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Raw Vanilla Ice Cream

Good morning class. Please pull out your notebooks and a pen and let the raw fun begin! Today we are talking about an ingredient that is widely used among the raw world: young coconuts.

Everything about this nutritionally dense food screams to be consumed. From its water (which in my opinion, no store bought coconut water holds a candle to the real thing, straight from the coconut itself), to its meat, to its oil/butter, the coconut provides high-density goodness for your body and heart. Nutrition aside, the meat of a young coconut also provides a creamy richness to raw desserts: the secret ingredient to this raw ice cream recipe (made into banana splits).

I made the mistake of not understanding how difficult it would really be to open up this little stinker of a coconut. I basically had to beat the snot out of it with a knife and pray to the raw food gods that I wouldn’t slice off a body part. I strongly suggest using an axe or shotgun, but if you lack such weapons, go ahead and use a large, sharp kitchen knife. PLEASE BE CAREFUL! Try to hack the same spot on the top on all four sides (like you are making a square shape) and eventually you will be able to rip off the top and access the meat and water. Careful. The water *will* splash too.

Using your knife, cut out the meat from the inside. Get your broom and mop ready. Trust me. But in all honesty, the coconut water alone is worth it.

***You will get anywhere from 1/2 – 1 cup of coconut meat from 1 young coconut**

Raw Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

Gluten, egg, dairy, and refined sugar-free

Makes 8 heaping scoopfuls (good for 4 smaller servings)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 c. cashews + 1/4 macadamia nuts, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/2 c. young coconut meat
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 1 Tb agave
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeded

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place everything into a blender until completely smooth.
  2. Place into a container and freeze for several hours/overnight until set.

Stay tuned for the raw chocolate sauce recipe so you can assemble your very own ice cream into sundaes…

58 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anna #

    AHH! I am 8 1/2 months pregnant and this looks super tasty! I used to work at a few farmers markets in L.A. selling young thai coconuts at our booth, and the trick i found (on youtube) when i first started was, give the side that has the point a “monks head” (shave off the husk) then with the blunt end of the knife (pointy part close to the handle) give it a chop (sometimes a couple chops) but the top should just pop off in an almost perfect circle with minimal stress and minimal mess, this has been the absolute best way of dong it that i have found, I hope this helps!

    September 26, 2012
  2. Alexia @ NamasteYoga #

    oh dear i am dying to try this recipe but dont have coconut meat on hand… not sure if it will be quite the same without!!!?

    September 12, 2012
    • You can try substituting more cashews (or macadamia nuts) for the coconut meat, Alexia. Let me know if you do and how it works! xo

      September 12, 2012
  3. I battled with a coconut from my co-op once, it won. I’ve gone with the canned variety ever since. I was terrified of cutting off a limb too. Apparently I should have persevered. It might be worth a flesh wound to make that raw ice cream!

    September 9, 2012
    • It would give you a good story at least, with a missing arm 😉 xo

      September 10, 2012
      • Trinka #

        Cara- the battle of the young coconut is over! A heavy cleaver, sink the corner edge near the handle into the top, make a square, and continue to use the corner in the square shape carefully until the darn thing opens! THEN, scoop out the pulp with a MELON BALL scoop for easy coconut curls! Hope this helps anyone struggling with those yummy coconuts

        September 28, 2012
  4. Ice cream without a blender! Hurray! 😀
    I see you accidentally dripped chocolate sauce on one of the spoons. I’ll clean that for you after I give it a little ice cream. Whaaaat, it needed a friend!

    September 7, 2012
    • You can always be depended upon when needed for things like that! ha.

      September 10, 2012
    • I can always depend upon you when I need help with things like that! ha.

      September 10, 2012
  5. Dang it! I just lent my axe to my neighbor and my shotgun is in the shop. I guess I will have to muscle up and use my machete. 😉

    Your ice cream sounds delicious- I can’t wait to see your chocolate sauce recipe!

    September 6, 2012
    • A machete is a fine substitute for an axe or shotgun! Good call, Kristy 🙂

      September 10, 2012
  6. Lou #

    Yummy yummy – so much tastiness trapped inside those pesky- hard -to -get-into nuts huh?! You have more patience than me (and I have a Viper with a drill!)

    September 6, 2012
    • Note to self: Get a drill…

      September 10, 2012
  7. Ahh, this looks fantastic. I LOVE young coconut, and am kind of obsessed with fresh coconut water. The first time I tried packaged coconut water, I was like, WTF is this?!?!? Nothing like straight from the coconut. (Preferably in Hawai’i, but, you know.)

