Makes 1 quart
Well, today is finally the release of Isa Does It. But who cares? Here’s an amazing ice cream recipe! Yeah, maybe the days are getting colder, but I’ve always loved ice cream on a chilly day and who doesn’t want to eat everything pumpkin during autumn? Watch how easy it is in a new episode of Make It Vegan!
I spent forever coming up with a really really creamy ice cream that just shouts, you know, ICE CREAM. Tofu is just fine, but it can be, um, tofu. And coconut milk is sometimes just too icy for me. This ice cream is where it’s at. So I want to talk a bit about the ingredients I’m using and why I’m using them. (You don’t have to read it if the “why” of things bores you. Just skip ahead and make the best ice cream you’ve ever had.)
We will get to the cashew base in a sec, but first things first: we want to prevent ice crystals. When you take a taste of the ice cream, you want undisturbed lickability without any disruptions, like scraping your tongue along a gravelly piece of ice. (Yes, I said lickability.) So a few of the ingredients are there to prevent that dastardly iciness.
For one: a big dose of pure vanilla extract. The alcohol in it helps to prevent ice from forming. Plus, it tastes pretty darn good.
And maybe you raised your eyebrows at the olive oil. Well the fat does a few things. 1) Prevents ice crystals. 2) Makes the texture creamy and rich. You need fat in ice cream. We’re not making sorbet here! 3) Flavor. Olive oil and pumpkin? That is music to your tastebuds.
Next up: corn syrup! A bit of liquid sugar prevents iciness as well. And organic, non-gmo, beautiful amber corn syrup seems to do the trick best. If you need to replace it with agave or maple syrup, though, so be it!
Now, about those cashews. Well, I use cashews in a lot of things, and it’s because they are as close to a heavy cream as a vegan can get. In this ice cream, I also boil the cashews instead of merely soaking them to soften. I tried it both ways (soaked vs boiled) and noticed that the boiled ones just created a better texture as well as neutralized any cashew flavor. Win win! I mean, cashews are delicious and all, but really, it’s all about the pumpkin here.
And finally, rice milk. Why rice milk? Because it is one of the only commercially available plant-based milks without any thickeners or preservatives. I don’t want any tapioca starch or carageenan in my ice cream. Those ingredients also will affect the outcome of the ice cream. To keep things consistent, rice milk is best. Look for ones that only have a sweetener and a little salt. Those are ingredients we’re adding anyway. On the other hand, if you’re like “to hell with consistency”, you can use any plant based milk you like.
OK OK, there’s a wonderful video here, so why am I even writing all this? It’s time for ice cream.
~All ice cream makers are not created equal. I love my Breville Smart Scoop, and think it’s as close to a professional ice cream maker as a home cook can get. But read your ice cream maker instructions before using, because you may have to pre-freeze the containers, or some such thing.
1 cup plain rice milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon organic corn syrup
1 tablespoon light molasses
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice [see note]
Preset your ice cream maker to a hard gelato setting, and pour in ice cream mixture. Once churned, you can eat immediately as a soft serve, but for scoopable results, seal tightly and freeze for about 24 hours.
I forgot to say I used agave instead of molasses because I really do not like the taste of molasses and as far as I know it didn’t affect the finished product. That is all.
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I’m a little late to this party, but just made this recipe & this is hands down the best ice cream I’ve ever made. The taste is amazing and the consistency is spot on. This is going to be a keeper. Fantastic.
After googling and looking at all of these recipes for vegan ice cream and was like, “Do they not know about cashew cream?” Which of course led me to your site, since I make a lot of your food using soaked cashews, so happy to find this recipe to play around with for different flavors. Of course, I’ll have to make your pumpkin one first then start toying with it for other flavors.
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What are the measurements for the candied pepitas? Thanks!
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Yes! Finally something about blog.
The recipe and video inspired me to buy an ice cream maker. It was an impulse purchase which I was mostly regretting until I made the recipe. Delicious!
Three words: TO DIE FOR! I couldn’t stop licking the spatula and blender and ice cream maker attachments. Alas, I wasn’t going to actually have a serving of the ice cream because I am making it for guests. Can’t wait to dig in. I will be serving it over a vegan apple crisp. Oh yeah!
Hey Isa, just wondering which type of olive oil did u use for this recipe. Is it the extra virgin olive oil?
Oh my gosh, I just finished this and it’s amazing. I am trying to wait for my family to get home so I don’t eat it all without them. Thank you!!
Oh, brilliant 🙂 I don`t care that it`s cold already, I`ll definitely try this. It looks amazing, thank you for sharing this. I love pumpkin recipes 🙂
Paired this with your Pumpkin Streusel cake in Veganomicon for Christmas dinner….Wow!!! The texture is spot on. It’s almost gelato….rich, creamy, and smooth. Plus, it was super easy to make. Thanks Isa!
Could sunflower or pumpkin seeds be used instead of the cashews? We have nut allergies in the family.
Also, can brown rice syrup be used in lieu of the corn syrup? If so, will it affect the the flavor and creaminess?
I have been able to successfully use this recipe as a starting point for strawberry, vanilla, pistachio, cherry almond (partially replace some of vanilla extract with almond extract), peanut butter, and butter pecan. Our friends don’t believe it’s dairy-free. Chocolate would also be easy, but I’m not into chocolate ice cream.
I use Westsoy unsweetened/plain soymilk. It only has soybeans and water as the ingredients and it’s my favorite milk. I no longer add oil, the soymilk has enough fat in it that it doesn’t make a difference. In my pantry, I already had cane sugar syrup, so I use that; instead of buying corn syrup.
If I’m not making the pumpkin version, I don’t add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice. or molasses. This seems obvious to me, but for those where I was at 10 years ago, needing to exactly follow a recipe, that might not be obvious.
For our tastes, I also reduced the sugar a bit.