This dairy-free delicacy is for everyone who loves ice cream but doesn’t love all of the oil, sugar, salt, and artificial flavors and colors that are typically included in store-bought vegan (and non-vegan) ice creams. But make it quick, as persimmon season will soon come to a close. Enjoy!
4 medium-large, very ripe hachiya persimmons, peeled and diced
8 medjool dates, pitted and diced, and soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Core and peel the persimmons. Cut into small chunks (so they will fit through the shoot of your juicer or food processor) and freeze in a baggie or plastic container.
2. Drain the soak water off the dates. In a high-speed blender, blend the dates, soy milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until smooth.
3. Take the persimmon chunks from the freezer and feed them through your juicer (using the “blank” attachment) or food processor.
4. Combine the persimmon and date mixture in the large bowl using a fork until smooth. Add the walnuts at this point if using. Smooth the top with a spatula, cover and return to the freezer overnight. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop into small dessert bowls. Garnish with freshly ground nutmeg and a walnut half (as shown in photo).
Notes: This recipe is easily adaptable to other fruit besides persimmon; have fun with it and try pears, strawberries, blueberries or peaches. / Dates can be purchased in bulk or in small containers at most stores. / This is a spicy treat, but feel free to decrease the spices if you like less. / One to two vanilla beans may be substituted for the vanilla extract (split the bean lengthwise but not all the way through to cut in half; scrape the tiny black seeds from inside the bean using the edge of a butter knife, and use these seeds; the pod is usually discarded unless you want to use it to flavor tea, etc.).
Preparation: 30 minutes to soak dates; overnight to freeze
I love nutmeg, and you’ll find it in many of my recipes. It’s a sweet, vibrant spice. It is an egg-shaped seed about 1 inch long and is typically grated or ground using a fine grater (like a Microplane). The first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place 7 to 9 years after planting, and the trees reach full production after 20 years. It is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices: nutmeg and mace (the outter red covering of the seed, which is mellower in flavor). Once you try whole nutmeg, you’ll probably never go back to pre-ground.