"You're having a summer baby? Oh you're going to be so hot!". Must literally be the most common thing people have said to me since being pregnant. Well up until about two weeks ago I was absolutely fine, but these last few weeks I've definitely been feeling the burn! I think everyone's probably been heating up though (in New Zealand and Australia that is), with temperatures here in Auckland regularly reaching the high 20's with lots of humidity.
Whilst I've only got one more week of extra thermostatic heating to go, I thought what better a time to share with you a delicious dairy-free ice cream recipe for these hot summer days. Northern hemisphere friends hold tight, I know it's bristling with snow right now and ice cream is probably the last thing on your mind, but trust me book mark this one for July you will love it!
The Dark Side of Dairy
When people start to transition to a more plant-based diet, I find the hardest thing they struggle with is coming off dairy and finding an equally delicious replacement. When you grow up in New Zealand, and even other agricultural countries like Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the US, dairy is a part of almost every meal. Milk, yoghurt, butter, cheese or eggs for breakfast; cheese, feta or butter with lunch; cheese or eggs mixed into dinner; and ice-cream or yoghurt for dessert. Furthermore it's near impossible to bypass dairy if you're eating out, as it's added in one form of another in almost everything (especially baked goods darn it!).
This poses an issue for us who are trying to reduce dairy either from an ethical perspective (read my previous post on that here), or for health reasons. There are increasing numbers of people who are lactose intolerant, especially those from eastern cultures who've never eaten dairy at such a pace before. Dairy has also been scientifically shown to be linked to a number of respiratory and skin conditions such as Asthma, Psoriasis and Eczema. I've personally seen more than handful of success stories of people who have reduced their dairy consumption and healed these conditions as a result (including my partner - the change was truly amazing!). Additionally, the consumption of dairy and its protein (casein) has been linked to the onset and hastening of numerous cancers (for example have a read here of The China Study and Whole to learn more).
Fear not dear friend, this ice cream recipe will show you that dairy-free need not be flavour and amazingness free! This ice cream uses a base of cashews and coconut milk, with the addition of real organic fair trade vanilla beans to amplify the flavour. I've always been a fan of simple ice cream flavours, and after you try this I think you'll agree! The other great thing is this recipe will become your go-to ice cream base, and you can add whatever else you like to it. Here are some of my favourite add-in or sprinkled-on combos:
Before I leave you with this amazing recipe, here a few of my other favourite dairy-free pantry staple recipes too - all are absolutely delicious, super simple to make, and great to have stored in your fridge. I have at least one of these guys stashed in the door of my fridge at all times, meaning a simple vege fritter, bowl of fruit or plate of pasta can be transformed into a gourmet masterpiece in seconds.
Would love to see your delicious bowls of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream goodness over on Instagram, so tag your shots @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics - I'll be sharing the best images on my IG and Facebook pages. I'm hoping to keep up my weekly blog over the next few weeks, but am due this coming Thursday (yes that's me above at 39 weeks), so if for some reason you don't hear from me you know where I'll be! Have a beautiful weekend, and look forward to talking again soon.
PS If you like this recipe, I'd love you to share it on Pinterest (hover over any of the images and click Pin It), Instagram (regram or make your own), Facebook or Twitter (hit the buttons up top). Thank you!
Makes 700ml of ice cream
Remember all of the blue linked items below can be ordered directly from our online store, simply click each link then add that item to your cart
Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possible
1c cashews (soaked 3 hours, rinsed and drained)
400ml coconut milk/cream*
2 vanilla beans (scraped) OR 1 tsp vanilla powder
4 tbsp virgin coconut oil (softened)
3 tbsp coconut nectar
1/4 tsp guar gum / lecithin**
pinch sea salt
*I use Trade Aid's organic fair trade coconut milk in all my recipes. Unlike some coconut milks/creams which separate, this one has a beautiful thick even consistency. It's called "coconut milk" but is much more like a coconut cream. You can order it here.
**Guar Gum is a plant-based thickener derived from "Guar" beans, but in small quantities can also prevent ice crystals which cause ice cream to harden into icicles. It helps the water molecules bind to the fat molecules giving you a creamy result. It's only a tiny amount but you definitely get a much smoother authentic ice cream when you include it! Lecithin does a similar thing.
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
Herbs and Natural Supplements - An Evidence-Based Guide (Braun, L., & Cohen, M.)
The Food Pharmacy (Carper, J.)
Healing With Wholefoods (Pitchford, P.)
The China Study (Campbell, T.C.)
Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (Campbell, T.C.)