Yeah, yeah, I know it’s December, and nobody wants to think about cold, frosty goodness in December. Except for me. And since it’s my blog, and I know there’s at least one of my followers who lives where December is in summertime, I will talk about cold, frosty goodness anyway.
I like ice cream. My earliest ice cream memories date to 1990, when we discovered a flavour at Albertsons, I believe, called French Cream Almondine. It became a staple at our house until it vanished from the store freezers forever a few months later. I can still taste it, though, in my mind’s mouth.
Over time I got to be a bit more of an ice cream snob, preferring Breyers over the other brands. Anything that could possibly be nicknamed Death By Chocolate was my favourite. Anything minty was my favourite. Or full of nuts. Okay, so anything not coffee-flavoured was my favourite.
(This is me at the Hershey Chocolate Factory. I was having a wonderful time, in case you couldn’t tell. It was Edy’s ice cream, I believe: mint chocolate chip. AND MY HUSBAND BOUGHT IT FOR ME.)
I don’t really get ice cream very often these days, because it’s dairy, and therefore I generally choose to neither ask nor expect my husband to buy it for me except on rare occasions, such as at the Hershey Chocolate Factory. I have gotten to a point where I don’t care as much, although I still thoroughly enjoy it as an At the In-Laws’ treat.
Because when we visit my in-laws, I eat ice cream. Sometimes too much, admittedly. (This was Dreyer’s Slow Churned Cookies ‘n’ Cream, I think.)
So, here was the conundrum. How could one continue to enjoy cold, frosty goodness while still abstaining from dairy? Sure, there are soy and rice and cocoanut ice cream substitutes out there, and many of them are quite tasty. However, the price tags are not so tasty.
This recipe is from a friend. To be perfectly honest, I’ve not ever actually made it myself, but I’ve eaten it at her house many times, so I know it works and is good. Here goes.
Cocoanut Ice Cream
1 can cocoanut milk
1 cup water
1/2 c raw cashew nuts
1/2 c pitted dates
1/2 c honey or agave
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp guar or xanthan gum (optional)
1 tray ice cubes
Blend all ingredients, except the ice cubes, until very smooth. This may take up to 2 minutes. There should be no grittiness when a drop is felt between your thumb and finger.
Add the ice cubes and blend until smooth. This will aid the chilling time. Add water as needed to make 5 cups total mixture.
Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to your directions, OR (if you have no ice cream maker) pour into a shallow pan and freeze, stirring every 15 minutes until the consistency of soft serve ice cream.