2 (15 ounce) cans high quality coconut milk (should be thick when opened)
1 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
3 tablespoons baker's cocoa, optional
1. Start by finding a large bowl for storage and placing it in the freezer overnight. (Freezing a bowl and refrigerating the base prior to mixing is essential for a smooth texture.)
2. Pour coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla into a blender, and blend. If using cocoa, place cocoa powder in a small bowl. Slowly spoon out coconut milk mixture 1 teaspoon at a time into cocoa powder and mix well.
3. When powder fully dissolves, pour cocoa mixture into blender as well. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until creamy and smooth.
4. Refrigerate for several hours before preparing per instructions on ice cream maker. Dish into frozen storage bowl and place back in freezer.
The secret behind ice cream is its fat content; the more fat, the creamier the ice cream. Some of the best ice creams are made with heavy cream and even some half and half. The only vegan substitute that even comes close to this is coconut milk. Different brands vary in quality, so look for ones with a high fat content which are already creamy when opened and/or contain a thick "butter" layer on top.
This recipe can be used as a base for any other flavor. As it stands, it's written out for chocolate-almond ice cream, the extract can be adjusted or substituted for taste.
Source of recipe: I used to love creating ice cream when I still ate dairy. This is the closest thing I can come up with as a vegan that still keeps the same general principle of traditional ice cream.