2cansof full fat coconut milk (two 13.4 ounce cans)
1tablespoonvanilla bean paste or extract or 1 vanilla bean
2/3cupcane sugar or other granulated sugar
Ensure your cashews are completely soaked from before. Also ensure your ice cream maker freezer base is in the freezer for at least 7 to 24 hours before (preferably 24 hours) . If you just keep it in your freezer, then it’s always ready!
In a high speed blender, blend the soaked cashews, coconut milk, vanilla bean paste, cane sugar and the sea salt together until completely smooth, about 2-4 minutes on high speed depending on your blender. You want to ensure it’s 100% smooth, so feel free to blend longer until you’re sure all the cashews are blended out. If that means you need to blend longer, definitely blend until fully smooth.
Pour mixture into a bowl, container or leave in the blender and cover. Sometimes the mixture can get hot while blending. Place it in the fridge for 4 hours in the coldest spot, up to 2 days if you don't plan to make the ice cream immediately.
Remove from the fridge. Set up your ice cream machine and place the ice cream maker freezer base into the machine and pour the ice cream mixture in. Prepare according to manufacturer settings, for about 20-25 minutes of churning. The mixture should be thick and smooth. If you're not using an ice cream maker, check out my chocolate avocado post for no churn instructions.
Scoop the soft serve ice cream into a container (I use a loaf pan) and smooth down. Place plastic wrap or a reusable wrap or parchment or wax paper flat against the ice cream, then wrap the outside of the pan too. You want to ensure it's all protected from ice crystals. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours to set up, even overnight if you desire. You can also enjoy it immediately like soft serve!
After at least 4 hours in the freezer, remove container from freezer and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes on the counter (like you would store bought ice cream). Scoop, serve and enjoy!
Ice cream making Tips & FAQ
I used an ice cream maker to make this recipe. Ensure your ice cream maker base is ready! It can be tempting to shorten this time but it’s necessarily to get the mixture cold enough to turn it into ice cream. I just leave my base in the freezer, which means it’s always ready!
It’s important to use full fat coconut milk. Don’t use lite. Also remember we are using the full can of coconut milk. Also, do not substitute coconut milk powder. It isn’t creamy enough and will result in icy ice cream.
Don't rush your ice cream base (the actual mixture) chilling time. I made it after 10 minutes in the freezer,and after a few hours in the fridge and after whole night in the fridge. The last two were far more creamy, set much faster in the ice cream maker, and were much easier to scoop. I highly recommend chilling the cashew cream for the right length of time.
If you live in a hot climate (like I do) I recommend doing this in the coolest part of your house or turning on your AC if you have one. This ensures the mixture solidifies properly.
Always cover your finished ice cream as per the recipe, otherwise ice particles will form in it and result in some small ice chunks.
If you're not using an ice cream maker; follow my tips from my chocolate avocado ice cream to get the best texture.