Raw Vegan Ice Cream

My request for my birthday was an ice cream maker so that I can start to make raw vegan ice cream. I was never a big ice cream person because the heavy dairy never sat well with me, but since trying the coconut and cashew based ice creams, I’m now an ice cream convert!

I wanted to get one of the ice cream makers that uses ice and salt so that I can use it even when our freezer is really full. Also, when my father was given the Cuisinart ice cream maker that you frequently see in stores, it didn’t work well for sugar-free ice creams at all. Because it used the method where the entire bowl goes in the freezer, it just didn’t get cold enough to really solidify the ice cream so it stayed soupy.

After some research, I decided that the Hamilton Beach model would give me the most bang for the buck. Since I’m not planning to make ice cream all the time, I wanted to pick a reasonably priced machine and I settled on this one.

It took me a while to get the rock salt that’s required for the machine. I realized after requesting a salt-working machine that I didn’t know what type of salt I would need! I did a lot of research on it and it was frustrating. Ultimately, I just bought some of the salt that people would put on the sidewalk in the winter but found one that didn’t have additional chemicals in it.

Finally organized to get the ice cream party started, I asked my husband what flavour he wanted me to make first. He kept saying strawberry, which I’m not particularly keen to make straight away, so I persuaded him to choose from one of the following Vice Cream recipes that also appealed to my own taste buds.

My main picks were:

  • Black Forest
  • Pecan Pie
  • Maple Walnut
  • Maple Pecan
  • Chocolate
  • Cherry Garcia

He picked Black Forest which works for me! I didn’t have a chance to pick up frozen cherries so I ended up soaking some dried cherries in advance instead. So here’s my version of the Vice Cream recipe:

Raw Vegan Black Forest Ice cream:

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, soaked in water until plump
  • 2 cup purified water
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for about 4 hours
  • 1 cup coconut syrup (agave or maple syrup would also work)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • pinch of Himalayan salt
Method:
  1. Blend your soaked cashews and water in the blender or food processor to make a smooth milk. Add the cocoa, salt and coconut syrup and blend until silky smooth.
  2. Place the mixture in the freezer for 40 minutes to 1 hour or in fridge over night. (I went with over night.)
  3. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturers instructions. Once ready, remove the cover and blade from the ice cream maker and fold in the cherries, distributing evenly. Serve immediately or transfer to containers and store in freezer till ready to use.

I think it came out really well! I might have been able to get the cashews just a tiny bit smoother if I had blended it for longer but it’s definitely tasty. The cherries are the best part. I like ice cream that has *stuff* in it. I’m looking forward to feeding some to my hubby later on when he gets home.

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