We are loving this raw vegan walnut chocolate chunk ice cream at my house right now! It’s 100% raw, inexpensive, and easy!
Here are the best tip I can offer you to make this recipe as soft & creamy as possible are:
#1 Soak your walnuts for at least 8 hours, and rinse very very well. This will wash away the bitterness and help soften them.
#2 After soaking & rinsing, blend the walnuts with the other ingredients really really well. When you think you have blended long enough, blend it just a little bit longer! And if you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec you will really “rawk” this recipe.
#3 Having an ice cream maker really helps in making great ice cream. Now, you can make this recipe without one, which I have done in the past, and it will still be good, but to get it to be like the store bought stuff, an ice cream maker really does make a huge difference. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, just pour the recipe into a bowl, and stir every few hours.
*Note, if you follow the tips above, you will end up with a pretty smooth & creamy ice cream. You might notice a tiny bit of a grainy texture due to the nature of the ingredients, but I found soaking & blending like above really helped to make a smooth ice cream that we are truly enjoying!!
Walnut Chunk Chocolate Ice Cream:
- 2 cups walnuts, soaked 8 hours
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 cup liquid sweetener, coconut nectar, maple syrup (or honey)
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla and/or almond extract
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons raw virgin coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder*
- 1 Tablespoon sweetener, coconut nectar, maple syrup (or honey)
- Tiny pinch sea salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts, frozen
*you can also sub in regular cocoa powder if you don’t have raw cacao, but ultimately it takes best with the raw cacao powder!
Soak 2 cups raw walnuts (in 4 cups water) for 8 hours. Drain and rinse very well. This will remove the bitterness and tannins. Put walnuts, 2 cups fresh pure water, sweetener, cacao, vanilla, salt into a high speed blender. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour into an ice cream maker, and follow the directions for your ice cream maker. While ice cream is churning, let’s make the chocolate chunks.
Gently melt 2 tablespoons raw virgin coconut oil over a double boiler. You just barely want to melt the coconut oil, keeping it as cool as possible yet still in liquid form. Stir in raw cacao and sweetener. Mix in ½ cup frozen walnuts, rolling the nuts so they are fully coated in chocolate.
When your ice cream is just about ready, and starting to thicken in your ice cream maker, drop in your chocolate covered walnuts, one by one, so they are churned in. Or you can set your chocolate covered walnuts on a piece of wax paper and firm up in the freezer to serve on top of your ice cream. After about 30 minutes, when the ice cream is done churning in the ice cream maker, I recommend putting the ice cream into the freezer to sit for a few more hours to really firm up nicely. And the good news, even after sitting in the freezer for a couple of days, this ice cream was still soft enough to spoon out, and not icy like a lot of homemade vegan ice creams can be!
If you do not have an ice cream maker you can pour the blended walnut ice cream mixture into a glass or metal bowl, set in the freezer, and stir every hour or so. Your you can make milkshakes by blending some of the mixture with ice and serving in big mason jars. Or you can pour into a popsicle mold to create chocolate walnut fudgesicles. (I made sure the mixture with the chocolate covered walnut chunks was already pretty firm & frozen before pushing into popsicle molds, but if you aren’t adding chunks, you should be able to just pour the mixture into the popsicle molds & freeze!)