I had the pleasure of attending the GreenFestival in NYC a few weeks ago. There were so many amazing eco-friendly and organic vendors there. I had a great time talking to passionate vendors and sampling lots of tasty new organic products. One of the hightlights of the festival was the Vitamix demo, where they made and gave out samples of a vegan ice cream made from raw cashews. The cashew ice cream was delicious! It tasted like what I remember a Wendy’s frosty to taste like – a little thinner than traditional ice cream but still thick enough to scoop and eat with a spoon. I am the proud new owner of a Vitamix. My fab husband recently bought it for me – I have wanted one for years and had burned through 2 Breville blenders in the past 3 years (we make a LOT of smoothies and protein shakes in our house and apparently even the motor of a high-end blender cannot take daily frozen fruit and ice for more than a year or so, as the nice people at Williams-Sonoma explained) so he thought it was time to splurge for the Vitamix. Unfortunately, the cookbook that came with the Vitamix doesn’t have many recipes that appeal to me – most have gluten or dairy or are just not that interesting. For years I have dreamed of making my own nut milks, nut cheezes and pureeing metal forks (kidding on that one – but that’s what several Vitamix advocates used to describe the power of the motor on the Vitamix: “It can puree a metal fork”). Inspired by the demo, I went home and made the cocoa cashew ice cream the next day. My whole family loves it, including my 2 year-old. It is slightly grittier than traditional ice cream, but still creamy and delicious. It melts quickly and does not taste nearly as good if you freeze the mixture for later (which I tried doing – it loses its creaminess and becomes icy), so plan to serve it immediately.
While you’re making the cashew ice cream, you will most certainly think that it’s not going to come out. Each time I have made it I looked at the clumpy mess in the Vitamix and was like no way – how did I do this the last time?! Then, miraculously, after scraping the sides down and using the tamper, 20 seconds later the mixture turns into a lovely creamy texture The Vitamix dude made it look so simple, which it is, but it takes a few minutes of finessing (mostly mashing and scraping down the sides) to get the entire mixture to the consistency of ice cream. I think it would be easier to make if you doubled the recipe and made 8 servings because there’s more to work with, but each time I have made this I have only wanted 4 servings so that’s what the recipe below reflects.
Do you have a favorite Vitamix recipe? Please share it – I have lots of experimenting to do and would love some inspiration.
The recipe is a simple way to make a healthy, dairy-free frozen treat. It takes no more than 2 minutes. Plan to serve the ice cream immediately, as you will lose the creaminess if you freeze it for later use (it will be icy).
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 2 heaping Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-4 Tablespoons honey (for vegans, substitute raw agave nectar)
- 2 scoops ice
- Load Vitamix with ingredients in the following order: Cashews (must cover blades), cocoa, honey and then ice. Blend on high speed for one minute or until creamy, using the tamper stick the whole time to press the mixture into the blades and scrape down the sides. [Note: You may need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula after about 30 seconds to get a completely smooth consistency. After scraping down the sides, continue blending for another 30 seconds.]
This recipe has only been tested in a Vitamix and will likely not work in a regular blender without a high powered motor.