The Clean Creative

healthy eating can still be awesome

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

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bluecheesecake4There are some things that are so good, they’re worth waiting for. There are other things that are so good, you have to share them RIGHT AWAY. This is one of those things that falls into both categories. You see, I had planned this post for a much later date, since it’s another one that involves blueberries. However, it was just so good that I couldn’t help myself. I’ve also had a lot of requests for this recipe, so I thought I’d better get on it sooner rather than later!

Now before you get started with any ice cream making, you’ll need to make your cream cheese. This process takes a while (plan on a good two days) before it’s ready. And YES, for all of you dairy-free people out there, this is cream cheese you can eat!! It’s made with nothing but raw cashews, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Amazing, huh? I can’t take the credit for this one. The wonderful Leanne from Healthful Pursuit came up with it, so you’ll need to check out her blog for the recipe. Thank you, Leanne! You’re a cream cheese genius!

So…at this point, your cashews have been soaked, blended, and have been draining in the cheesecloth…and it’s two days later and you want your ice cream! I get it. Calm down. You’ve probably also noticed that the flavor of your cream cheese is a little “zingy”. Don’t worry about that, either. When you combine the sharp flavor of the cream cheese with the mild flavor of the blueberries, you end up with absolute perfection.

My cream cheese looked like this when it was done. I don’t know if you’re a nerd like me, but I had a huge sense of accomplishment when I opened up the cheesecloth and found this little guy waiting for me!
bluecheesecake1

As for the ice cream, here’s what you’ll need:

1/4 c. raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour and then drained
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 “glob” of cashew cream cheese (you just finished making this…see above)
3 coconut milk ice cubes (pour canned coconut milk in an ice cube tray and freeze)

Place your soaked cashews and almond milk in the Vitamix and blend for about 30 seconds. Your Vitamix absolutely will fling cashew bits all over the inside of your container, but it’s not a big deal. The whole purpose of this process is to get the cashew cream started before too much heat builds up in the blades. Remember: The Vitamix has a top speed of 37,000 rpms. That can, and WILL melt your ice cream if this power is not properly harnessed.

Cashew cream? Yes, if you’re a non-dairy person, raw cashews are your new best friend. I’ve found that I can make just about any type of cream by soaking raw cashews and blending them. In this case, the cashew cream gives the ice cream some of its creamy goodness.

When your cream is done blending, scrape down the decimated cashew bits so they’re all in the bottom of your Vitamix container. It won’t be perfect, but get as much of that cashew cream down into the blades as you can. Add the banana, blueberries, vanilla extract, cashew cream cheese, and coconut milk ice cubes. How much is a “glob” of cream cheese? If you look at the photo, it’s that odd-looking thing in the upper left corner of the container, and it’s slightly out of focus. It’s about the size of an ice cube – maybe a little smaller.

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Does anyone know how hard it is to shoot a photo of the inside of a Vitamix? I had to shoot these blind because the thing is so tall! Thank God for autofocus. Anyway, back to ice cream!

Put the lid on the Vitamix and put your tamper through that nifty hole in the center of the lid. Start at variable speed 1 and quickly work up to variable speed 10, then HIGH. Use the tamper to push all the ingredients into the blades. Your Vitamix will make horribly angry grinding and chugging noises as you do this, but don’t despair. This is all part of the ice cream making process! Honestly, I wanted to give up about halfway through. Don’t do it. Just keep pushing everything into the blades, and soon your mixture will start to look more blended. When the sound of the motor changes and you see four mounds form on top of your mixture, shut off the machine. It’s not that the Vitamix can’t handle it. Heck, it would blend it into blueberry cheesecake soup if you ran it long enough! The real issue is that it will melt your ice cream very quickly. Who wants that? (The challenge here is that your cashew cream will have already clouded up the sides of the container, so it’s hard to see what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to pull the tamper out for a quick peek!)

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Is that not the most glorious thing you’ve ever seen? Wonderful blueberry ice cream with swirled-in bits of cashew cream – where have you been all my life? Your tamper should be full of the ice creamy goodness, so when you pull it out, DON’T WASH IT OFF! God gave you a tongue, so use it! Wash it off after you’ve licked it clean.

It’s at this point in the process that I literally freaked out. With nobody in the kitchen to hear my exuberance, I kept saying over and over, “Oh my gosh…Oh my gosh…OH MY GOSH!!!” It was awesome. The flavor and wonderful creaminess was more than I could take. I literally started drooling. It’s as if my salivary glands got so excited that they tried to jump right into the Vitamix container before I could put more in my mouth! I tried to lick anything that had this stuff on it. If the blades on that blender weren’t sharp enough to shear off my tongue, I’m sure I would have found a way to stick my head in the container. (Feel free to run with that mental image!)

Scoop your ice cream out with an ice cream scoop (because it’s that absolutely perfect consistency), and serve it up with a few left over frozen blueberries. Unlike me, you can just eat it at that point. I, however, had to photograph this thing so that I could share the final product with all of you! Do you know how hard that was? The photography part was easy. Resisting the temptation to shove a spoon in it and eat the whole thing was not. Don’t say I’ve never done anything for you. (I recommend eating this right away. If you freeze it and save it for later, it isn’t as good!)

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As soon as I put my camera back in the bag, I devoured this thing. Really, there’s enough ice cream in the container for two people, but since there’s nothing “bad” in it, I see no harm in eating the whole thing.

By the way, I don’t recommend trying this in a household blender. You might be able to get away with a much gentler approach (blending this in little bits at a time), but I make no guarantees. If you use the rather aggressive “dump it all in at one time” Vitamix method, you can be sure you’ll burn out the motor. However, if you’re waiting for your blender to die so that you can finally justify getting a Vitamix, then jump in with both feet and get aggressive with it! πŸ™‚ (You didn’t hear me say that, by the way.)

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, in a nutshell:
1/4 c. raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 hour and then drained
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
1 frozen banana
1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 “glob” of cashew cream cheese (recipe found here)
3 coconut milk ice cubes (pour canned coconut milk in an ice cube tray and freeze)

Place soaked cashews and almond milk in the Vitamix and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of container. Add banana, blueberries, vanilla extract, cashew cream cheese, and coconut milk ice cubes. Blend in the Vitamix (using the tamper) until for mounds form on top of the mixture. Stop the machine. Scoop and serve!

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7 thoughts on “Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

  1. Thank you from the bottom of my children’s hearts. Cream cheese for dairy free kids! Happy day!

  2. Pingback: Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream-dairy and soy free! | Super Roller Coaster Mama

  3. Ooh, this could make my kids VERY happy. They have not had dairy is so many years! What could I use instead of apple cider vinegar? My girl is allergic to apple.

  4. So, so smart. I’m definitely going to be doing this. Thanks for sharing my recipe on your blog πŸ™‚

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