I don’t know about the rest of you, but Day 3 is always the hardest detox day for me. Today I feel groggy and really want to chug a gallon of strong coffee. In order to stay on track, I plan my cleanse to include a small portion of dessert after dinner on Day 3. It gives me something to look forward to as I muck along through Hump Day. While many cleanses don’t ‘allow’ sweets, I personally think that once or twice a week it is just fine. For optimal texture, this recipe requires an ice cream maker, but I have been told that it will work without one. (Here’s how.) If you have rock salt (food grade!) at home, you can also Google directions for making homemade ice cream with ziplock bags and salt.
Creamy Cashew Ice Cream
3 cups raw cashews (if you don’t have a high-powered blender, you may need to soak these for several hours before blending)
3 cups filtered water
.75 – 1 cup raw sweetener (I like to use raw agave nectar. You can also use a dry sweetener like coconut sugar, but the end result will not be as creamy. I am experimenting with soaked dates, as well)
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or use alcohol-free vanilla extract)
.25 tsp xanthan gum (available at Earth Zone)
pinch Himalayan pink salt or fine sea salt
Combine raw cashews and water in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Add sweetener, scraped vanilla bean, xanthan gum, and salt, then blend again. (It usually takes about 3 minutes on high in my Vitamix to get everything thoroughly blended.) Pour mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for one hour or refrigerate for 3-4 hours. It is important that the ‘ice cream’ base is completely cold before proceeding to the processing step. Once mixture is chilled, process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. After processing, the ‘ice cream’ will have a soft-serve consistency. We prefer it after freezing for an additional 2-3 hours, or overnight. The combination of liquid sweetener and xanthan gum make this frozen dessert silky smooth and decadent. It is not icy at all – my major complaint with commercially-prepared vegan ‘ice cream’.
There are lots of variations on this recipe. Try adding finely chopped cacao nibs (raw, please), fresh mint, or diced fresh fruit – just make sure that your add-ins are thoroughly chilled before adding to the ice cream maker. One of my favorite combinations is raw pistachios, finely chopped figs, and a few drops of (food grade) rosewater. It makes a grand finish to your favorite Mediterranean or Middle Eastern meal.
*Recipe copyright Dominique Taylor, 2012