In my early years of healthy eating I’d always make ice cream with frozen banana, fruits and cashew or tahini. It’s absolutely decadent and super easy to make. In more recent times I’ve explored a myriad of different ways to make ice cream without an ice cream machine… all with delicious results. I’ve never owned an ice cream maker and love being able to create delicious treats with minimal fuss. In today’s recipe, I wanted to share something that was fuss-free, simple and delicious. Not churning your ice cream, means that you have slightly different considerations than regular ice cream. I must say, that making this treat in such a way, can be equally delicious and undoubtedly much healthier than sugar, dairy-laden alternatives.
A recipe for successful no-churn ice cream
Here are some simple, yet important tips for making this ice cream successfully…
- Make sure that you purchase a good quality organic coconut milk with a minimum of 60% coconut. The less water content in there the better.
- The idea is for the dried (or semi-dried) dates (and cashews) to soak up the excess water from the coconut milk – so that it will turn to a pouring-type cream upon blending. So be sure to use dates that are not already very moist (i.e not Medjool dates but rather a variety like Sun-Dried Deglet Noor Dates). This is quite important to achieve the correct pouring cream consistency, before freezing. It’s easy with the right dates.
- After it has fully frozen, the key is to let is sit on the kitchen counter for about half an hour before you eat it, so a little bit of forethought is required. This simple step cuts out the entire need for traditional churning and we LOVE it!
Why chocolate, and is it good for us?
Raw Cacao is chock-full of antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, polyphenols, minerals and vitamins. Cacao brings yet another incredible line up of super-food nutrition to this healthy ice cream. The theobromine in cacao helps to stimulate the central nervous system, relax smooth muscles and dilate the blood vessels. Chemicals naturally present also encourage serotonin, and other neurotransmitters, that help inspire a good-mood and relieve depression. Cacao (which is the raw form of cocoa) contains various components like alkaloids, proteins, beta-carotene, leucine, linoleic, lipase, lysine, and theobromine, that all work together to improve physical and mental health. (Scroll down to the bottom of page for a link for recommended raw cacao powder.)
- 400ml coconut milk (canned)
- 100g dried pitted dates (approximately 11 dates)
- 50g cashew nuts (or a handful)
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- Soak the dates and cashew nuts in the coconut milk over night (or for at least 3 hours).
- When soaked, blend all of the soaked ingredients together. This should create a nice pouring cream consistency. You can do this with a hand blender (you may get tiny flex of cashews if you use a hand blender - like I do) or alternatively, use a high powered jug blender.
- Blend in the cacao powder.
- Pour into a loaf tin or baking tin/dish (approximate size: 25cm x 18cm or 10in x 7in works well).
- Pop it into the freezer.
- Freezing time depends of size of the tin/dish that you are using. Freeze overnight or until solid (3 to 6 hours).
- When ready to enjoy, take out of the freezer and allow 20 minutes to half an hour to soften before you scoop.
- This will keep in the freezer for weeks (good luck with that!).
- Enjoy with a sprinkle of coconut, nuts, cacao nibs or fresh berries.
*The idea is for the dates (and cashews) to soak up the excess water from the coconut milk - so that it will turn to a cream upon blending. So be sure to use dates that are not already super moist. This is quite important for the correct pouring cream consistency, before freezing.
•If you con't have raw cacao powder, you can use cocoa powder instead - but be sure to purchase a high quality, fair trade, organic version.
Where can you buy raw cacao powder?
You can purchase raw cacao powder in any good health food store these days. I’ve tried lots of different varieties. The key is to find fairly traded, organic versions of this superfood. Here are links to a couple of my favourite brands. Both companies have ethical, fair trade policies.
(These are affiliate links by the way. If anyone makes a purchase via these links, I do get a tiny commission 😉 – which is always really appreciated and provides a means to pay for the costs of running my website here ♥ )
Thanks for tuning in. Please feel free to ask any questions
or share your experiences in the comments below.