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.
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,