When we learned that July is National Ice Cream Month, Ethan and I knew we had to come up with some new flavors.  As we were discussing flavor ideas, Ethan reminded me of how I once served him a bowl of vanilla ice cream topped with balsamic marinated strawberries and asked if we could try that.  I made the mixture of strawberries and balsamic vinegar added it to our coconut ice cream base, blended until smooth and tasted it.  HORRIBLE!  Bad combination of flavors.  The coconut was too strong and didn’t work with the other flavors.  So, we knew we needed a neutral base.  We decided to try cashews as they make a great cream when blended with water and have a high fat content to give the ice cream the richness we wanted.  The second time was the charm.  We first made a cashew cream, added the marinated berries and a new flavor was born.  Use a good balsamic so the flavor is subtle.  You don’t want a strond acid finish, just the depth of flavor the balsamic provides.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 4 hours to soak cashews, 30 minutes to marinate the berries and 2 hours to chill
Yield: 1 1/2 pints


1½ cups fresh strawberries (washed, dried, hulled and quartered)
1 TBL + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup + 2 tsp sugar
1 cup raw cashews (soaked at least 4 hours, drained and rinsed)
¾ cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup hemp milk


1. In a large bowl, mix together the strawberries, balsamic vinegar and 2 tsp of sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes.

2.  Add remaining ½ cup of sugar to a blender and process to make into a more powdery 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.

3.  Add hemp milk and berry mixture to the blender.  Use a spatula to get all the juices from the strawberry bowl.  Blend another minute until smooth.

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

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

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 garnish with a sprig of mint or a basil leaf.