Raw Cashew "Ice Cream"...and a Chocolate Version. If you can believe it, we have been having some really warm weather. After having our first official frost a week or so ago, the weather suddenly turned warm... and even hit 90 degs. F! So, of course it was time for ice cream:).
This is a simple "ice cream" to make... dairy and egg-free. I know, I know, you wouldn't think that it would be possible to make ice cream without the dairy... but this "ice cream" was really delicious! Have you ever tried this version of cashew "ice cream" before? Well, it's slowly become pretty popular to use cashews as a base for quite a few recipes... especially as a substitute for dairy. Raw cashews are used to make cashew "butter", cashew "milk", cashew "cream", cashew "cheese"... and even cashew "ice cream".
Because the raw cashew nuts don't really have much flavor in themselves, and because they are quite fatty, they lend themselves to being used as a substitute for cream or even butter. You can actually use the cashew cream for many savory sauces... especially great in Indian dishes. And ever since I came across the idea of using raw cashews in a variety of dishes, I've wanted to try using them in at least one recipe. I thought I would give the cashew ice cream a go... as I really wouldn't mind having a good healthy recipe for cashew ice cream.
This is one ice cream, I'll be making again. My husband LOVED this chocolate version... said it reminded him somewhat of Nutella. I can see how...nuts and cacao are sort of similar to the Nutella ingredients. Well, sort of.
This cashew ice cream can get to be a bit more expensive than normal ice cream...raw cashews aren't exactly inexpensive... but it does offer a healthy alternative to regular ice cream. And if you are lactose intolerant, this might be a great substitution. You can soak the cashews overnight to maximize the nutrition, but you can also make it un-soaked. While I like the plain version, I MUCH preferred the chocolate:). I am now thinking of making an almond version. Hope you enjoy...
Note: If you’re not using a high-speed blender( I use a Vita-Mix) you may want to strain the cashew milk(cashews and water) before adding the sweetener and other ingredients....though I don't think it is necessary, unless you want a very smooth ice cream.
You will need: initially inspired by The Purple Carrot
Cashew Ice Cream Base:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked or not*
2 cups water
1/2-3/4 cup maple syrup**
1-2 TBS honey**
pinch of salt, the salt actually brings all the flavors together
2 tsps vanilla
* You can soak the nuts in water for a minimum of 4 hours or over-night.
* *you could use any sweetener of choice here...to taste...I'm thinking even dates will work.
Add-ins: Chocolate Version
2 TBS dark cacao
2-3 TBS shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts, or other nuts
1/3 cup chopped chocolate, or use mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped dried cherries, or other fruits, optional
1 TBS chambord, optional
Making the cashew ice cream base:
1. Blend everything in a blender until smooth.....you can first blend the cashews and water... and then add the rest of the ingredients, tasting and adjusting for sweetness.
2. Pour cashew mixture in an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions.
3. Freeze for a couple of hours before serving for best results.
~Freezing for overnight will make the ice cream hard and texture a bit more icy....it's still good, but different.~
Making the Chocolate Version:
1. Add the add-ins the last 5 minutes of churning....making sure everything is mixed in. I chose to add the cacao with the other add-ins. But you can add the cacao to the ice cream base first, if you like.
~ If you simply want a chocolate version without the add-ins, opt to add the cacao with the cashew ice cream base...blend till smooth and pour in ice cream maker.~