Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream.
I have been hearing a lot about ice cream in my house these days. My 14 month old has gotten into the habit of pointing to our freezer and saying, “i keem” (ice cream) whenever she passes it or whenever she’s hungry.
I suppose I should take the blame for this.
First, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (I was a junk foodie in my younger years), second, I MAY have let my kids have ice cream for breakfast ONCE…and I have been paying for it ever since =), and finally, I make ice cream that is FAR too yummy =).
I have been making homemade ice cream for a couple of years now (ever since I went dairy, and refined sugar free and store-bought no longer fit the bill). To my surprise making your own is a lot easier than I thought, and with a blender and ice cream maker it’s even easier!
The first dairy free vegan ice cream recipe I tried was a version of Adrienne’s Chocolate Almond Chip Coconut Milk Ice Cream. However, since I didn’t have almonds or chocolate chips the recipe turned into my Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream (dairy free and sugar free). Thanks for the great tips Adrienne!
I try to keep coconut milk and dried coconut (to make my own milk) in great supply, but from time to time I run out. So when I wanted ice cream on a day I ran out of both, it was time to get creative.
I scoured the pantry and freezer for a coconut milk substitute. What I came up with was a big bag of raw cashews.
I figured I had made cashew cream before, so why not cashew ice cream?
(Please note: I am not a huge fan of cashew cream but I LOVE this recipe, so don’t be afraid if you’re not a fan either).
I felt like a genius. But an original idea it was not!
I am happy to say that some other lovely bloggers had some great recipes that I used as a jumping off point. The most helpful was this one by Pamela Salzman.
While her recipes looked heavenly, I either lacked the ingredients, or could not eat them so I had to think on my feet and came up with Mocha Cashew Ice Cream.
It sounds amazing, and it is.
I crave this ice cream ALL THE TIME.
It’s almost a problem.
It really is that good. It’s creamy, chocolate-y, and has that great kick of coffee. This recipe is surprisingly rich and creamy, and a little will go a long way. The creaminess actually caught me off guard; it had the texture of real dairy (from my distant recollection)!
One “problem” with dairy free ice creams is that while they have great texture right out of the machine, they can get hard in the freezer over time, and require a thawing period before serving. With this recipe you will notice that while it still gets hard over time it is not as hard as (sugar free) coconut milk ice cream and it doesn’t need to sit out as long to thaw.
YESSSSS! Less time from freezer to my mouth!
A word to the wise however, is that if you plan on eating this as say a little treat after you get your kids to bed, use DECAF! I haven’t had coffee in a few years and a little sip of it will keep me up all day.
Therefore, 1 big bowl of mocha ice cream at 8pm = 1 mama awake far too late for having kids who wake up at 530am.
But it was worth it! =)
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A few notes:
- If you have an ice cream maker (I am very fortunate to have this one) keep the freezer bowl in the freezer (deep freeze is best) at all times. That way when you want to make ice cream it is ready to go!
- Even though many recipes tell you to soak your cashews anywhere from 4 hours to overnight, DO NOT soak them for more than 6 hours. They get bitter and slimy if soaked too long. I’ve had bitter cashew cream and it leaves, well, a bitter taste in your mouth!
- Omit the dates completely and increase the stevia if you are dealing with severe candida (I always suggest doing this to taste), or use an alternate sweetener of your choice.
- On the other hand if you prefer not to use stevia you can omit it and double the dates (or add to taste).
- If you have dietary restrictions or candida please see these recipes for homemade chocolate chips that are super easy.
Homemade Dark Chocolate Chips (Dairy Free, Sugar Free),
- Again, you can use either regular or decaf coffee, but if you’re really sensitive like me you may want to go decaf.
Mocha Vegan Ice Cream – dairy & sugar-free
2 cups soaked and drained cashews (soaked in filtered water for 4-6 hours, NOT overnight. If you have a cashew allergy, macadamias would be the closest substitute)
6 medjool dates, optional (see notes above)
¼ cup cocoa (use carob if you need to avoid caffeine)
¼ tsp salt
1 cup strong coffee (or homemade coffee substitute)
1 tsp vanilla
20 or 40 drops stevia, to taste (more if omitting dates. Make Homemade Liquid Stevia here.)
½ cup filtered water
½ cup sugar-free chocolate chips (optional. Homemade Chocolate Chips or Homemade White Chocolate Chips would be great too!)
1. Soak cashews in water (cover by about an inch) and let sit covered with a kitchen towel for 4-6 hours. Drain.
2. Place all ingredients except chocolate chips, if using, in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.
3. Pour mixture into ice cream maker bowl and follow manufacturers directions.
4. Add the chocolate chips, if using. (I usually add them as soon as the mixture begins to show signs of freezing in the ice cream maker–about 7 minutes after the machine starts processing).
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do and please check out these other yummy ice cream and frozen treat creations:
- Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (dairy free, sugar free)
- Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream (dairy free and sugar free)
- Fantastic Dairy Free Fudgesicles (sugar free with vegan option)
- Key Lime Coconut Milk Popsicles (Dairy free with vegan option)
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (dairy & sugar-free)
- Lemon Poppyseed Ice Cream (dairy & sugar-free)
- Chocolate Almond Chip Ice Cream (dairy & sugar-free)
What’s YOUR Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?
Candace is a stay-at-home-mom, wife, graphic designer and food lover. She loves to make healthy, whole foods that are dairy free and candida friendly. She loves being a mom and is passionate about parenting, living healthy and helping others do the same. She shares her recipes and candida fighting tactics at: candidafreecandee.com. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.