I have tried a LOT of raw vegan ice creams in my day. And by tried, I mean both purchased and created from scratch. Until now, my standby recipes were found in the book Vice Cream, by Jeff Rogers–and I still think those are absolutely delicious. Regardless, I am now smitten with another…
Until last week, I had never before tried a raw ice cram that included pine nuts in the base, and I wasn’t expecting it to be anything special. I could not have been more wrong! This recipe from The Art of Raw Living Food, by Doreen Virtue and Jenny Ross is so creamy and decadent that it feels downright sinful to eat it!!! And the best part is, you don’t even need an ice cream maker–you just blend it and pop it into the freezer.
I made two versions–Vanilla Gelato and Chocolate Mint–both using the same base. Here is the recipe:
RAW VEGAN ICE CREAM BASE
4 cups pine nuts (no need to soak–yay!)
2 cups young Thai coconut water
2 cups young Thai coconut flesh
2 cups agave nectar
Blend all ingredients well in a high-speed blender until thick and creamy. Makes 4 cups.
I used half (2 cups) of the above ice cream base and blended in 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla plus 1/2 tsp sea salt. It wound up tasting almost like a salted caramel–truly divine! This one was a tiny bit too sweet for me, so the next time I make it, I’ll probably use a bit less agave. But otherwise, it was sheer perfection on a spoon!
The recipe in the book called for raw cacao nibs, which I did not have, so I used raw cacao powder instead–creating a chocolatey base rather than a chocolate chip effect.
I used the other half (2 cups) of the raw ice cream base and blended in 1/2 cup raw cacao powder plus about 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves. The recipe called for more mint leaves (1/2 cup mint leaves for this quantity of ice cream base), but I found that 1/3 cup was minty enough for my liking. Also, the recipe called for 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil, but I forgot to add that, and mine turned out so wonderfully that I think I will deliberately omit it next time.
The recipe suggests freezing these for 3 hours before serving, and both variations were delicious after those first 3 hours. However, in my opinion, they were even better after sitting overnight in the freezer.
According to Alex, they were “restaurant quality” (he especially loved the freshness of the mint) and no-one would ever have any idea they were eating something raw. This was such an easy dessert to make, and the payoff was enormous. The hardest part was trying not to eat them all in one sitting! I will be making these sparingly in the future, for this very reason.
Note to self: What I want to try next is a chocolate cherry version, using this wonderful raw tart cherry powder I recently discovered at Whole Foods!