I've been seeing lots of ice cream posts lately, so naturally, I wanted ice cream, too. The post that finally sent me over the edge was this one at eat'n veg'n. After I saw it all I could think about (other than gardening) was making ice cream. It's also been at the back of my mind that Wheeler's Black Label Vegan Ice Cream is releasing an ice cream cookbook ("Vegan Scoop") in June and is going to do a virtual book tour on lots of blogs. The blog you are reading right now will be hosting Wheeler's virtual tour on July 7, and they've sent me an exclusive recipe to try out and share. But this isn't the recipe. I thought I'd wait until closer to the date of the tour before I posted that recipe. You're probably wondering how a virtual book tour works, and so am I. Guess we'll find out together.
The ice cream I saw on Diann's blog was made with cashews and fruit, and although I've made cashew ice cream before, I'd never done it quite this way. She made hers with peaches and strawberries but mine is made with banana and mango. I used frozen mango so I could eliminate the "chill in the refrigerator for several hours" part because I am impatient that way. And I happened to have a bag of frozen mango from Trader Joe's that I've been adding to smoothies. And I wouldn't have to touch the mango skin.
I used to love mangoes, especially the champagne mangoes I used to find three for $2 at Whole Foods. They were fabulous, and I ate them whenever I could. Then one day I must have gotten a little too enthusiastic and was kind of gnawing the inside of the mango skin to get every last drop of fruit. The next thing I knew my lips and the whole area around my mouth were red and swollen and covered in nasty, itchy, burning bumps and welts. I was horrified because for one thing it was ghastly looking and extremely painful, and for another, I did not want to be allergic to mangoes! I didn't eat mangoes for about two years.
My friend Lorraine said I was likely just allergic to the mango skin, but that I could probably still eat the fruit if I didn't touch the skin. She wears rubber gloves to peel the fruit and never touches the mango skin with her bare skin or she gets that horrible rash. I was too afraid to try until recently, when I was missing mangoes so much I bought the bag of frozen fruit. I made a smoothie with a few pieces in it and told my family that if I stopped breathing they should call 911. So far so good. I've consumed almost the entire bag without incident. However, from what I've learned about mango allergy, you can be allergic just to the skin, or to the whole fruit. So if this has happened to you, make sure you have access to medical help before you experiment with eating the fruit! Allergic reactions can be fatal.
Mango-banana ice cream
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup rice milk (or other non-dairy milk like coconut or soy)
1 banana (at least 1 cup of slices)
2 cups frozen mango chunks
2 large strawberries
1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
1/2 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional but highly recommended)
In a blender, grind the cashews to a powder. Scrape down the sides to make sure all is ground.
Add the rice milk and blend on high speed until very creamy. Check to make sure all graininess is gone.
Add banana, agave and ginger, and blend.
Add mango and strawberries and blend until mango is puréed.
Freeze in an ice cream freezer. When almost frozen, add the chocolate chips, if using.
This was the creamiest and best ice cream I've ever made. It was fabulous. In fact, it was better than any of the commercial non-dairy ice creams we've bought. For my taste, it was a little too sweet (my husband didn't think so) and I'll reduce the sweetener next time. I used 1 teaspoon of gingerroot and will probably use 2 next time because I love ginger.