The other day I felt like making ice cream. Since my chocolate cashew ice cream had been such a success, I figured I’d try making another batch of cashew ice cream. I started out trying to make vanilla, but that was just tasting sort of meh, so I threw in some cinnamon.
Oh man–that was definitely the right decision. This cinnamon cashew ice cream is so good! I know I say that about all of my ice cream recipes, but it’s still just as true. 🙂 (What can I say–we like ice cream! And I don’t post it here unless it’s really good.) I think my cinnamon coconut ice cream is amazing, too, but if you like cinnamon you definitely need to also give this one a try. Especially if you don’t like coconut. There’s no coconut in this ice cream–just raw cashews.
A Couple Notes on the Recipe
You need raw cashews to make this ice cream. I’ve read that most raw cashews are actually briefly pasteurized, but that’s actually not a problem here. I bought raw cashews and didn’t bother with finding out whether they were “truly raw.” You can take that extra step if you want to, but truly raw cashews are more expensive so I don’t worry about it. Just make sure you don’t buy roasted cashews.
I’ve found that Azure Standard has the best price on organic raw cashews, but I also buy these organic raw cashews from Amazon.
Like all nuts and grains, cashews contain some anti-nutrients that make them hard to digest. You can eliminate some of these nutrients by soaking the cashews prior to eating them. I’ve seen a lot of variation in the recommended soaking times for cashews, so I just do what works for me that day. You can soak them as long as overnight, or as little as three or four hours. Ideally I like to soak overnight, but I will do a short soak if I’m really in a rush to make cashew ice cream.
The longer you soak the cashews, the more water they will absorb, but I’ve accounted for this in my recipe instructions so the variation isn’t a problem.
What if I Don’t Have an Ice Cream Maker?
I get this question from time to time. Honestly my first response is: get an ice cream maker! 🙂 Seriously. If you like dairy-free ice cream and think you’ll make it regularly, an ice cream maker is 100% a worthwhile investment. We got this model for our wedding in 2008, and it probably made a few hundred batches of ice cream before it finally gave out in 2016.
I replaced it with this newer model, which I’ve been very happy with. My family LOVES ice cream, and since Jesse can’t eat any sweeteners other than honey, homemade ice cream is our only option. (Plus, have you seen the cost of cashew ice cream in the store? That stuff is expensive.)
If I haven’t convinced you, though, here’s a post from The Kitchn on how to make ice cream without a machine. Give some of their ideas a try and see what you think. I haven’t tried any of these methods myself, so I can’t comment on how well they’d work for this particular recipe.
Equipment You’ll Need
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1/2 tablespoon salt, for soaking cashews
- 1/3 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons raw honey (depending on how sweet you want your ice cream)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 pinches salt, or more to taste
- Add cashews to a glass jar, then add enough water to cover the cashews. Add 1/2 tablespoon salt and stir to combine.
- Cover jar and soak cashews at room temperature, for at least three hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to make your ice cream, drain and rinse your cashews.
- Add cashews to a blender, then add enough water to bring the volume in your blender up to 3 and 3/4 cups. (The amount of water you add will vary based on how long your cashews have been soaking. Using a total volume measurement accounts for the fact that longer soaking cashews will have already absorbed quite a bit of water.)
- Add cinnamon, honey, vanilla and salt. Blend until you have a smooth mixture and all ingredients are combined. Taste test to make sure you don't need to add more salt or honey.
- If your mixture is warm from the blending process, chill it in the fridge until it cools down.
- Add mixture to your ice cream maker and process until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Serve immediately, or chill for a few hours to allow ice cream to firm up. I recommend storing ice cream in a wide, shallow container to simplify future defrosting.
- By the next day, your ice cream will have become very hard in the freezer. This is not a problem--just allow it to defrost some on your counter before serving.