Vegan ice cream has come a long way since its flavorless soy and rice milk-based beginnings. Gone are the days of frostbitten pints lost to the back of a disheveled freezer at some organic, hippie-dippy health store reserved only for the poor souls suffering from lactose intolerance.
Nowadays, no matter your reason, you can find great nondairy ice cream almost everywhere and in a wide variety of flavors. Van Leeuwen is one of the companies leading the charge, ensuring that vegan ice cream is not only readily available, but that is tastes great, too. What's even better? Its ice creams are easy to make right in the comfort of your own home, and the flavor options are endless. Get ready to watch this frozen dessert disappear faster than it can melt.
To learn more, read "Non-Dairy Queen."
Vegan Salted Caramel Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from 'Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream,' Laura O'Neill (Ecco)
Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus overnight soaking and chilling time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus overnight soaking and chilling time
For the Cashew Milk:
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water, plus more for soaking
For the Salted Caramel Vegan Ice Cream:
1 cup prepared cashew milk
1 cup coconut milk
¾ cup, plus 2 tablespoons, sugar
¼ cup extra-virgin coconut oil, divided
6 tablespoons cocoa butter
1 teaspoon flaky salt
1. Make the cashew milk: In a medium bowl, submerge the cashews completely with cold water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Strain the cashews, discarding the soaking liquid, and add them to a blender along with fresh water. Blend the mixture on high for 2 minutes.
3. Make the ice cream: In a medium bowl, combine the cashew and coconut milks, then set aside for later.
4. In a large sauté pan, cook the sugar over medium heat. When most of the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes, gently stir the liquid with a wooden spoon to prevent it from burning. Continue to cook the sugar until it is a rich brown color, 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add half of the coconut oil; stir until it is completely dissolved, 2 minutes. Add the remaining coconut oil and remaining ice cream ingredients, and stir until all has dissolved. Transfer the caramel and the milk mixture to a high-speed blender, and blend on high for 3 minutes, until completely emulsified.
5. Chill the ice cream base for 2 hours in the refrigerator, spin in an ice cream maker until the mixture hardens, then serve immediately or refrigerate overnight.