This decadent dairy-free ice cream is made from a base of fresh coconut and cashews, and sweetened with the sap of a coconut tree. One mature coconut goes a long way, you can make both chocolate and vanilla ice cream with just one.
Dominick and I go all out for dessert, if you couldn’t tell already. It’s all because raw desserts are easy to make and they make you feel naturally good afterwards, no sugar rushes or crashes, thankfully!
If you need this ice cream to be nut-free, you could always use two coconuts and skip the cashews.
Just last week I posted a blueberry vanilla ice cream with an avocado cashew base that could also be used instead of coconut. You could also use the blueberries for this vanilla recipe. So many delicious dessert options, I’m drooling just thinking about it. 😛
A vitamix is your best friend for this ice cream recipe, or at least a blender with sharp blades and a high-speed setting. Because the coconut can be grainy, it’s important to blend at high-speed for about a minute to break down all the fibers, and to make it super silky smooth. The trick is to add a little bit of coconut water or milk at a time, while it’s blending. You’ll also have to scrape the side walls down every so often.
The vitamix is able to blend the cashews and coconut together at the same time. For their price, it better, right? 😉
Once both the cashews and coconut are silky smooth, I add in the coconut nectar and flavors I want. I always tend to go a little less sweet side it’s already so decadent, make sure it’s sweet enough for you. You could also use agave nectar which is a bit sweeter than coconut nectar.
Chocolate and/or Vanilla?
The recipe down below is for half vanilla and half chocolate.
Obviously if you want all vanilla, skip the cacao.
If you want all chocolate ice cream, I would add 1/2 cup cacao or more. You may want to add a pinch more salt or a tiny bit more coconut nectar, taste it to make sure it’s what you’re looking for, it should be delicious even when not frozen.
Add a bit more milk and/or water and you got yourself a pudding.
No Ice Cream Maker Necessary
The best tip I can give you is to keep it moving. If you want your ice cream to harden faster and be extra creamy, all you have to do is mix it around every 30 minutes- 1 hour for about 4-6 hours, and it’s ready to eat. The more you mix it, the less likely it will turn into a solid rock. After it’s been stored in the freezer for more than 6 hours, just let it sit out and thaw for about 10-20 minutes or until it softens.
The more times you thaw and freeze this ice cream, the harder it will get.
How To Open A Coconut
Opening a coconut is actually a lot easier than it appears as long as you have a screw driver and a hammer. I just hammered the screw driver lightly through the bowling ball like holes on the top of the coconut, where the stem used to be. Make sure these holes are not moldy, this is how you know if the inside will be moldy. Once the holes are punctured you can shake the liquid out into a cup or bowl.
After all the liquid is out, cover your coconut with a kitchen towel and hammer away on a hard surface. It won’t take many hits until it busts open.
The next part is to cut the inside of the coconut like a pie and pop them out. Then you’ll have to cut the brown skin off, and rinse the coconut from any debris.
- 1 mature coconut
- 2 cups cashews; soaked
- 1.5-2 cup coconut water; or milk
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract; or 1 vanilla bean
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup cacao
- Soak the cashews for at least 20 minutes.
- Use a screwdriver and hammer to puncture the 3 "bowling ball holes" on the top of the coconut.
- Drain the coconut water.
- Cover the coconut with a kitchen towel, hit it with the hammer a couple of times on a hard surface.
- Cut the inside coconut meat like a pie, pop the pieces out and rinse off the debris.
- Blend the cashews and coconut at the highest speed, add a little bit of coconut water or milk at a time.
- Once creamy add in the rest of the ingredients, except the cacao, and blend once again.
- Pour out half the mixture into a glass bowl.
- Add the cacao to the blender and blend once more.
- Pour the chocolate ice cream into a separate glass bowl, cover both of them and freeze.
- Every hour or so, stir the ice cream to make sure it doesn't freeze into a solid block.
- Ice cream should be ready within 6-8 hours.
- Coconut milk will make the ice cream creamier, coconut water will make it lighter and fluffier. You could use a combination of both. How much you use depends on how big your coconut is. Keep adding more liquid, up to 2 cups, until the ice cream is smooth and creamy.
- You may want to add a bit more liquid, sweetener and salt to the chocolate, test to make sure.
I recommend a high speed blender, especially the vitamix for the silkiest cream.