    September 6, 2012
    • Did you just say that we are going to Hawaii??? 😉 xo

      September 10, 2012
  8. You’ve done it again Cara – I am drooling all over my keyboard! WOW this looks incredible, I can just picture Justin having a heart attack with me, a knife and a young coconut….he is always paranoid I am really going to slice off a finger or hand one of these days – plus I think he feels super helpful when he helps me with the “hard kitchen jobs” I actually have a coconut sitting on my table just waiting to be created into something amazing- perhaps this? If I so I will let you know how it turns out!

    September 6, 2012
    • I would love a video taping of opening that coconut when you do! If only I recorded my experience 🙂 xo

      September 10, 2012
  9. Talk about a happy coincidence. I have been away from blogging for a while and your blog is the first one to see on returning. I have a real live coconut sitting on my kitchen bench. It came from Tonga. I felt like a little sunshine pick me up feeling. I think your idea of ice cream is perfect. I was wondering how I was going to open it without cutting off a limb. I was thinking corkscrew for starters. Wish me luck.

    September 6, 2012
    • I am crossing my fingers and sending you a little prayer 🙂 So happy to hear about the sunshine feeling–I absolutely LOVE hearing that!! Tell me how the coconut opening goes… xo

      September 6, 2012
  10. This is pretty cool, Cara! I like… imagine the fat content :D. I’ve never seen a young coconut… I wish we had more diverse food where I live…

    September 6, 2012
    • You live in the wrong country, that is why. Come to America, where the food is diverse and the grammar is poor! Aaaaaahhhhh, alluring or what?! 🙂

      September 6, 2012
  11. Did I ever tell you that you are Amazing ?
    Looks delicious. 😀

    September 6, 2012
    • Eeeee! So happy to see your face over here!!! xoxox

      September 6, 2012
      • Yes I have finally come to life. You will be seeing more me now 😀

        September 7, 2012
  12. i love this nutritionally dense diet:) and also it probably is helping you build up muscles and coordination 😉
    i hear ya about the coconut. we had this c shaped knife back home to open them up. i dont dare try it alone ever.:)

    September 5, 2012
    • If this helps with my coordination then I will be eating ice cream for breakfast every day!! xo

      September 6, 2012
  13. This looks absolutely incredible. I am sad I can’t pluck it through my computer screen!

    September 5, 2012
    • HA! Come on over, Kari! I will make you some in person 🙂

      September 6, 2012
  14. Yum! Your banana split looks divine! I made some raw raspberry ice cream tonight. Once you try raw ice cream with delicious coconut meat included you never go back to any other ice cream ;)!

    September 5, 2012
    • Ooooooooo, raspberry ice cream sounds so good right now! I think I might have to try it 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion… And you are right! I will never eat soy ice cream again with this new way of making it!

      September 6, 2012
  15. WOW this looks incredible!! I have never hacked into a coconut myself, for fear of limb loss, but you are inspiring me to try it! Thanks for another amazing recipe, miss!

    September 5, 2012
    • I’m rather surprised that I never took into account how difficult it would be to pry one open 🙂 ha. Maybe that is the best technique–go in without expectations. Do try it, Beth–and then take a picture of the mess you make so I can compare 🙂

      September 6, 2012
  16. Haha I only just experienced opening a thai coconut for the first time and I had so much fun with it! You’re right- the water is AMAZING and nothing will ever compare.

    Something else that will never compare- all those store bought ice creams to your version here. So lovely! The pictures just scream “please savour every sweet, amazing bite!”.

    September 5, 2012
    • I have tried store bought coconut water and was repulsed. Never understood the craze. So I was surprised that I felt compelled to even try it when I opened the coconut. But I’m glad I did–AMAZING, right?! Hmmmmm, I am considering hacking into another coconut now just to drink more, it’s *that* good… xo

      September 6, 2012
  17. Thank the raw foods gods for this amazing post! This looks freaking amazing! Thank you for sharing… I shall.. SHALL.. have to try this very soon! : )

    September 5, 2012
    • Your avatar is so cute!! It’s making me smile…
      Thanks for the comment, The Bear and the Blackberry! Let me know if you make the ice cream.. xo

      September 6, 2012
  18. Wow, this looks amazing and delicious!

    I’ve found the best way to open a coconut is to poke a screwdriver into one or two of its 3 bowling-ball-hole-like circles, and chisel it in with a hammer. Once you’ve poked through, you can turn the coconut upside-down over a wide-mouth glass to catch every last bit of coconut water.

    It’s much easier to finish opening the coconut after that, because you can smash it against your kitchen floor (or the sidewalk!), or use a hammer to crack the whole thing open, without worrying about the coconut water that you’ve already captured in the glass.

