Softening the cashews first helps them blend. If you have a high-powered blender you can skip this step, but if not, this step is important to get smooth and creamy ice cream. To soften the cashews add the cashews to a small pot, cover with water, and boil for about 10 minutes until the cashews are very tender. Drain and rinse cashews before using.
To make the ice cream:
Prepare your ice cream maker following the manufacturer's instructions. I have this Cuisinart ice cream maker which I love. (See notes if you do not have an ice cream machine).
Add the cashews, plant-based milk, sugar, and vanilla to your blender. Blend until completely smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape the sides if needed. Make sure that the cashews are completely blended and no bits remain. Pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker and churn the ice cream for about 25 minutes until it reaches a soft serve consistency. Enjoy immediately, or for firmer ice cream, spread into a sealable container and freeze for 2 hours or overnight until firm. Scoop and enjoy! Store leftover dairy-free ice cream in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Add-ins: if you want to incorporate any add-ins such as broken up cookies, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or frozen berries, pour them into the ice cream maker in the last 5 minutes of churning.No ice cream maker technique: if you do not have an ice cream machine, make the ice cream base as directed and then follow the directions in How to Make Ice Cream in a Blender.