no one in particular), “I MUST get an ice cream maker! I NEED an ice cream maker!” and then retreated to back to my desk to search for one on Amazon.

    And crazy as it sounds, after a rough day, this recipe just made my day a little bit sweeter. Thanks.

    • Larrian

    I found adding 1/3 cup powdered milk keeps everything very smooth in churned ice cream.

    • Caitlin

    I read every post you put up. Since I am indeed one of those vegans that means it’s mostly for the witty and hilarious writing and maybe to see if I can veganize something. So to see something I can make, no adjustments necessary, is wonderful. A nice surprise on a blistering hot day. Like Natalie, I feel the need to go track down an ice cream maker now.

    • Caroline

    Hello, I was wondering what kind of containers do you normally use to store your ice cream in? I see that you use plastic here, will any plastic do? What about glass and metal? I’m not sure which to use…

    Thanks for answering!

    • Lesley

    The strawberry vegan icecream has a beautiful color. I just read an interesting article on sugars and thought I’d pass it along:
    I am not a vegan, or even a vegetarian, and I like my sugar straight up, sugar. The article on sugars is defininately food for thought.
    I do appreciate you experimenting and then allowing us the benefit of your experience! If I was going to try any recipe for vegan icecream, it would be yours.

    • Kendra

    Vegan strawberry ice cream from David Lebovitz? Be still my heart. I cannot wait to try this! Thanks for something amazing for us vegans!! :)

    • Rachel @ Working Out Wellness

    This ice cream looks great, but I’m not sure I’m willing to give up my non-vegan, milk-laden ice cream just yet. I do love the beautiful pink color that resulted from the combination of strawberries with the other ingredients.

    • Hannah

    Ooh, I definitely like the sound of swapping out some of the rice milk with coconut milk… but I think I’ll stick to the exact recipe you’ve put here. We we all know that David Lebovitz is the Ice Cream Master… so why mess with perfection?

    • jen

    gracious i think my heart just skipped a beat. can’t wait to try this, thank you!

    • Faith (Culinary Conquests)

    Is it possible to use yoghurt as substitute for the dairy? Is that how they make yoghurt ice cream?

    Thanks for this, something to do during the weekend!

    • Arturo


    Usually I would scale it at 1 oz per yolk.. for standard sized Lg eggs

    • Cinzia

    I don’t digest cow milk and I usually drink soya or rice milk.
    This is a fantastic recipe and I love strawberries…even though in Italy we cannot find locals anymore in July.
    I’ll certainly make this ice cream with liquor. Can I use Italian Amaretto?

    • Jo-an Jenkins

    I have a young niece allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts, so this non diary ice cream is a gem! However, cakes (especially birthday cakes) are still a challenge. The Silver Palette cookbook (circa 1985) offered a no egg applesauce cake made in a ring pan which has been wonderful, but are there any other tasty possibilities?

    • David

    To those inquiring about substitutions for the rice milk, you can likely swap out any dairy or non-dairy alternative that you like for it. Since I haven’t tried them, as mentioned, I can’t say for sure whether or not they will work or not.

    The liquor is there to inhibit freezing, so it’s not too firm, but you can omit or or use another favorite flavor. (I served this last night and everyone loved it!)

    If you want to experiment, you could cut the recipe in half and give it a try to see if it works to your liking. If you have success with other non-dairy (or dairy) alternatives, please feel free to share in the comments.

    • Robert

    I’m on a mission to find the best, low-cost substitute for Grand Marnier. Many drink and food recipes call for orange liqueur and, at $35 a bottle, using this name brand can quickly get expensive. Do you have a recommendation? I’d enjoy reading more about this popular but pricey ingredient.

    • Andrea

    Thanks for the interesting article on vegans and honey.

    As a beekeeper with three hives I can’t understand where this thing about the bees’ pain is coming from – they are not kept like dairy cows or battery hens as they determine themselves how many bees live in any one hive.
    They like dark enclosed spaces, large enough to expand into during the summer and small enough to keep comfortably warm during the winter.
    I look after my girls in a very caring and responsible way, as every beekeeper should. It’s a lovely and challenging hobby – they teach me patience and humility – and I would do it even if there was no honey in it for me. The bees’ wellbeing is my utmost concern and they fare a lot better in my care than they would do in the wild. In fact, a swarm departing from the hive into the English countryside has hardly any chance of survival these days. It’s a fun challenge to learn to ‘think’ like a bee and try to interpret and anticipate their needs to make life easier for them and help them do their thing at their best.
    I agree, there is a lot of irresponsible large-scale exploitative honey production going on out there which needs to be addressed the same way as battery eggs and industrial dairy production. The way to enjoy honey is to buy it from small reputable producers or hobby beekeepers or even better, become my friend and get a jar for Christmas.

