It’s been a raspberries and cream kind of a week over here. First these bars. Now this ice cream. Oh… this ice cream! It’s so good. If you’re in the mood for something refreshing, sweet, creamy and satisfying, and most importantly a treat bursting with raspberry flavor, this one is for you.
I want to say the ice cream was inspired by the sweltering summer weather and the berry season, but truthfully it was the result of soaking too many cashews while making a humongous raw wedding cake the other day. I had to figure out what to do with these cashews, and after making a three-tier layer cake the last thing I wanted to make was more cake. So I settled on ice cream, and well… this wasn’t a disappointment :)
My favorite part was the flavorful raspberry ripples throughout. When I made it initially I thought I blended the vanilla bean ice cream base with the raspberry jam too much and thought oh well, it’ll just be a gentle pink swirl kind of a treat. Not exactly what I originally envisioned, but hey it’ll still be raspberry-flavored ice cream, so can’t complain. But when the ice cream set and I dug in I uncovered some hidden bright gems… and the more I dug in, the more excited I got… :)
I like this recipe as a basic berry-flavored ice cream treat. It’s super simple (pretty much just blend the mixture then freeze), so no churning, no sugar or dairy-laden base, but the end result is so creamy and smooth I didn’t feel like I was missing a thing.
And on that note: using jam vs. fresh berries here is important as fresh berries can be a bit “icy” or too cold to bite down on in an ice cream like this. The jam-making process condenses the berries and evaporates the water — hence no iciness. If you want to throw a few fresh berries in for good measure, that’s totally fine, but the jam is an important component for the overall texture here, so don’t skip it.
P.S. If you’re looking for more ice cream ideas, here are a few similar recipes you might like:
This vegan raspberry ripple ice cream is super creamy and bursting with raspberry flavor. No-churn and dairy-free.
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Base:
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained*
- ⅔ cup coconut cream from chilled full fat coconut milk**
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or 1-2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- 235 ml fruit-sweetened raspberry jam (just under 1 cup)***
1. Blend all ice cream ingredients until completely smooth in a power blender.
2. Transfer to a 5″ x 5″ glass dish (or a freezer-safe container of a similar size).
3. Fold the raspberry jam into the container, a few spoonfuls at a time, and swirl into ripples (try not to over-blend so that you get to keep more of the ripples intact).
4. Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight. Lightly thaw out to a scoopable consistency and enjoy!
*To pre-soak cashews: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn’t preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you’re interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.
****The coconut cream used in this recipe is only the firm white stuff gathered at the top of chilled cans of full-fat coconut milk. You’ll need to chill the can(s) in an upright position overnight for the cream to separate from the water and surface up to the top. I used the Thai Kitchen full fat coconut milk cans for this recipe and I find that the large 400ml cans yield about ¾ cups cream each once chilled and separated, and the tiny cans (160ml) yield about ⅓ cup cream each (I prefer working with the smaller cans as they seem to separate better). Reserve the remaining water for other uses, only use the firm white cream for the ice cream here. Note that it’s very important for the full fat coconut milk cans to be chilled first so it separates.
***For the jam in this recipe I used a small jar of Crofter’s organic (fruit-sweetened) raspberry jam. I usually buy it in person and it’s much cheaper than it is online. I used this brand specifically here as I like how thick the jam is. However, feel free to use an alternate raspberry jam of your choice (ideally a thicker variety). If looking for a fruit-sweetened version, St. Dalfour is another good brand.
Disclaimer: this recipe contains affiliate links to the following products: raw cashews, full fat coconut milk, maple syrup, salt, raw ground vanilla bean, pure vanilla extract, fruit-sweetened raspberry jam, and power blender.