From Best Gourmet Recipes from the chefs of Five Loaves Deli & Bakery, used with permission. This excellent cookbook is available at Adventist Book Centers and Amazon.com.
During our 10 years of operating a restaurant we always served this recipe in our soft-serve machine. It can be made in a blender, but is easiest to make in the kind of ice-cream maker that has a container you keep in the freezer. Follow those directions.
¾ cup cashew nuts
½ cup cooked rice (If desired, you may omit the rice and increase nuts to 1 cup cashew nuts.)
½ cup pitted dates
½ cup fruit juice sweetener or honey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum (optional)
2 cups water
Ice cubes (optional, about 1 tray)
Blend all the ingredients (except ice cubes) in a blender until very smooth. It may take up to 2 minutes.
There should be no grittiness when a drop of mixture is felt between your thumb and fingers.
Add ice cubes and blend smooth. This speeds up the chilling time. Add more water as needed to make 5 cups total mix.
Pour into ice-cream maker and freeze according to directions, or you may pour it into a shallow pan and freeze.
When ready to use, thaw slightly until just soft enough to cut into squares.
Place in a blender with enough nondairy milk or water to blend into the consistency of soft ice cream.
Spoon into containers as soon as the mix is done.(If the mixture is left in the ice-cream maker, some will freeze to the container and become hard.)
Store in the freezer until ready to use. The ice cream will harden in the freezer even more than store-bought high-fat brands. To serve, thaw slightly in the microwave.
Makes 6 cups