    • David

    Robert: Your local liquor store may have a less-expensive brand on offer. Triple Sec is somewhat similar, but sweeter and less-intense, so to me, it’s not much of a bargain. I’ve also seen recipes for homemade orange liqueur online, which you might want to try, but haven’t tried making them myself.

    • Tags

    If a bee swallowing nectar makes honey an animal product, then there is no such thing as vegan food because as soon as someone swallows a plant it is mixed with digestive juices.

    As much as they may hate to admit it, vegans are just as much animals as bees.

    • AC

    Fantastic point about the water in strawberries. Thanks for the tip. That helps alot!

    • Annie

    So very well said. One of my least favorite things about food blogging is the incessant questions about whether something can be substituted with something else. Results will vary, people! I agree, a tattoo may be the only way to get the message across.

    • David

    Annie: One of the things I like about the blog is the feedback I get from people, and also the questions help me when creating future recipes. Yet sometimes I find the posts becoming a list of what you can and can’t substitute in the recipe, instead of a story I’d rather tell about the dish itself of its background.

    So I always welcome comments and feedback, and like it, although I need to figure out how to integrate all the information and anticipate questions that people might have.

    • Ggcc789

    Vegans don’t think they’re not animals. They just don’t want to consume foods produced by other animals. The digestive juices our bodies make aren’t in our food; they’re combined with food after we eat it

    I should hope that, with the exception of breast milk, even us non-vegans would avoid food that comes from the bodies of other humans. What would that be, except cannibalism or the consumption of human by-products?

    • Irina

    Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious. I do have a problem, though: rice milk is totally unavailable here in Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina. Would you happen to have a recipe for homemade rice milk? The one’s I’ve found online don’t seem too trustworthy.
    Thanks in advance!

    • Karen

    Hi David,

    What are your thoughts on using coconut milk for dairy free ice cream? I love it! :)

    • Gavrielle

    Re the results may vary phenomenon: other than the obvious issues about the health impact of certain ingredients, I wonder if this is in any way a cultural thing? As a non-American (New Zealander) myself, I’ve noticed that one of the cornerstones of American eating out culture seems to be choice. Can I get that with another dressing? Without the tuna? Etc. Plus millions of different options on a menu. So it’s natural that they’d bring the same approach to a recipe.

    On the other hand, of course, it might just be the cook’s natural inclination to tinker. I always make a recipe as listed the first time, but after that it’s open season.

    • veganista

    You just made me cry…Thank you.

    • David

    Karen: Coconut milk is great.

    Irina: I’ve not made rice milk, since it’s pretty easy to buy wherever I’ve lived. You can use another non-dairy alternative, such as almond milk, depending on what’s available. Normally large cities have health food stores that carry it, or perhaps you can find it online.

    Gavrielle: Yes, we Americans have become ‘customizers’, especially in restaurants. Perhaps it’s because of the plethora of choices, but many friends I eat with who come to Paris see something like “Poulet aux légumes” (chicken with vegetables) on the menu, and they wan to know “What piece of chicken will it be?”, “How is it cooked?”, “What vegetables are they?”, “Can I get the sauce on the side?”…etc.

    I explored this a bit more in depth in The Sweet Life in Paris, since it’s not a rare occurrence & most people in France, dining in restaurants, just accept what they’re given. Even funnier was I had dinner with a French friend recently, who’s been living in New York for twenty years, and he wanted sauce on the side, and was asking all those same questions, too.

    • Bee

    I wonder if you could substitute the honey with rice syrup? Naturalia sells it and there would be no vegan debate.

    Thank you so much for your blog – I am an avid reader – especially when I should really be working instead…

    • edward tomlin

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am going to make this tonight!

