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Lemon Basil Ice Cream

I lead a double life.

Worker bee, wife, friend and mother by day.

Foodblogger, tweeter and recipe dreamer-upper by night.

That’s how it feels sometimes when I get together with old friends. The ones I’ve known forever. The pre-food sensitivity, pre-foodblogger, just plain old Nancy friends. The ones I get to see face-to-face.

I have another life—one that revolves around this food blog. One that includes you and my friends on Twitter and the other folks who write the blogs I love to visit. The friends I don’t get to see face-to-face.

I talk about many of the same things to my friends in both worlds: food and food sensitivities and gluten-free recipes and everything in between and around those subjects. I share what my husband likes to eat, what my son is doing, the latest antics of the little dogs.

There’s a dividing line between those worlds—sort of like the Mississippi River. One riverbank never touches the other riverbank. My double life.

Those two worlds are about to collide. In a few short weeks I’ll be at the Big Summer Potluck (organized by Maggy of Three Many Cooks and Erika of The Ivory Hut). There a gathering of mostly NE foodbloggers will spend the day together talking food and blogs. I’m excited about the content (guest speaker Alice from Savory Sweet Life), the venue, and connecting with cool foodbloggers, some of whom I’ve been talking to online for ages (that’s you Jeanne and Amber!!)

This is going to be a blast!

While I muse about colliding worlds I’m doing what any self-respecting food blogger would do—I’m savoring some Lemon Basil Ice Cream. It’s a creamy bright lemon-ice flavored confection suitable for a hot summer night and an evening of pondering riverbanks and meeting up with friends from faraway places.


Lemon Basil Ice Cream


Combine in a medium saucepan and heat until all the sugar is dissolved (do not boil):

1 can coconut milk (not lite)

1/2 cup purified water

3/4 cups sugar

pinch of salt


Remove from the heat and add:

1/4 cup washed basil leaves


Let the basil and coconut milk steep, off of the stove, for about 45-60 minutes.


Remove the leaves (I poured the liquid through a fine sieve) and whisk in:

1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)

4 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 of the lemons)


Chill in your refrigerator in a glass or ceramic bowl overnight or long enough (maybe 4-6 hours) for it to become very cold. Process it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

I originally finely chopped some additional basil leaves and added them to the chilled mixture because I love the green speckles. Although it looked pretty I didn’t enjoy the feeling of the basil pieces on my tongue.


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Reader Comments (12)

Looks like another winner, Nancy! Have fun at the Big Summer Potluck. What fun!

This looks amazing! I add basil to EVERYTHING! It is my favorite herb to play with! And lemon ice cream and lemon yogurt are about the only kind I eat. In my world, this recipe looks like a winner!! Must. Try. Soon. ;0)

This ice cream looks delicious...and easy. (except for waiting for it to be
Take lots of great pictures and let us all know how the bloggers event goes. I'm sure that it will be a great deal of fun.

Jul 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I can't imagine what this might taste like. . .guess I will have to try it! Looks beautiful.

Have fun at the potluck and enjoy BOTH lives! :)

Jul 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Heather - thanks! I am so looking forward to putting the faces together with the Twitter @names and foodblogs.

Kim - we have basil in the garden. I sometimes just pick one leaf to experience the aroma. Basil and rosemary are my two favorite herbs.

Jessica - I cheated a bit and put the lemon cream mixture in the freezer for a bit before churning. I let it cool thoroughly in the fridge first. It's just so hard to wait!

Ricki - it's like lemon heaven! I used organic lemons and the flavor was outstanding!!

Jul 17, 2010 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

This looks like a great dessert. I love using basil, but never thought of it with ice cream. Thanks for the creativity.

Jul 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDan @ BasilBasics

Thanks for posting this recipe - new ice cream ideas are are on my must-do list, and this just looks amazing!

Jul 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteroffmotorway

Just reporting back that this ice cream turned out so so amazing!! It is (well was - all gone now) so refreshing! The kids both even really liked it (which surprised me since they do not usually like the lemon yogurt that I make). I am going to make this for my Mother-In-Law next weekend - she loves lemon and basil even more than I do!

Kim - Yay!! I'm glad you guys liked it. *happy dance*

Jul 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler

It is so nice to connect with other people who get it, isn't it? I loved meeting you!
And this ice cream is brilliant. What a fantastic combo!

Aug 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Hi I just stumbled onto this randomly after spending the morning hunting inspiration in various foodblogs... was just curious if the coconut flavor from the milk comes thru very much... or does the freezing tone it down?

Aug 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBaw

Baw - Since I just finished off a batch last night I can say I don''t think the coconut flavor came through at all. I suspect the lemon and basil is strong enough to cover it. I often wonder if my perception of flavors has adjusted as much as my diet has. You might just have to try it and let me know what you think.

Aug 25, 2010 | Registered CommenterNancy Kohler
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