This fresh blueberry cashew ice cream is the most amazing colour and sings of sweet blueberries and roasted, creamy cashews. It's plant-based and both dairy and egg free, perfect for those with allergies or dietary restrictions.
Originally I made this recipe with coconut. Delicious but not what I was going for. If that sounds more like you, check out my recipe for coconut blueberry ice cream. Which is better? I couldn't say, but I wrote a post comparing the two so you can decide for yourself. This version uses pure cashews in two different forms, milk with raw cashews and butter with roasted cashews. It's worth making the two to get a more complex cashew flavour and they are super easy to whip up yourself at home.
The secret to this recipe is to blend blend blend. You will need a good-quality immersion blender or you can use a food processor.
To make the blueberry cashew ice cream
Make the three elements first, then combine them at the end.
Put the raw cashews into a large heatproof bowl and cover them with boiling water. Soak for one hour. Don't skip this step, you want the cashews to absorb the water and make them easier to blend into nice creamy milk. There is some debate online on if soaking in boiling water reduces the nutritional value of cashews. If you are worried about this you can cover it with water and soak it overnight in the fridge instead.
Drain the soaking water off and put soaked cashews into a deep bowl you can use an immersion blender in. Alternatively, you can use a food processor. I don't recommend using a blender as I find the finer pieces tend to get stuck in the bottom and it's hard to get a smooth consistency. Plus they are a total pain to clean.
Add the cold water to the cashews. This can be water from the tap, it does not need to be cold water from the fridge or especially 'room temperature water. Blend the water and cashews well until it forms creamy milk. Taste the cashew milk or rub some between your fingers. It should have a smooth, creamy consistency. If there are still gritty large particles you need to keep blending.
Next, make the cashew butter. Put the roasted cashews into the chopping bowl of an immersion blender or food processor. Blend until it resembles fine bread crumbs and is starting to creep up the sides.
Add the peanut oil and blend again until a smooth paste forms. Test it will a spoon or between your fingers, again it should be smooth without any grittiness or large particles. If not, you need to keep blending. It's almost a shame to put this in ice cream, it's so delicious you could easily pop it into a jar and spread it on toast instead of peanut butter.
To make the blueberry jam measure out the blueberries and add them to a small pot with the sugar and a couple of tablespoons of water to get it started. If you don't want to use refined sugar you could substitute it for something like maple syrup but be aware anything other than plain sugar will have a stronger flavour which may distract from the blueberry and cashew flavour in the final ice cream.
Simmer on low, stirring frequently until rich and jammy and the total volume in the pot has reduced by about one-third. Allow to cool, then transfer to a deep bowl you can use an immersion blender, or a clean food processor. Blend until smooth, all the skins are blended up and the seeds are well blended as much as possible. The blueberry jam is harder to get very smooth due to the seeds but do your best.
Hot tip: Wait untill the blueberry jam is properly cool. Do not try to blend hot blueberry jam or you may be badly burnt by hot, sticky jam going everywhere.
Once the jam is smooth add the lemon juice and mix well.
To finish making the blueberry cashew ice cream
In a deep bowl, you can use an immersion blender to add the cashew milk, cashew butter, vanilla essence and salt. Blend well. Add the blueberry jam and mix well, either with a spoon or the immersion blender again.
Chill well in the fridge, for at least three hours, ideally longer.
If you are using a self-refrigerating ice cream churner turn this on about ten minutes before churning your ice cream and make sure your storage container is in the freezer chilling. Otherwise, take your freezer bowl out of the freezer just before churning.
Churn your ice cream. It will be the consistency of soft serve when done. Eat immediately or transfer to a chilled container and freeze overnight or until desired consistency is reached.
Remove the ice cream from the freezer for five minutes to soften up then scoop and enjoy. Yummy served with some extra blueberries and some crushed cashews or on its own. Delicious!
Have you made this recipe? I'd love to know how it went in the comments below.
Blueberry cashew ice cream
- ice cream maker
- immersion blender with chopping bowl attachment OR a food processor
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup (150gms) raw cashews
- boiling water, for soaking
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (270ml) water
- 1 cup (150gms) roasted cashews
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil or similar neutral oil
- 3 cups (450gms) fresh or frozen blueberries
- ½ cup (120gms) caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Make the cashew milk, cashew butter and blueberry jam, then combine as instructed
- Put raw cashews into a large heat proof bowl. Cover with boiling water and soak for one hour
- Drain well. Add to deep bowl you can use an immersion blender in, add water.
- Blend very well until cashew milk is smooth and no longer gritty
- Place roast cashews in chopping bowl of immersion blender. Blend until fine and starting to form a paste.
- Add peanut oil. Continue to blend until very smooth paste and no longer gritty
- Add blueberries, sugar and water to a small pot.
- Simmer, stirring frequently until water is reduced by about ⅓ and you have a thick, jammy consistency.
- Allow to cool. Transfer to a deep sided bowl you can use an immersion blender in.
- Blend well until jam is smooth and no longer gritty. Add lemon juice and mix well.
To assemble the ice cream mix
- Add cashew butter to bowl with cashew milk. Add salt and vanilla essence.
- Blend well with immersion blender until fully combined.
- Add blueberry jam to cashew mix and mix well with a spoon or immersion blender until fully combined.
- Chill mix well, at least 3 hours or overnight if desired.
- If using a self churning ice cream machine turn this on ten minutes before churning to allow bowl to chill, otherwise take churner bowl out of the freezer just before churning.
- Churn ice cream. This took about 30mins in my machine but yours may vary.
- When ice cream is done it will be soft serve consistency. Eat immediately or if a firmer texture is desired transfer to chilled container and freeze overnight.
- To serve remove from freezer and leave for a few mins to soften up, then scoop and enjoy! Delicious with some extra blueberries on top or on its own
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.