    • Susan

    Hi David,
    I can’t wait to make this recipe and my addiction to your mint chip ice cream has earned me quite the reputation with the mint vendor at the local market. Can you tell me if you bought the Cuisinart ICE-50BC here in France? Apologies if you’ve posted about this before. I couldn’t find it in your archives and I’ve looked at French commerce sites on line but no luck. I did find it on Amazon for $119 – a fantastic deal! Just wondering if I need to haul out one of those heavy transformers and suck it up for the postage.

    And apropos of nothing to do with this post: if you have a friend or trusted courier visiting my area of Provence, the prune sauvage in my garden has reached Guinness capacity. There really is only so much jam one can make… please someone take some of these plums! I’m fruit frugal and I hate to see them go to waste. There’s a photo of the tree on my site.

    • Liz

    THANK YOU!! I have your ice cream cookbook, and the recipes in it are fantastic. I know that ice cream is one of your specialties. I know that it is very difficult to get satisfactory results without using rich ingredients. I also sympathize with you about people mucking up your hard work by focusing on substitutions instead of accepting that some creations must stand as they are intended.

    With that said, however, I must thank you from the bottom of my heart for developing a recipe for those of us who need to severely curtail our ingestion of cream and sugar. A David Lebovitz recipe for an ice creamy deliciousness was one of the things I wished for whenever the first stars popped out in the summer night sky. Thank you again!

    • Dawn (KitchenTravels)

    David, I think I love you. *Bisous* for this!

    @Faith – I can’t digest pasteurized cow’s milk, so I’ve been experimenting with lots of milk/cream alternatives lately in my new ice cream maker… coconut milk, goat milk (regular/condensed), goat milk yogurt. It’s been an education. If you substitute yogurt of any sort, your ice cream will be much more tangy. The freezing does not really diminish the tartness of the yogurt too much. But with the strawberries, that might actually be really tasty. I’m imagining a little extra brown sugar in the mix, maybe? The chocolate frozen yogurt/ice cream recipe I churned up recently had a lovely texture. Good luck!

    • dani

    Just wondering if you thought to try almond milk in place of the soy.. and if you had why wouldn’t you use it instead. I think it’s far creamier than soy and definitely creamier than rice, but my fav commercial non dairy ice cream is made w/ coconut – I think it’s the closest to to the mouth feel of real ice cream, the only “problem” is that it has a distinct coconut flavour.

    • corey

    This sounds great and the picture of it look fantastic. It’s strawberry season here so I am definitely going to give this recipe a try!

    • Lisa in Seattle

    Not to be the word police, but would you still name it ice cream? Cream being the word in question.

    Please read my previous comment concerning that. -dl

    • Karin (an alien parisienne)

    This recipe and photos are beautiful. As a non-dairy consumer, I appreciate this post and appreciate the spirit in which it is given. Thank you so much!

    (Now all I need is an ice-cream/ice-yum [see below] maker… I’m visiting my friend in the south of France soon, though, and she has one. I think we’re going to have to make this while I am there. YUM.)

    A wee comment about this side topic:

    “Yet sometimes I find the posts becoming a list of what you can and can’t substitute in the recipe, instead of a story I’d rather tell about the dish itself of its background.”

    I have multiple food intolerances, and read recipes all the time, thinking, “How can I adapt this recipe so that I can eat it?” It’s not a choice. I have to do it. Tweaking is how new inventions are made, and how recipes evolve. I think tweaking is great.

    As for people who ask the question, “Can I use Ingredient X, Y, and Z instead?” I kind of want to say, “You know what? No one designated David Lebovitz (or any other food blogger) as Food Lord, and YOU are just as empowered as him to make things in your kitchen, so in the immortal words of just about every Rob Schneider and Adam Sandler movie: JUST DOOO EEEET!”

    Power to the People!!

    It’s not like someone is breaking the law if they try a new ingredient in a recipe. I don’t think you have Recipe Police at the ready to break down people’s doors if they don’t follow your recipes to a T, do you, David? *looks over shoulder, cautiously, as I type*

    Try it. Just figure out what a substitution might be, give it a shot, and try it. If it fails, oh well. You just learned what will and what won’t work!

    I have to do this a lot. I have made some spectacular failures, most of which I eat anyway since I went to the time and expense of making it. And my food budget is pathetically slim, so I feel obligated to eat what I make on those grounds, too. My only suggestion: take notes while you cook and write down what you put in and how it comes out so you don’t screw it up the next time if it turns out like crap.

