It’s hot outside, and it’s back to school time! How about trying a new ice cream recipe that will cool everyone off, and provide a healthier treat at the end of a long day? Have you ever had or made dairy-free ice cream and felt that there was something missing? A creaminess, a thickness, a heartiness, that comes standard with every bite of dairy-full Haagen-Daz ice cream? Well we discovered the perfect ingredient to add this creaminess to non-dairy ice cream: yams! Although yams are one of the more starchy root vegetables out there, they contain complex carbohydrates and a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C and minerals. Combine them with pumpkin-pie-esque spices and you’ve got yourself a wonderful pre-fall dessert that will remind your taste buds of the season ahead. If you can’t find yams, sweet potatoes work too!
Although this ice cream is great right out of the ice cream maker (and who could resist tasting the final product as soon as it’s done?), if you put it in tupperware and freeze it for a few hours or overnight, by the next day, it will have that firm but thick creamy consistency that before now, we could only find in full-dairy, full-fat creamy ice cream. You can top your ice cream with your topping of choice, we suggest something light and crunchy to provide a nice contrast to the thickness of the ice cream!
This recipe has a few different components that need to be done ahead of time, so we recommend you start the day before you intend to finish it.
Ingredients (makes 1 quart):
1 cup Vegan Cashew Cream (see recipe below)
1 cup yam puree (about 2 medium yams)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons non-dairy butter
1/3 cup water
½ cup non-dairy milk (we like organic soy milk)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the higher quality the better)
1) Chop the yams and bake them
Thoroughly peel the yams and chop them into 1 inch square pieces. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar and non-dairy butter. Cover with tin foil and poke about six small slits in the tin foil to allow steam to escape while the yams are baking. Bake at 400F (204C) for 40 minutes.
2) Purée the yams
Remove the yams from the oven, allow to cool, then purée in a food processor for about one minute.
3) Simmer the ice cream ingredients then cool
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the Cashew Cream, yam purée, water, non-dairy milk, sugar, maple syrup, egg yoke, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer then remove from heat while whisking constantly. Whisk the mixture for an additional 5 minutes to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Transfer to a covered container and place in the refrigerator to cool for about two hours.
4) Process the ice cream to perfection
Stir in the vanilla extract and mix in an ice cream maker for about 30 minutes.
5) Transfer to the freezer to harden
Vegan Cashew Cream
1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews, soaked and rinsed
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 ½ teaspoons agave syrup
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Soak the cashews overnight. Rinse and blend (or process in the food processor) the cashews with the other ingredients until creamy, for about 1 minute.