Creamy Vanilla Raisin Ice Cream (raw, GF)
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Plain vanilla ice creams have always gotten a bad rap if you ask me. They are often pegged as boring or uninteresting. I for one beg to differ. They offer a creamy, velvety base that can be soothing and comforting on their own or it can offer an amazing base for all sorts of creations! Eat it alone, add nut milk and make a shake, top with raw chocolate and/or caramel sauces, spoon fresh fruit over it, add a dollop on top of a raw brownie… if you can dream it, you can create it and you can eat it! :)
This recipe turned out very rich, decadent, thick and creamy. You will need a high-powdered blender to make this because one of the true signs of a successful ice cream is that creamy mouth-feel.
There is no ifs-ands-or-buts-about-it… this ice cream is not low-calorie but that wasn’t my goal when I created it. Raw foods tend to be very rich and dense not only in flavor but also in nutrition. Therefore, it doesn’t take the same volume to satisfy your cravings.
A creative idea to help control portion sizes when making this or any ice cream is to make the batter, run it through the ice cream machine and then pour it in 3 oz Dixie cups. Freeze and when you are ready to curb that ice cream snack attack, simply grab a cup out of the freezer and enjoy! It is always best to allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes, just enough to soften it a tad. The colder the ice cream the less the flavors come through. Did you know that a softer ice cream will taste sweeter than a rock hard frozen ice cream? Conduct your own test, you will understand what I am talking about.
This is a good rule-of-thumb to remember when creating ice cream recipes. You usually need to add more sweetener that you might think. When I am in the blending process and take a taste test, I have to really remember this rule. Does it taste perfect in the soft blended form? If so increase the sweetness. I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Ingredients: yields 4 cups
- 1 1/2 cup raw almond milk
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- 2 Tbsp coconut butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups cashews, soaked = 2 3/4 cup
- 1 cup raisins
- Place the cashews in a glass bowl, along with 4 cups of water.
- Soak for at least 2 hours.
- The soaking process will help reduce phytic acid, which will aid in digestion.
- The soaking also softens the cashews so they blend nice and creamy.
- After the cashews are through soaking, drain and rinse.
- In order, add the following ingredients; almond milk, honey, coconut butter, vanilla, cashews and raisins. Process till nice and creamy.
- In a high-powered blender combine the; cashews, almond milk, sweetener, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt.
- Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender. It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
- Blend until the filling is creamy smooth. You shouldn’t detect any grit. If you do, keep blending.
- This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender. Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth. If the batter is getting too warm. Stop the machine and let it cool. Then proceed once cooled.
- If you have an ice cream maker, after the mixture is blended, chill for about 1 hour in the freezer and then pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- It is best to take the ice cream out of the freezer for about 10 minutes ahead of time so it can have a chance to soften. Did you know that softer ice cream has more flavor than hard, frozen ice cream? Test it for yourself.
Freezing Suggestions for Ice Cream:
- Use ice cream machine. Follow manufactures directions.
- Freeze in popsicle molds or 3 oz Dixie cups with a popsicle stick inserted.
- Pour ice cream into a freezer safe container and stir occasionally as it freezes.
- Freeze the ice cream in individual sized portions. I use either 4 oz mason jars or single serving ice cream containers.
- Store the ice cream in the very back of the freezer, as far away from the door as possible. Every time you open your freezer door you let in warm air. Keeping ice cream way in the back and storing it beneath other frozen-sold items will help protect it from those steamy incursions.
- Ice cream is full of fat, and even when frozen, fat has a way of soaking up flavors from the air around it—including those in your freezer. To keep your ice cream from taking on the odors, use a container with a tight-fitting lid. For extra security, place a layer of plastic wrap between your ice cream and the lid.
- To soften in the refrigerator, transfer ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before using. Or let it stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
- For more tips on making raw ice cream, click (here).