This recipe and photo for raw maple pecan ice cream was shared with us by Jessica Su of Su Good Eats, but she originally discovered it in the cookbook Raw by Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein. It’s a two-ingredient wonder that’s naturally dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, and paleo.
Maple Pecan Ice Cream that’s Simply Raw and Dairy-Free
Jessica shuns dairy ice cream for health and the environment. She learned that it takes 14 trillion gallons of irrigation water and 22 billion pounds of fertilizer to produce feed for U.S. livestock each year. And the amount of energy it takes to produce that fertilizer could provide power to 1 million Americans a year.
Jessica tried homemade soy ice cream and several types of store-bought brands, but the dairy-free options just weren’t satisfying. Fortunately, she eventually discovered this delicious vegan maple pecan ice cream recipe from Raw, by acclaimed chefs Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein.
In typical raw fashion, you soak the nuts overnight and combine them with maple syrup. Nuts normally have 75% fat and 25% protein, but once they’re soaked and sprouted, the ratio reverses, according to Klein.
I have a habit of toasting nuts to bring out their flavors, so I couldn’t resist here. The roasted maple pecan ice cream had a slightly richer flavor, but it was also a little greasier. Raw nuts work fine here, because the soaking enhances their flavor.
This dairy-free ice cream recipe is creamy, relatively good for you (with minerals and heart-healthy fats), and you won’t care that it’s vegan! This ice cream is best eaten the same day it’s made. Even with the addition of vodka (to lower the freezing point), it gets hard the next day, and the nutty bits become more pronounced.
Special Diet Notes: Raw Maple Pecan Ice Cream
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, refined sugar-free, and paleo.
- 2 cups raw pecans, soaked for 8 to 10 hours in filtered water
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1½ tablespoons vodka (optional; helps prevent ice crystals)
- Drain the pecans, but reserve 1 cup of the water.
- In a high-speed blender, combine the pecans, the 1 cup soaking water, maple syrup, and vodka (if using), and process until smooth.
- Pass the purée through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any nut sediment.
- Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.