    (However, apparently since people think you are Food Lord, David, and you have the power, I suggest you re-name this and all other frozen dessert creations “Ice Yum.” ;-) )

    ((Oooohhhh, I just previewed this comment and it is blommenty. *blushes* What can I say. I’m responsive to what you write and what others comment. :) It’s not meant to be obnoxious.))

    • Karin (an alien parisienne)

    P.S. Hot damn!

    You think of *everything*, I swear.

    I just noted that one of your links is “How To Make Ice Cream [Yum] Without a Machine.”

    You rock. *off to figure out how to make ice cream/yum without a machine*

    • sweets

    Wow.. This is great! Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love.

    • Seanna Lea

    I will have to keep this recipe in mind for next year’s ice cream party. I’m always looking for a few alternatives to the dairy for my lactose-intolerant friends.

    By the way, I made your candied bacon ice cream with bacon from a local farmer’s market and it was a huge hit.

    • Erin

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog every since I came across your book (The Sweet Life in Paris). I am vegan and have veganized some of your recipes to suit my needs.

    What a great surprise to visit today and see a recipe for vegan strawberry ice cream! Thanks so much for doing what you do.

    • berlin

    That looks nice. The perfect summer ice cream. I will definitely try this tomorrow. Also your photos are very convincing. And I really like your blog. Go on like this…

    -Greetz from Berlin

    • Jung

    I suspect my son is lactose intolerant and I’ve put him on a lactose free diet. He’s been lamenting the fact that he can no longer eat ice cream so we are very excited to try out this dairy free recipe topped with your fabulously rich bittersweet chocolate sauce (also dairy free). This is good timing as strawberry season just kicked in northern Australia and we’ve just been strawberry picking. My local organic produce shop just started to stock Isolsa bio rice drink as well. However, they only stock a version flavored with vanilla. Do you think that the added vanilla would work in this recipe? Otherwise, they have rice and nut combinations (almond, hazelnut, coconut), which from all the comments above, seem like good substitutes.

    Thanks so much for this recipe. Please continue to post these “alternative” recipes for those of us with dietary restrictions/preferences. BTW, I agree with you about the name. The whole point of this recipe, as I see it, is too invoke a sense that by substituting we are not missing out on some of our favorite foods like ice cream. If I told my son that I made frozen strawberry rice milk, I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t want to eat it.

    • David

    You could use a vanilla-flavored rice milk, although I didn’t try it because I wanted to ensure the strawberry flavor was the most dominant. But sometimes I put vanilla in strawberry ice cream mixtures, so give it a try. Let me know how it works out.

    Also although I used Isola rice milk, I’m sure there are others that are good, too. So feel free to try another one, depending on what’s available.

    • Rene

    You can boil cut up strawberries in some strawberry puree (I did half cut up strawberries and half pureed strawberries) for about 5-7 minutes to remove some of the water. It’ll concentrate the flavor and prevent the chunks from freezing all the way :).

    • lee

    Could you please make a post telling us what is in a proper salade Niçoise? I am very curious.

    On another note, I thought I hated Sherbets until I made one based on a recipe of yours made with fresh plump berries and whole milk. I have found decent store bought sorbets, but the stuff that sells as Sherbet is often just evil.

    There isn’t really any fixed method for making a salad Niçoise but as Jacques Médecin says in his book, Cuisine Niçoise, considered the bible of Niçoise cooking, he says to never, ever put cooked potatoes or any cooked vegetables in the salad. Canned tuna (not grilled or fresh tuna) or anchovies may also be used; but those are optional. All the ingredients in salade Niçoise, except the hard-cooked eggs, should be raw. -dl

    • Diana @ frontyardfoodie

    Beautiful! What a wonderful color. I would agree agave probably wouldn’t be the best although I personally can’t really handle cane sugar so I’d probably use more maple syrup or something. Don’t judge me for the flavor!

    • amusette

    This looks fantastic…love the non-dairy twist! Thanks so much … I’m definitely going to give it a whirl using homemade almond milk…

    • DebG

    I started with the best of intentions – I was going to make this without variation, exactly as posted. But… when I had macerated the strawberries, and liquidised them with kirsch and cassis, it tasted so damn good I couldn’t bear to add the milk and risk losing that full-on strawberry flavour. So it turned into a stupendous strawberry sorbet. Wow and thank you (and next time I will use the rice milk I bought…).

