Coconut Ice Cream

I grew up surrounded by health conscious people. I didn’t even know it wasn’t normal to breast feed babies until I was in college. Anyway most people I knew said the were vegetarian. I was to for awhile. Now I am a vegan that eats meat occasionally. it’s a long story but the short version is I discovered I had a dairy allergy and expect as much in my children and Southeast Asian husband. So now non-dairy recipes are my favorite. See I loved cheese and ice cream and dairy products of all kinds. When I stopped eating them cold turkey that was really hard on me. Now I am discovering some amazing recipes that have really made the transition easier. Here is one of my favorites.

Coconut Ice Cream

1 can coconut (or use 3 cups soy milk instead and omit the 1 cup water)
1 cup water
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup honey (2/3 cup sugar may be used in place of dates and honey)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp guar or xanthum gum (optional)
1 tray ice cubes
water as needed  to make 5 cups total mixture

1. Blend all the ingredients (except ice cubes) in a blender until very smooth (may take up to 2 minutes). There should be no grittiness when a drop of mixture is felt between your thumb and finger. 

2. Add ice cubes and blend smooth (speeds chilling time). Add more water as needed  to make 5 cups total mix. 

3. Pour into ice-cream maker and freeze according to its directions. (Or pour into a shallow pan and freeze. When ready to use, thaw slightly until just soft enough to cut into squares. Place in blender with enough soy milk or water to blend into the consistency of soft ice cream.)

4. Spoon into containers as soon as the mix is done (if the ice cream is left in an ice-cream maker some will freeze to the container and become hard). Store in freezer until ready to use.

Hint: This ice-cream recipe will harden more in the freezer than store-bought high-fat brands. To serve, thaw slightly.