Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

 

One of my goals for 2016, which I hope will ward off the ever-encroaching fear of my own uselessness as time continues its relentless march to that end we all deny but must inevitably face, is to cook more.

Because what better way is there to avoid thinking of our own mortality than blatant hedonism?

Seriously, though, the idea is to use a bit of money from every paycheck to buy the ingredients to make a new dish, so that by the end of the year I should have a whole new repertoire of recipes under my belt. That’s cool, right?

So I’ve actually started a little early. I’ve been invited to a vegan dinner this week, and I was tasked with bringing the dessert. I broke out my ice cream maker, purchased a variety of non-vegan milks, and whipped up the above concoction, misleadingly titled “Vegan Ice Cream.”

Fun fact: it’s not actually ice cream.  The texture’s not quite right, and it doesn’t have the same fatty coating that makes ice cream so tasty.  It IS delicious, though. 

One big question I had going in was, without all of that delicious milk fat to whip up, how would vegan ice cream be able to successfully replicate the creamy texture dairy ice cream has? Now, I’m no food scientist, but I think the heaping wad of coconut oil contributes. I’d never used coconut oil before: it’s got the consistency of Crisco, but it’s allegedly much healthier.

Raw cashews were the most intriguing ingredient in this concoction. I soaked them for three hours, drained them, and then threw them into the blender with the the rest of the ingredients. They added a bit of a grittier texture  the finished product, and I think they lent some body to the (for the lack of a better word) custard that went into the freezer.

So, yeah, vegan ice cream was a delicious treat. Surprisingly easy to make: throw all the stuff in the blender and then freeze. It may not have all the delicious dairy fat that traditional ice cream has, but for those being a bit more health conscious, it’s worth the effort.

It’s just, you know, not really ice cream.

—*****—

Now, recipes, especially those contained in cookbooks, strike me as being a form of intellectual property, so I tend not to share them online. This particular recipe, however, was given to me by a friend, and all measurements were approximated from her mother’s experimentation, so I feel okay sharing it:

  • One cup raw cashews, soaked for three hours in water and drained
  • One 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • Two cups almond milk
  • One ripe banana
  • One-half cup coconut oil
  • One-quarter cup cocoa powder
  • One-half cup brown sugar
  • One teaspoon vanilla
  • One-half cup peanut butter (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth, then freeze per your ice cream maker’s instructions.

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