dairy-free date honey caramel vanilla ice cream

y'all may have seen that I guest posted on my awesome friend Becky's blog smiedendipity last week! she is a diy/home improvement/craft/decor queen! seriously, every weekend I see (because we are neighbors tehehe) or hear about her and her husband, jeremy, doing some awesome new project and it's totally inspiring!!! i really want to do her kitchen cabinet revamp to our cabinets and build this beautiful bed frame! i've offered to pay them in dairy-free ice cream to come build these things for me... haven't gotten a final answer yet! update: they said yes woohooooo!!!!!!! :)

any who, becky also doesn't eat dairy (just like me woohoo) so we are dairy-free besties!! below is the post I shared on her blog! I wanted to make sure y'all got it too just incase you missed in on Smiedendipity last week. next up on the recipe block is... zoodles or pancakes?! which do you want first?! comment below and let me know. ok... ice cream time friends!

Sooo I'm pretty sure that as a child I used up all my lactose "fighting" enzyme (lactase) by eating the family size box of mac n' cheese as a snack...

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Seriously though guys... I used to inhale all things cheesy and then I got older and my tummy was like...

CHEESE YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US!

hence the beginning of my dairy-free life. now don't get me wrong... i do enjoy the occasional butter in baked goods, slice of cheese and greek yogurt but in general, i don't eat dairy. some dairy products affect me more than others depending on the lactose content, so if i do cheat, it's usually with one of those items at the bottom of the list.

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When I first discovered that dairy and I weren't besties, I thought it would be so hard to maintain a dairy-free lifestyle... But it's TOTALLY NOT. There are so many dairy alternatives these days which, in my opinion, are better than the real thing. Coconut milk, for example, is OMG SO MUCH BETTER THAN REAL MILK. Sorry cows... I'm on team coconut.

Speaking of coconut.. This ice cream's base is made from full fat and fully delicious coconut milk! I really thought ice cream would be one of those things that I could never fully enjoy again but since I've been making my own dairy-free ice cream with coconut milk, I realized how wrong I was! Coconut milk is so ridiculously creamy, silky, and smooth that you won't even be able to tell this ice cream is not made with heavy cream. A scoop of this amazing ice cream is just plain luscious with a bit of heaven (date honey caramel) mixed in. You know you want to try it...

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dairy-free date honey caramel vanilla ice cream

yield: about 4 cups

calories: about 395 calories per ½ cup... whoops

total time: about 9 hours... (prep time: a little over one hour | soak/chill time: 6-8 hours)


special equipment:

ice cream maker (make sure to chill your churning bowl according to the manufacturer's instructions; usually 12-24 hours before use)

freezer safe container

[other not super special equipment: food processor and high-speed blender]

 

ingredients:

1 ¾ cup raw cashews, soaked for 6 hours (or overnight) in warm water then drained

1 (15 oz) can full fat coconut milk

½ cup raw agave nectar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 teaspoons sea salt, divided

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

20 pitted medjool dates, soaked for 10 minutes in hot water then drained

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon bourbon (optional - included in calorie count; if not using, add one more tablespoon of water)

2 tablespoons warm water

  

directions:

1. prep all things that need chilling and soaking: i recommend soaking your cashews and placing your ice cream churning bowl in the freezer the night before you want to make the ice cream! note: this step is not counted in the total time...

2. add cashews (soaked and drained), full fat coconut milk, agave nectar, vanilla extract, one teaspoon sea salt, and melted coconut oil to a blender then blend on high until completely smooth, creamy, and liquidity.

3. using a rubber spatula, scrape the contents of the blender into a bowl (cover with lid or plastic wrap) and chill mixture in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours (best option is overnight if you have the time). you want this mixture to be very firm before churning otherwise it will not churn properly (and not be super ice cream like).

4. during the 4-6 hours while you are waiting for your ice cream base to chill, make the date honey caramel! soak dates for at least ten minutes in hot water then drain. place soaked and drained dates in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until only small bits remain. next, add in honey, bourbon, water, and remaining two teaspoons of sea salt to the food processor bowl then pulse until mixture becomes fully incorporated and looks gooey – like caramel!!!

5. once the mixture is thoroughly chilled, scoop it into the ice cream churning bowl and churn for at least 45 minutes (or according to manufacturer's recommended time; mine is the Kitchen Aid mixer ice cream maker attachment). if you find that after 45 minutes the ice cream is not looking like thick and creamy ice cream, place the ice cream churning bowl (with the ice cream) back into the freezer for about 1-2 hours then churn again until the ice cream looks like... ice cream!!!! :)

6. pour churned ice cream into a freezer safe container (i use these and they are awesomesauce.). using a butter knife, scoop some caramel onto the knife then dip it into the ice cream and swirl it around to create a marbled pattern of ice cream and caramel. make sure to evenly distribute the caramel throughout the ice cream! lastly, top with a few more pinches of sea salt!

7. place ice cream with swirled caramel in its container in the freezer for 2-4 hours or until ready to eat. i recommend letting it sit out for about ten minutes before scooping. it will be much easier on your forearms/biceps :)

8. serve ice cream plain or with delicious toppings like dark chocolate syrup or honey!! enjoy!!  

[recipe adapted from minimalist baker]

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Do your self a favor and make this ice cream ASAP even if you can eat dairy. You won't regret it!

also, don't forget to let me know if i should post about zoodles or pancakes next... comment below!! :)