When I was in college I used to tell my friend Kim that I had a craving for vanilla ice cream with bacon bits on it. She thought I was weird. I never actually followed through on this, but it stayed in the back of my mind.  Fast forward earlier this month when Ethan and I learned July was national ice cream month. Ethan suggested we come up with a recipe for a Maple-Bacon ice cream.  We knew we would need a neutral base for the ice cream, so coconut milk was out. We opted to try a cashew base instead.  When it was all mixed up, and we tasted it, it was perfect. It tasted like a waffle covered in maple syrup. So really, you can think of this as a breakfast/brunch ice cream.   No need to wait until after dinner for dessert.  Start your day with a bowl of ice cream.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time: 4 hours to soak cashews and 2 hours to chill
Yield: 1 1/2 pints


1 cup raw cashews (soaked at least 4 hours, drained and rinsed)
½ cup sugar
¾ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup hemp milk
¼ tsp maple extract
¼ cup bacony bits (we like Lindsay Nixon’s recipe from Happy Herbivore)


1.  Add sugar to a blender and process to make into a more powedery sugar.  Add cashews, water, and vanilla to the sugar.  Blend on high for 3 minutes or until smooth.  Stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.

2.  Add hemp milk and maple extract to the blender. Blend another minute until smooth.

3.  Chill mixture in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before proceeding.

4.  Add chilled mixture to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

5.  During last 3 minutes of time in the ice cream maker, add in the bacon bits.  Use a rubber spatula to help push them into the ice cream.

6.  When ice cream is done, transfer to a container, cover and put in the freezer for an hour to harden.

7.  Scoop into bowls and enjoy.