Sweet Summer Recipe: Vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream + Cashew Brittle

Isn't it nice to enjoy something sweet in summer that's plant-based and dairy-free? Commercial frozen cherry yogurts are mostly artificially flavored ("natural flavors" are chemicals too!)

This vegan cherry ice cream has a silky texture, is all-natural and surprisingly easy to prepare. (You'll need an ice cream maker for this recipe, but it's worth it.)

The key to this creamy and delicious "ice cream" in the base made with soaked cashews, almond milk, pure maple syrup and, of course, Bing cherries.

And don't skip the cashew brittle! It's crunchy, not too sweet (just a touch of maple syrup will do), with a nice deep caramelized color — and it's great for snacking too!

Vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream + Cashew Brittle

Makes 2 pints

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil

Preparation

1. Soak the cashews in filtered water to submerge them completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, for at least 6 hours.

2. Strain the cashews and rinse. Add the cashews to the carafe of a blender. Add 1 cup of almond milk and process from low to high speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining cup of almond milk. Blend well on high speed for 1 minute.

3. Add the cherries and all their juices, maple syrup, sea salt and the coconut oil to the carafe of a blender. Blend until the cherries are smooth, about one minute.

4. Place the ice cream base in a clean glass container, seal well and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours. Process the vegan ice cream in an ice cream maker until firm.

5. To serve, scoop into individual dishes, top with a fresh cherry and some Cashew Brittle. Place in pint containers and freeze. Let soften a bit before scooping.

Cashew Brittle

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 large egg white (use egg substitute for vegan)
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a small baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Whip the egg white until light and frothy with a balloon whisk in a small bowl. Add the cashews to the bowl and mix well. Drain the cashews and place them into another small bowl (with only the egg that clings to them).

3. Add the maple syrup and salt, mix well. Pour the mixture onto the parchment paper (sprinkle with black sesame seeds now, if using) and cook until lightly browned, almost amber color (about 10 minutes). Break up when cool, store any extra in an airtight container.

Photo courtesy of the author

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