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Sue’s Morning Stretch: Vegans can have an ice cream-rich summer, too

Heard a young woman say she was going to become vegan this month. In the old days if I heard that on a hot, summer day, I’d say, good luck going without ice cream. Not anymore.

Jeff Rogers knows that pain. When he became a vegan, the commercial ice creams he found lacked the richness he expected in ice cream. Many also had an unappetizing aftertaste.

VeganIceCreamCookbookBut like any foodie who doesn’t find what he wants, Rogers decided to learn how to make ice cream. Those creations became the award-winning “Vice Cream.” Now he’s revised and expanded the book under a new title, “Vegan Ice Cream” (Ten Speed Press, $16.99).

There are more than 90 recipes that can be enjoyed by vegans as well as anyone lactose intolerant or who has given up dairy. The majority of the necessary ingredients are found in supermarkets or health food stores.

Fruits – everything from strawberries to durian – nuts, dried fruits and natural sweeteners are put to use here. Purified water, coconut water or nut milks all are used in different recipes to stand in for cow’s milk. (Rogers offers instruction on how to make your own nut milks, too.)

Knowing many have adopted a diet that’s raw as well as vegan, Rogers devotes almost half the book to raw ice cream recipes. And what’s ice cream without a topping? Rogers provides a chapter of those as well.

The recipes are simple and easy to follow. You can create a batch in no time. If ice cream’s been off your diet because of the dairy, it doesn’t have to anymore.

Here’s Rogers’ take vanilla ice cream.

VANILLA DELIGHT

MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART

2 vanilla beans, sliced and scraped (see Note)

2 cups organic cashews or cashew pieces

2 cups purified water

1 cup maple syrup

Combine the scraped vanilla bean seeds, cashews, water and syrup in a blender. Blend on high until silky smooth, at least 1 minute.

Place the blender in the freezer for 40 minutes to1 hour or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour up to overnight, until well-chilled. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve immediately or transfer to airtight containers and store in the freezer until ready to serve.

NOTE: In the book, Rogers says he prefers only the seeds from fresh vanilla beans, but says if you like you can use whole vanilla beans or natural vanilla flavor instead.

From “Vegan Ice Cream” by Jeff Rogers