When I have a free minute, I occasionally visit the forums over at the Raw Freedom Community looking for inspiration. I found just that the other day when Andy posted his recipe for a vanilla ice cream base. I mulled over the idea for a while, trying to find time to sit down and make it. I did today, and it was amazing!
This ice cream is high in fat due to the cashews and coconut oil, but it’s WAY better for you than that tripe you’re buying in the grocery store. No refined sugar, no dairy products, and no cooking make this treat *almost* good for you, or at least healthy enough that you won’t feel too guilty after eating it.
My ice cream maker is the Cuisinart ICE-20, which you can get at Amazon for about $50. This is by far the best ice cream maker I’ve ever used, yielding consistently good results. Your mileage may vary with other machines.
If you like this recipe, I recommend that you drop into the thread where this recipe was originally posted and say thanks to the creator!
So without further ado, I give you:
- 1 cup cashews, (no need to soak)
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup raw agave
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup raisins, (This is the secret ingredient that imparts the rich/buttery flavor)
- 1 whole vanilla bean, cut in half and scrape out the seeds (or you can use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cacao butter or coconut oil, or young coconut meat (I used coconut)
- Take all the above ingredients and blend in Vitamix for one minute, until everything is blended smoothly. Next, run your base through a cheesecloth, catching all of the particles and making your base is super smooth. .
- At this point, it is best to 'pre-chill' the mixture. If you simply dump the mixture into the ice cream maker now, it won't set up properly, and it will be less firm than even soft serve. Place it in the fridge for a few hours, or if you've gotta gave that ice cream ASAP, put the mixture in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. You want it to be cool, but not to the point where ice crystals are starting to form. (SPECIAL NOTE: do not use the ice cream maker 'bowl' to do the pre-cooling. The base will freeze to the bowl, and the batch will be ruined.)
- When the mixture is sufficiently cool, pour it into your ice cream maker. It should take about 30 minutes to reach the ideal consistency. Eat immediately, or stash in an airtight container to freeze for later. If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can simply freeze the mixture in ice cube trays.
- See below for variations.
Andy recommends these additions:
- Carob (about 2 Tbsp)
- Cocoa nibs (a small handful)
- Raw cacao powder mixed with cocoa butter
He notes: "The exact quantity of each of the above ingredients will vary based on taste and the quality/moisture content of your ingredients, but I usually add anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup total volume at this stage in the game."
Once you've added any additional ingredients, toss everything back into your Vitamix (which you've rinsed out to get rid of large particles) and blend until desired texture. Be careful not to liquefy anything you want to remain chunky. Run through your ice cream maker.
Nutritional analysis is based on using just one tablespoon coconut oil.