In case you haven’t been following along, this is installment number 3 in my Best Dairy Free Ice Cream Series. So far we have tried ice cream made with almond milk and coconut milk. This week we’re using cashews.
Let me start this post by saying I DO NOT HAVE A VITAMIX! Oh-the horror! It is on my 10-mile long wedding registry, but I am not holding my breath waiting for one of my beloved friends or relatives to show up at our wedding with a $500 gift. After our wedding, I will have to decide if I want to shell out for one. On the one hand, I do make smoothies almost daily. But, on the other hand, my Nutri-Bullet is still going strong and doesn’t cost much to replace. I don’t really have a lot of other blending needs, but maybe the Vitamix will be like my Kitchenaid mixer-once I got one, I found uses for it almost daily. Tell me readers, do I need a Vitamix?
Well, you definitely need a Vitamix for this recipe. You may possibly be able to get by with an actual food processor-I don’t have one of those either. Instead I rely on the food processor attachment to my immersion blender, which has failed me before and on this recipe failed me again.
So before I get to the review and recipe, let me explain what I previously alluded to: This ice cream was chunky. As in, the cashews did not fully blend so the texture was overall gritty and occasionally you might eat a whole cashew. Secondly, I did not add my beloved gelatin at exactly the right time, which resulted in additional (more gross-tasting) chunks. Now, given all those issues, I was amazed with how the recipe came out. Read on:
Mouthfeel (does it feel like ice cream in your mouth?): without the chunks, this is a 5/5; with the chunks more like a 3/5
Ice Cream Taste (how much does it taste like “real” ice cream): 4/5
Overall Taste: 4/5
Would you eat it again? Yes, even with the chunks, it was that good.
Would it pass as real ice cream? Without chunks, yes.
The taste tester proclaimed this was by far the best of all the dairy free options and tasted the most like real ice cream. In spite of the chunks, we still finished the entire batch. However, the chunks really prevent this from achieving “real ice cream” status and I would never feel comfortable serving this to other people.
If you have a Vitamix or great food processor, this is probably the recipe for you. If not, maybe try one of the others.
- 1 1/2 cups cashews plus water to cover
- 2 1/2 cups almond milk (Califia recommended, I find it to be extra-creamy)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 T coconut oil
- 1 T gelatin
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 T brandy (or other liquor, or omit)
- Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak overnight or all day while you are at work.
- When ready to prepare your ice cream, heat almond milk, sugar, and coconut oil in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved.
- Remove from heat, stir in gelatin until dissolved. If it won't dissolve, heat it back up for a few minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and brandy.
- Place all ingredients, including the (drained) cashews, in a blender. You probably want to put the cashews in first.
- Blend until everything is very, very, very smooth. For extra smooth ice cream, run everything through a fine mesh strainer (NOTE: I did this and still had chunks!)
- Process according to your ice cream maker's directions.