I LOVE ice cream so much -I even used to work in an ice cream parlor, which wasn't a good idea :). Due to us having candida, and my son's life threatening dairy allergy, I've already got a nice selection of dairy free ice creams here, like Chocolate Almond Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Lemon Poppyseed, but I'm very excited to have this new Mocha Chip Ice Cream for you today.
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!
I try to keep coconut milk and dried coconut (to make my own coconut 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 one by Pamela Salzman that is sadly no longer available on the internet.
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! =)
Other Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes
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) - a fun twist on traditional Mint Chocolate Chip
- Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream (dairy free and sugar free) - rich and oh so simple to make!
- Fantastic Dairy Free Fudgesicles (sugar free with vegan option) - they taste like the real thing!
- Key Lime Coconut Milk Popsicles (dairy free with vegan option) - super refreshing!
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (dairy & sugar free) - a fave done low-carb and dairy-free
- Lemon Poppyseed Ice Cream (dairy & sugar free)
- Chocolate Almond Chip Ice Cream (dairy & sugar free) - a childhood fave turned healthier
- 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!
- Again, you can use either regular or decaf coffee, but if you’re really sensitive like me you may want to go decaf.
- White Chocolate Chips: You could try white chocolate chips instead of chocolate chips (see Homemade White Chocolate Chips).
Special Diet Notes
- Cashews: If you have a cashew allergy, macadamias would be the closest substitute. See carb notes below.
- Low Carb: Omit the dates completely and use either an extra scoop or two of stevia, about 15 drops liquid stevia (to taste - See How to Use Stevia), or other appropriate sweetener like xylitol if you are either dealing with severe candida or need a low-carb recipe (I always suggest doing this to taste). Cashews are also a higher-carb nut so watch your serving size to stay low carb, or use a different nut to keep it lower carb.
On the other hand if you prefer not to use stevia you can omit it and double the dates (or add to taste).
- Carob: Use organic carob instead of cocoa if you need to avoid caffeine.
- Homemade Chocolate Chips: If you have dietary restrictions or candida please see this recipe for homemade chocolate chips that are super easy to make.
- Coffee Substitute: Here is a great recipe for coffee substitute which you can use instead of coffee.
- Homemade Liquid Stevia: See this good make-your-own option for liquid stevia.
- Thickener: If you use MCT oil, not using a thickener should be fine. If you do not use MCT oil, though, I would definitely use gelatin or arrowroot to improve the texture of the ice cream.
- THM: This recipe qualifies as an "S" for those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, just make sure that you use gelatin if using a thickener.
Vegan Mocha Chip Ice Cream (dairy, sugar, and coconut free)
- 2 cups cashews (soaked and drained)
- 6 medjool dates (optional)
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup coffee (use strong coffee)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 5/8-4/3 tsp liquid stevia (or 20-40 drops; to taste)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-3 Tbsp MCT oil (optional - for creaminess)
- 1 Tbsp gelatin (or arrowroot; optional - as thickener)
- 1/2 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)
- Soak cashews in water (cover by about an inch) and let sit covered with a kitchen towel for 4-6 hours. Drain.
- Place all ingredients except chocolate chips, if using, in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth (if using gelatin, let it dissolve in water before adding it to the other ingredients).
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker bowl and follow manufacturers directions.
- 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).
So that's all - enjoy the savings and the flavor of this lovely ice cream.
What's YOUR Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?