So you may already know that there's a most delicious caramel swirl ice cream recipe kicking around on the blog already... one that is probably in my top favorite ice creams ever. Do you think that would stop me from making another caramel swirl ice cream recipe? Ha, not in a million years!
If there's a thousand and one ways to caramel, I'm willing to explore them all for you :) This one is especially for all vanilla lovers out there... vanilla bean + caramel is like the simplest but one of the most beautiful combos. That and a good salted caramel flavor...
The other reasons why this particular ice cream is in the Must-Try category: Besides the swirls and swirls of caramel involved (aka winning already)...there's ZERO cooking of caramel needed (it's a totally raw recipe)... And then there's the texture...incredibly creamy, smooth, and comforting. It's got the consistency of good ol' regular ice cream, only with none of the cream / sugar / churning involved...
And it's the easiest thing to throw together. Soak nuts, blend everything, wait for it to set (that's the hard part), and then try not to eat it all at once (that's the other hard part).
Delicious, creamy vegan vanilla ice cream (no churn), with a salted caramel swirl. No cooking required for the caramel! Refined sugar-free.
Ice Cream Base:
- 2 cups raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained*
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp tapioca powder
- 1 tsp raw ground vanilla bean (important for flavor)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 1 tbsp carob powder
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temp. Blend all ice cream base ingredients into a smooth consistency in a high speed blender. Transfer this mixture into a glass tupperware container.
- Return ½ a cup of that mixture back into the blender. Add caramel swirl ingredients and blend once again to create the caramel. Swirl this caramel mixture into the ice cream base in the container (be careful not to over-swirl so you don't just blend it all into one flavor). Freeze for 5-6 hours to set (or overnight). Thaw out a touch, scoop and enjoy!
*To pre-soak nuts: 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.