Vegan Strawberry “Ice Cream” with Cashew Brittle

6.22.15 - vegan strawberry ice cream -12

Kick off Summer with this creamy, delicious Guilt-Free Strawberry Ice Cream dessert! Its base is made with soaked Cashews, Almond Milk, Pure Maple Syrup and – of course – Summer Strawberries.

Cashew based, non- dairy with Strawberries and Pure Maple Syrup for sweetness
Cashew based, non- dairy with Strawberries and Pure Maple Syrup for sweetness
Top the ice cream with an easy Cashew - Brittle and a just- picked Strawberry
Top the ice cream with an easy Cashew Brittle and a just- picked Strawberry

Ice Cream in summer brings out the kid in all of us. On a hot Summer’s day it’s a comforting cool-down, a challenge to lick up every melting drop. My taste has certainly changed in my adult years – my fondest ice cream memory is running with two dollars to the Good Humor man’s truck, clanking his bell down my street. My brother and I delighted in how many bars fit into the brown paper bag. Chasing after the truck was all the fun, and Steve (I still remember his name) was friendly… and well, good-humored. My favorites were chocolate eclair and toasted almond. It’s been a few decades since I have enjoyed them though – my taste has changed, as I no longer consume caramel color, artificial flavorings, food dyes, corn syrup and preservatives.

June strawberries are here, and some local farms will have a good supply until early July. Then, it’s time to make way for picking raspberries, then blueberries. In gourmet shops and supermarkets, they are available year-round, please look for ripe organic varieties if not buying from a grower – strawberries on the “dirty dozen” list (with highest pesticide residues).
Studies have shown that antioxidant levels in organically grown strawberries were about 19 percent higher than they were in conventionally grown strawberries.

Ice cream making is fun! In Summer, simply finding a just-picked, ripe fruit can send me running to the kitchen to whip up a base to be frozen. Pick-your-own is fun for the whole family – gets you on the farm and connects you to nature. Here is a link to find the best in your town: http://www.pickyourown.org.

I found these perfectly ripe berries from Rose’s berry farm at the Westport Farmers’ Market, available in quarts in pretty balsam wood containers. The variety is “mayflower” – extra sweet and unusually dark in color. Each unique cultivar (a variety of a plant that was produced from a natural species) has a unique name within its denomination class.

Every home-cooked recipe you make produces a small victory. You have control over the ingredients –  and have taken the time to feed and nourish your body. Ice cream machines have become a very popular small kitchen equipment. The bowl of the machine can rest in the freezer, so whenever the whim strikes, you’re ready to churn. I have a (heavy!) electric tabletop one, with it’s own freezer.

Vegan or not, how nice it is to enjoy something sweet in summer that is plant based and dairy-free! I am fond of frozen yogurts, I make them myself. Commercial frozen strawberry yogurts mostly are artificially flavored (“natural flavors” are chemicals too!) My Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream is creamy, silky, all -natural and surprisingly easy to prepare.

I hope you enjoy this timeless recipe – and don’t skip the Cashew Brittle! It is crunchy with a nice deep caramelized color – not overly sweet… just a touch of maple syrup will do.

Happy and Healthy summer eating to all,
Karen

 

Just Picked Strawberries from Rose's berry farm in South Glastonbury, CT
Just Picked Strawberries from Rose’s berry farm in South Glastonbury, CT
Soak a cup of raw Cashews for the base - they lend creaminess to the ice cream
Soak a cup of raw Cashews for the base – they lend creaminess to the ice cream
Sliced Strawberries macerating in Pure Maple Syrup and a pinch of Sea Salt
Sliced Strawberries macerating in Pure Maple Syrup and a pinch of Sea Salt
All ingredients blended together until smooth
All ingredients blended together until smooth
An easy Cashew Brittle with only a hint of sweetness - add some Black Sesame Seeds for interest
An easy Cashew Brittle with only a hint of sweetness – add some Black Sesame Seeds for interest
Serve Ice Cream in Vintage Glass Stemmed Bowls with Collectible Linen Napkins
Serve Ice Cream in Vintage Glass Stemmed Bowls with Collectible Linen Napkins
Karen at a farmers' market
Karen shopping with her farmers’ market bag

Farmers’ Market Jute Bag

A Zest For Life Farmers’ Market Bag Is Here!
Have a Zest For Life?
Order this taupe screen printed bag…
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Carrot Hummus

5.4.15 - carrot hummus-10This healthy and delicious hummus uses carrots three ways – steamed carrots, roasted colorful rainbow carrots and carrot juice. Serve the Carrot Hummus on little bread rounds (I’ve used Naan) and endive spears Rainbow-hued carrots are grown around the world,… Read More