Dark Chocolate Cashew Ice Cream

by Elise Schwartz | July 16, 2012 10:00 AM

Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day, as declared by President Reagan in 1984.  Even though the “holiday” is older than me, I had never known of its existence!  But I must admit, I was pretty excited when I pulled up my Today.com page to check the morning news and learned of the special frosty treat occasion.  Any excuse to make a tub of ice cream is welcomed at the Schwartz household!  :)

Ohhh, and I have to tell you about my new present from my hubby!!  When Austin and I got home from our Michigan vacation[1], Dave surprised me with a VitaMix on our kitchen counter!  OH, I was so so excited and surprised!  We had been saving for this for so long, but had to keep tapping into the VitaMix fund for things like car repairs and *ahem* a baby.  I have made smoothies and sauces and soups in it every day since!

So, to bring this side story full circle, I have been wanting to try a new dairy-free ice cream using cashews instead of coconut milk.  I am not the biggest fan of coconut flavor, and don’t get me wrong the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream[2] using coconut milk is still really tasty, but I wanted to try something different.  And I wanted to get a mixture that is closer to the texture of dairy-based ice cream.  You know, that super smooth velvety texture…..  Well I’ve been waiting for my VitaMix to give this cashew ice cream method a try.

You can make this batter in a regular blender, however you’ll need to blend it longer to get it smooth enough.  You may also prefer to strain the mixture before adding to your ice cream maker to prevent chunks.  And if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can pour the batter into a large metal bowl.  Pop it in your freezer and stir it every 15 minutes with a spatula until you get the right consistency.  This one is worth the extra work!

This cashew ice cream was heavenly.  I nailed that velvety texture I have been pining for.  And the dark chocolate depth is out of this world!  We will definitely make again!  It hits your dark chocolate craving perfectly, and paired with fresh strawberries…ooh baby!  I think the cashew cream really made it.  I’m now dreaming of a maple-pecan version………!

Dark Chocolate Cashew Ice Cream

Makes 6 Servings

2 cups organic raw cashews
2 cups organic unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup powdered xylitol
2 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened pure cocoa powder

1.)  Soak the cashews in filtered water at least 6 hours or over night.

2.)  Rinse the cashews until water runs clear.  Drain them.  Combine all ingredients, including drained cashews, in blender.  Blend until completely smooth (strain if you wish).  Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according to instructions.  Serve immediately or freeze to set 2-4 hours.

TIP:  If making ahead to store for more than 24 hours, add a Tablespoon of arrowroot powder when blending the ingredients together.  This will prevent crystallization that occurs when storing ice cream in the freezer.

Endnotes:
  1. Michigan vacation: http://www.healingcuisinebyelise.com/2012/06/hello-from-michigan.html
  2. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: http://www.healingcuisinebyelise.com/2010/09/vanilla-bean-ice-cream.html

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