    September 5, 2012
    • Oh Allison, I really wish you were with me the other day–this sounds MUCH easier and less likely to hurt myself doing so. Thank you for this suggestion! I cannot wait to try your method out next… xo

      September 6, 2012
      • You’re welcome! Hope it allows you to make many more coconut creations for us to enjoy : )

        September 6, 2012
  19. Isobelle #

    :O!!! This looks SO good Cara! I’m so happy to see these raw food adventures coming from you, now! (too many exclamation points? I’M NOT SORRY).

    I’m definitely trying this before the Fall weather takes its hit. And I always have a hard time with opening coconuts. I’ve found throwing them off of our balcony works the best. I’ve gotten into trouble for it by neighbours once or twice (I almost hit them – accidentally, of course..) but it works. 🙂

    Hope you’re doing well!

    xx

    September 5, 2012
    • ISOBELLE!! Hi my friend–it makes me SO happy to see your face over here!!!!! (now look at who is using an abundance of exclamation marks!!!!) ha. I am now wishing I had a balcony because I am liking your method the best 🙂 haha. Thank you for all of the raw inspiration! xoxo

      September 6, 2012
  20. Oh, this looks so phenomenal! Thanks for an ice cream recipe for those ice cream maker-less peeps like me. How great too to have a way to use the entire young coconut. I adore fresh coconut water, but you’re right that cracking it open can be a chore. I watched a video tutorial online, and it helped, but what would be a bigger help is a cleaver! When I don’t want to be bothered cracking one open, the Taste Nirvana coconut water in glass bottles fills the gap nicely. Taste-wise, I really can’t tell the difference! http://www.tastenirvana.com/default.php

    September 5, 2012
    • Reeeeaaaallllly? This is super great news, Cadry! Can’t wait to try it out–Thanks!! xo

      September 10, 2012
  21. My little man is going to be soooo happy with this recipe. I’ve got two coconuts on my table right now that I’ve been a little afraid to open just for this reason. Have you seen how they do it in Hawaii? Machete. For reals. I am thinking drill and hammer… But now that I’ve got something to do with it, I’m a little more inclined to break out the heavy machinery. Maybe… o.O

    September 5, 2012
    • Hey Brooke, I have 2 coconuts myself, if you know what I mean. Haha. Okay, that was a stupid joke 🙂
      I wanna live in Hawaii and have burly Hawaiian men open my coconuts (the real ones, not my symbolic ones) with machetes…

      September 10, 2012
  22. Great minds think alike. I posted a vanilla/coconut ice cream today, too. Mine’s not raw, though. I haven’t been using young coconuts since I heard they’re preserved with formaldehyde. Haven’t had time to research it, so I’ve just avoided them.

    September 5, 2012
    • Get out! We are twinsies 🙂
      However, now I am going to have to research this formaldehyde issue too.. thanks for the heads up!

      September 10, 2012
  23. Rachel #

    and then you will eat the shit outta that banana split because it is BOMB!!!!

    September 5, 2012
    • Oh roomie. How I heart you.

      September 10, 2012
  24. Hooray for raw ice cream!

    I’ve been told that if you ask the Whole Foods employees, they will open young coconuts for you and wrap them up tightly so you can get them home safely. That sounds better than sacrificing a limb. 😉

    September 5, 2012
    • REALLY???!!! That is THE best news I have heard in a long time! Thank you for this… xo

      September 10, 2012
  25. OK, this sounds amazing. I tried making nectarine vegan ice cream a few weeks ago but used only coconut milk. It was pretty much just like eating cold coconut (a little much). Great idea to mix with the nuts…you so smart! Also, you are brave, because I would not have the patience for the real coconut. I totally would have cut my finger off, blood spattering everywhere, chaos with a trip to hospital, all the while I traumatize my two year old for life and alas would have given up…Good for you!

    September 5, 2012
    • HAHA! Suzanne, you just described what should have happened to me but for some reason the kitchen gods were on my side for the day. Looking back, I’m shocked I didn’t end up in the hospital either…
      BTW, the sound of nectarine ice cream sounds soooooo good!

      September 10, 2012
  26. This looks and sounds amazing! I’m not sure I’d have the patients for a coconut, but if I did…..Or maybe I could use it as an excuse to get out my vegan aggression. Not that I have much of it, but when I do. 🙂

    September 5, 2012
    • HA! Vegan aggression. That made me laugh 🙂

      September 10, 2012
  27. ROFL!! I love your description of opening the young coconut!! But this is why I have never, ever bothered purchasing any real live coconuts from the store since the first time I tried to open an older version. It just wasn’t worth it to me. I love the SOUND of all the marvelous recipes posted using them.

    September 5, 2012
    • Hearing this makes me curious why in the world I did not take into consideration how to open it in the first place 🙂

      September 10, 2012

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