Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Gingered Cherries

I’ve always been a foodie. Living in New York City for 10 years was like being a kid in a candy store when it came to dining out. I enjoyed gourmet meals on a regular basis, complete with wine and elegant desserts….and then health became a priority. And fast. I gave up the fancy dinners out and adopted a new diet with countless reported health benefits- the raw food diet. Of course I struggled with the idea of eating salads for dinner and date nut balls for dessert so I took it upon myself to apply my culinary skills to this new way of eating. Many nights experimenting in the kitchen led to my position as raw pastry chef  at one of the 5-star restaurants I used to frequent. I began creating desserts that rivaled the gourmet desserts I knew and loved and have never looked back since.

I no longer eat a 100% raw diet but will always love my raw desserts. As I’m sure you can tell from my previous post, I’m on a bit of an ice cream kick lately. Nearly all of the desserts I did at the restaurant involved one key component- ice cream or sorbet. I’ve been doing this for a while now but it still amazes me that you can create something so rich and luxurious from such simple, healthy ingredients. Yes, it’s still a treat (I wouldn’t sit down to eat a pint of this in one go) but to me, raw ice cream is the essence of healthy indulgence…ok, maybe raw chocolate too but more on that later 😉

For this recipe, I took a pure classic- vanilla ice cream- and dressed it up a bit. It’s the kind of ice cream I would’ve done for that restaurant in New York and would be equally impressive at any dinner pary…whether a party for many or just for one 🙂

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Gingered Cherries

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream:

1 c water

3/4 c raw cashews

1/4 c raw honey

1 T xylitol powder* or lucuma powder

4 drops vanilla stevia

4 drops Medicine Flower vanilla essence (or use alcohol-free vanilla flavoring)

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

1/4 c melted coconut creme

1 T melted coocnut oil

Gingered Cherries:

1/2 c dried golden cherries

1/2 c water

1/4 tsp vanilla powder

1/4 tsp ginger powder

Blend all ingredients except coconut creme and coconut oil in a high speed blender until smooth. Add the melted creme and oil and blend again. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions or freeze in ice cube trays and blend just before serving. For the cherries, mix all ingredients in a bowl and place in the dehyrator at 115 degrees for 1 hour (best to do 1 hour before serving so the cherries are a bit warm). If you don’t have a dehydrator, simply mix in a bowl and place on the counter to sit for 1-2 hours. The cherries will still absorb the liquid, they just won’t be warm. Serve the ice cream topped with the cherries and enjoy 🙂

*Xylitol powder is simply xylitol (widely available online and at Whole Foods) ground down in a coffee grinder, spice grinder or Magic Bullet. Lucuma powder is delicious as well, the ice cream just won’t be quite as white.

3 thoughts on “Vanilla Bean Ice Cream with Gingered Cherries

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