Sunday, 28 July 2013

Walnut Apricot Chip Ice Cream

I think I've found the perfect dairy-free ice cream base! I got the recipe from this website, and added my own extras. This ice cream is so rich and creamy! If you leave it out for a few minutes, it can even be scooped after being in the freezer! It's not like other dairy-free ice creams, which can be icy and watery, this is the full-on ice cream experience!

I first realized that walnuts, dried apricots and chocolate go well together when I was making chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookies and realized that I didn't have any raisins or chocolate, so I used dried apricots and carob chips. Oh my, were they ever delicious! The flavours just work so well together! Needless to say, I ate way too much of that batch of cookies. :P

It was a little later that I thought to combine the walnuts and apricots with cocoa nibs instead of carob chips. And since I had ice cream on the brain, this ice cream recipe was born.

 For vegan ice cream, just substitute any liquid sweetener for the honey. If you can get turkish apricots, they are definitely worth the extra cost; they taste so much better! The walnuts can be raw, soaked and dehydrated, or toasted. Soaking nuts makes them healthier, so I soaked and lightly toasted mine. If you don't have/like cocoa nibs, carob chips would make a great substitution, just make sure they're homemade, the store bought ones are full of yucky hydrogenated oils and other icky stuff. One last note: the combination of the cashews and cocoa nibs are slightly reminiscent of mocha flavours. It's wierd that I enjoy that, since I hate coffee! But if you like mocha, that's just another plus to an already delicious ice cream!

Walnut Apricot Chip Ice Cream

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 dried turkish apricots, chopped
1/2 cocoa nibs
2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups raw cashews
1/4-1/2 cup honey (remember, freezing will make the ice cream less sweet, so use a little more than you think you need)
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

1. Blend the cashews, coconut milk, honey, vanilla and salt in a blender. Soaking the cashews beforehand in the coconut milk, or blending them into a powder first helps to make this mixture even smoother.
2. Blend for a minute or two, until completely smooth.
3. Taste and add more honey if needed. It should be sweeter than you want the final product to be.
4. Chill the mixture in the fridge for a few hours, the longer the better.
Straight from the ice cream maker
5. Pour into an ice cream maker and make ice cream according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
6. In the last 5 minutes or so, add the walnuts, apricots, and cocoa nibs, making sure the apricots pieces don't stick together.
7. Pour into a container and move to the freezer to freeze until solid (although it makes great soft-serve too!).
8. Take out of the freezer a few minutes before serving so it softens up a bit.
9. Scoop and enjoy!

As you can see, I garnished my ice cream with a sprig of tarragon. The flavour of tarragon works really well with this ice cream! If you want, I would highly recommend adding some fresh tarragon to the blender with the rest of the ice cream ingredients. Or make an ice cream sandwich with these cookies (or a healthier version of that idea). That would taste AMAZING!

Next I think I'll make either a nutella ice cream or a tahini one.

This post was shared at healthy vegan Fridays.