    • Tucker Sweitzer

    Hi David,

    A friend of mine recommended your blog a month before my partner and I traveled to France in mid June. Reading it stoked my enthusiasm for our trip and continues to inspire and inform me afterward. Thanks for posting your experiences and inspiring recipes, I really enjoy them!

    This weekend I made your Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream for friends who are lactose intolerant and would like to report that it is a great dessert! I thought you and your readers might be interested in my experience preparing it as it answers a number of their questions.

    In purchasing ingredients I inadvertently bought vanilla flavored Rice Milk and can report that the strawberry flavor was in no way compromised by the vanilla in the rice milk. I used 3 TBS of Framboise in my production and used the honey/raw sugar combo for sweetening.

    I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker and in making this recipe found that the mixture didn’t thicken as readily as conventional ice creams. Undeterred, I poured the preparation into a plastic container and finished freezing it in my freezer. I continued to be concerned that it took a VERY long time to set up. So every couple hours I beat up the slowly firming mixture to break up the crystals in the hope of creating a creamy consistency. By the next morning the ice cream was firm, though I remained suspicious of the texture. Perhaps 3 TBS of Framboise was too much.

    By dessert time, I removed the ice cream from the freezer and allowed it to stand for 15 or so minutes to let in soften to gelato scooping consistency. The result turned out to be intensely strawberry flavored with a consistency somewhere between sherbet and granita. On a sweltering evening it was absolutely refreshing and delicious. Perhaps it is not ice cream, but my friends LOVED it. I think it is a recipe worth repeating. Thanks!

    • David

    Hi Tucker: Glad you liked it! That was a lot of liquor so that’s likely the reason it didn’t freeze so well. Because rice milk has a lot less fat than heavy cream, it should freeze quite well. Thanks for the report on the vanilla-flavored rice milk working out well, too.

    • Tagan Engel

    Hi David.
    Thanks for your great writing and recipes. It is always a joy to read your work (and fun).
    Nice strawberry ice cream recipe! I also posted a vegan strawberry ice cream on my food blog, . I used coconut milk which added a richness to it, and a little lemon zest and juice.

    I just got a saveur mag email with your easiest chocolate ice cream recipe. I posted it on my blog, I hope you don’t mind. If you do, let me know and I’ll remove it. It’s always nice to share recipes that are gadget free.

    Thanks! Tagan

    • Kyle Eid

    I enjoy reading your blog and have made several of your recipes- delish!! My kids LOVED the strawberry frozen yogurt and I make your vanilla frozen yogurt all the time. We are living in Amman and sometimes we have to make things we would just buy out in the States!

    Do you have or know a spumoni recipe? We lived in Brooklyn for years and were able to get freshly made on the premises spumoni. I can’t seem to find a good recipe on line. Our favorite place made vanilla (which has almonds in it) and pistachio and chocolate. If you have a recipe or any tips on making spumoni- I would greatly appreciate it!

    • Cynthia


    I recently went vegan and though I have a wonderful vegan cookbook, it does not have a recipe for ice cream, so THANK YOU for this, especially because I know it has been tested and put together by someone like you. To be honest, I was very surprised when I saw this in your archives.

    On a different note, I guess you could call it rice cream? (in regards to the semantics of “vegan ice cream”)

    • lainie

    Looks lovely. . .I would love to try this with almond milk. . .I think the flavor would be wonderful!

    I do a lot of baking for vegan bake sales and have done a lot of research on what’s vegan, etc. Honey is not, but as you said, you can do a substitute if needed and there is the sugar issue. . not sure how sugar is processed in France but here, lots of the larger manufacturer’s process their sugar for whiteness using bone char. . .which I know you mentioned above. Here is a helpful list of which companies use or don’t use the process:

    • Mariel

    I made this for my good friend last week for her birthday. She has a dairy allergy (NOT lactose intolerance), so I was very happy to see this recipe. Ice cream is the one thing she says she really misses, so this was perfect to try! I did 1/3 soy creamer (I could have done 1/2 but I wanted to add more flavors), 1/3 plain rice milk, and 1/3 almond milk. It was VERY yummy. I also added 2 tsp. Triple Sec because that was the only “flavored” liquor I had, and it was really good. I was worried about the Triple Sec at first but the texture of the “ice cream” was really good. Thanks for the recipe! I will try this with peaches next!


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