Saturday, 30 March 2013

Healthy Vegan Parfaits

My three year old, Sylvia, makes a lot of amusing food requests. I am always happy when she asks for a particular food because, in addition to it being entertaining, it means that she will most likely try and enjoy eating it.

In the past she has asked for rice paper rolls and a guacamole face from Play School. A few days ago she asked if we could make apple turnovers, then proceeded to tell me the joke: How do you make an apple turnover? Tickle it while it's sleeping! (Also courtesy of Play School!)

Sylvia's latest request was for parfaits, or ice cream sundaes, from the book Fancy Nancy. Fancy Nancy has fancy parfaits with ice cream, chocolate sauce and sprinkles. Who wouldn't want that?

To make a healthier vanilla ice cream, I decided to use cashews. Really, is there anything cashews can't do? Sour cream, cheesecake, cream - I love it all!

Sylvia loved making her parfait. She spooned melted choc chips over her ice cream and topped it with hundreds and thousands. She had three bowls of the stuff! 

This ice cream turned out surprisingly well given that I just threw a few random things into the blender! I'm sure that Google would reveal many more polished recipes for this kind of ice cream, but this was perfect for us. It has a lovely creamy texture, is so easy to make and is a great alternative to soy ice creams containing a lot of additives. 

Healthy Vegan Parfaits (child approved)

Vanilla ice cream
1 cup cashews*
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup

Possible toppings
Melted choc chips**
Chopped nuts
Hundreds and thousands/sprinkles
Vegan cream

To make the ice cream, blend all ingredients until completely smooth. 

Put it in the freezer, stirring every hour or two until it reaches desired consistency.*** 

* I use a high speed blender so I didn't soak the cashews. If your blender isn't too powerful, it may be best to soak them for at least an hour.

** For a healthier alternative, you can combine cocoa/cacao, coconut oil and maple syrup. Whichever you use, it hardens when you pour it over the cold ice cream. 

*** For me this was about 4-5 hours. The real reason I stirred it so often was because we happened to be home, I was excited to see how it would turn out and was too impatient to leave it alone! I think the ice cream would still be fine if you don't have time to stir it, but it would be a bit more icy and you would need to let it defrost a bit before eating it. I don't have an ice cream maker, so not sure how it would work in one!



  1. I love the look of these! I can't believe how 'ice cream' like the ingredients turn out. I'm not certain if my blender is up to the task, but I'll definitely be trying it out to see :)

  2. parfait - that's fancy for ice cream isn't it :-) We have the fancy nancy books and they are great - though we have icy poles in the freezer which have been keeping my sylvia happy - though she loves anything with sprinkles