Monday, July 21, 2014

Chocolate Chunk Vegan Ice Cream

I don't know what's gotten into me but lately I've been obsessed with ice cream. While I do love dessert, ice cream is probably my least favorite. I still think it's delicious but if I can order cake or pie or creme brûlée, sorry ice cream.  

I posted last week that we had phenomenal ice cream at Cow A Bunga, which made the UT's list of San Diego's top 25 frozen desserts.  Then I took my son to Neveria Tocumbo for Bubulubu ice cream, also on the UT list, which was great and just like the candy bar.  I think that all that sampling got me thinking about breaking out the old ice cream maker that I used only once 12 years ago. 

Last summer my sister came home with a cashew based cherry ice cream.  It was outstanding and very expensive.  I knew I could recreate something like it for a fraction of the price.  And now that I'm obsessed with trying new ice creams, it's the perfect time to attempt it.  

I had researched tons of recipes and watched many YouTube videos on the subject and they all seemed pretty similar.   First thing's first, buy raw cashews. If you buy the pieces instead of whole ones, it's cheaper. I think I paid $4.99 for mine at Trader Joe's.   

Then you have to soak the cashews in water for 2-4 hours.  

Once they've soaked up the water, blend it up to a smooth texture. Mine reminded me of hummus. 

Then I added the lemon juice, coconut oil, simple syrup, and vanilla extract and blended again.  I think the next time I make it, I'll just blend everything together in one step instead of two.  

Trader Joe's has this nifty bundle of three dark chocolate bars. I chopped all three and set them in the freezer until it was time to add them to the cashew base. 

I added the cashew base to my ice cream maker and let it go for 20 minutes.  Around 15 minutes, it really started to thicken up and resemble a frozen treat.  While I was scooping it out of the mixing bowl and into its container, I added in the chocolate chunks.  

When I first set out to make this, I was going to add cherries.  Cherries and chocolate are one of my favorite dessert combos.  However, I wanted my husband to love it and he doesn't care for fruit in his sweets.  When he came home from work and my son told him what we made, the Mr. taste tested it on the spot. He was in love! He couldn't believe it was made of cashews and had to make an effort to not eat more before dinner. So, yay for me! It's beyond satisfying when my husband loves my food.  

The day of, the ice cream was easy to scoop and portion. Two days later, I was having a rough time even though I dipped my scooper in hot water.  I recommend leaving it out on the counter for 15 minutes before you eat it. 



  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup simple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 ounces of chopped chocolate
  • Soak the cashews in the water for 2-4 hours
  • Blend up the cashews, water, simple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and let it go for 20 minutes. (if you don't have one, I think it's safe to freeze it in an airtight container.)
  • At this point it will resemble a soft serve which is great. You can also freeze for a couple more hours and it will be more like ice cream.

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