Nice Cream Papaya Boats (Vegan)
My daffodils have all burst open in sunny yellow. Bees are feeding on creeping charlie and tiny blue meadow flowers. It's officially warm enough for me to eat ice cream. And my whole body is like HEY EAT SOME RAW FOOD, WILL YA? And I'm like, ok ok calm down. After an unusual craving, I hit up the grocery store and picked up an armful of ripe papaya. When I get home I set the oblong green footballs on the counter. Then, of course, I grabbed my blender. Because nothing says hell yeah sunshine! like ice cream kicking back in a papaya boat.
I never really liked papaya before I visited Hawaii. But now papaya reminds me of sea breezes, blooming plumeria and infinite green sugar cane fields. To me it tastes like tropical flowers, tuberose and plumeria specifically. I notice not many people appreciate the subtleties of papaya, and that's really a shame. But if you're trying to amp up your love of this enzyme packed super fruit, ain't no better way than stuffing it with tangy-sweet nice cream!
One of the great things about this recipe is how versatile it is! You can keep it easy breezy and go vanilla with the nice cream base (omit the berries and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract). Or you can add any berries, fruit or flavorings you like. Mix it up. Go crazy.
The nice cream base is very simple. Just soaked cashews, cashew cream, bananas and maple syrup. I plan on making hundreds of variations on this nice cream as it gets warmer. Strawberry rhubarb, chocolate almond butter and peach, just to name a few.
As far as this recipe is concerned, I think tropical and tangy flavors mix the best with papayas subtle floral flavor. Like raspberry lemon and blueberry lime. A pure grapefruit, lemon or lime nice cream would be incredible. Especially in the Summertime.
But it’s really just beginning to feel like Spring in my corner of the world. So a pastel pink and blue swirl fits the season nicely. And how friggin cute would these papaya boats be with lil chocolate bunnies in them? That’s some tropical ass easter vibes right there.
- 3 - 4 large papayas, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 1.5 cups cashews, soaked overnight and drained
- 1/4 cup maple syrup + more to taste
- 1 cup coconut cream, skimmed from the top of a can of full fat coconut milk
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- zest 1/2 lime
- Optional toppings: frozen berries, black sesame seeds, nuts or seeds, goji berries, anything you like!
- In the bowl of a high powered blender, combine the soaked cashews, maple syrup, coconut cream and bananas. Blend until creamy, then taste and decide if you want to add more sweetener, as you like.
- [b]To make the raspberry flavor[/b], first pour half of the nice cream base out into a bowl and set it aside. Add the frozen raspberries, lemon zest and cardamom to the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour the raspberry nice cream base into a dish and set aside. Scrape every last drop out into the dish, then clean out the bowl and the blender base.
- [b]To make the blueberry flavor[/b], add the reserved nice cream base back to the blender along with the frozen blueberries and lime zest. Blend until smooth and creamy. Then pour the blueberry nice cream into dish.
- [b]To freeze the nice cream[/b], you can either blend each nice cream individually in an ice cream maker OR you can use the no-churn, lazy gal method (my current go-to). Pour each base into a high walled pan, half-and-half style. Then freeze for 6-8 hours before scooping and serving. If your ice cream is hard frozen let it thaw for 30 minutes prior to scooping.
- To serve, scoop out loads of nice cream into each papaya half, top with berries and seeds and bask in the glow!
- [i]Also, duh, if you don't care about perfectly ice cream scoops you can simply freeze the base until it's nice and cold then pour it into your papaya halves.[/i]