Monday Musings… Ice Cream makeover


It’s been awhile, and quite frankly I feel like I have stage fright as I sit here looking at the blank screen, hoping the words I share are inspiring. One of my fears is that I will ramble on. Recently I lost a best friend too soon, then coming up on the year anniversary of my Daddy passing on, checking out, leaving (sorry inside joke) and the memories are a little bitter, but also very sweet. Yet I feel like I need to be back here. Sharing life, food, health all in the name of healing “mind, body and spirit.

So today I will share the sweet of memories and the fact that my Pa liked his ice cream. As a little kid when my parents where divorced I remember the drive back to West Carrollton. We would stop at the Baskin Robbins 31 flavors on Salem Ave, and I would get chocolate chip mint and make a mess of it! In later years I remember Pa coming up the stairs to get a little bowl of the sweet cold tastiness, some crazy rocky road or turtle track mix and heading back down to his recliner. Later hearing the clinking music of the spoon getting the last little bit and you knew the bowl was “empatee” aka empty in Pa language.

Yes, he passed on his enjoyment of ice cream, and I admit to an addiction that had me eating out of the pints, or 1/2 gallons as a single gal. I once proclaimed that ice cream was better than men, (I am sure this was after some breakup)  it was always there, meant to be cold, and it wouldn’t leave… oh it wouldn’t leave me, my hips, my belly, my thighs and as I now know all the crazy stuff that dairy was actually doing to my health. Since I really didn’t (a choice) control my addiction I was lead to years of boycotting ice cream in my freezer! If I wanted it, I had to leave the house to get it.

Ice cream became a treat for the grand-kids too. If youmentioned hiking orgeocaching to the kids, well that meant a stop for ice cream no matter what the time of year, and Pa knew all the best places for good ice cream.

Captain 9's after a great day hiking at Germantown
Captain 9’s after a great day hiking at Germantown Dam
This is why the pockets are empty... look at all the happy faces!
This is why the pockets are empty… look at all the happy faces!

So thankful that Pa passed on the love of outdoors, time with us and well ice cream!

Yes we made homemade ice cream, but not as much in the later years. Just a few years ago my brother got Mom and Dad a counter top Cuisinart ice cream maker and we whipped up a few flavors, much easier than the crank method and almost as good. Sometimes I think the effort and extra work in the making of the ice cream with all that salt, cranking and ice somehow made it taste sweeter 🙂

After I went dairy and basically sugar-free, I was a spectator to the enjoying of the ice cream on our adventures. Snagging a  taste here and there but oh too sweet for this girl. When we would have ice cream at home I would get the rice dream ice cream and it “would do” in a pinch and I did find one brand that was pretty good but $$$$ at $6 for a pint. One of my quick “go to” ice cream fix is banana ice cream, basically frozen bananas, whipped up in the blender or food processor. You can jazz it up with vanilla, chocolate and mask most of the banana flavor… still not quite there.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I invited friends over for dinner! A little out of my element, but oh so fun! One of my guest is a lover of the ice cream, and as a new Momma with a toddler too, I wanted to make her a treat. She also has gone dairy free so it was time for me to do this “home-made ice cream thing.” Yes I experimented on my guest!

I asked my Mom if I could borrow the ice cream maker and I dug out my trusty Crazy Sexy Kitchen cookbook and found the recipe. Going for the clean taste of Vanilla Bean, because I was serving this sweet treat up with drunken berries! This recipe was super easy and the little ice cream maker was the bomb!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Drunken Berries and dark chocolate cocoa nib bark
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Drunken Berries and dark chocolate cocoa nib bark





The guest really liked it, which left me thinking, why, why have I spent all this time without ice cream, when this is so easy!! I can’t wait to try some different flavors, and while this is plant-based, dairy free it still falls in the treat category, but really you won’t feel as guilty for eating something so good.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours or overnight

1  14oz. can of coconut milk

1/2 cup water

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped

1/4 cup agave

pinch of sea salt

1. Blend all the ingredients together in a blender till smooth.

2. Pour ice-cream mixture into a sorbet/ice-cream maker and follow manufacture instructions

3. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker: Line a square container with plastic wrap, pour in the mixture, and freeze overnight. Pop frozen ice cream block out of container the following day, slice into a couple 2 to 3 inch  strips, and put through a twin-gear juicer using the solid plate or pulse in a food processor till desired consistency.

Store in air tight container in the freezer… if you don’t eat it all

I told you it was easy! So much cheaper than buying it at the store and you avoid other additives used in some brands of non dairy frozen treats. I know, it isn’t something I can pack up and take with me on a hike to enjoy with the rest of the family after… but until there is a dairy free version out there at my local ice cream place I know I can enjoy this version with the sweet memories it brings as I scrape the bowl, and hear the singing of the clinking spoon in the bottom of the bowl… and it is empatee! Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with dark chocolate shavings and candied chiptole pecans
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with dark chocolate shavings and candied chiptole pecans


“Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.” 3john2


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kim O. says:

    This sounds delightful! Do you drain the water from the cashews?

    1. zebveg says:

      so sorry for the late reply! yes!

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