Raw Sweet Cherry Almond Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

I had over 4 lbs of sweet cherries, and the first thing that came to mind to make with them was ice cream.  It sounded simple heavenly!  I love ice cream year round, but especially in the summer when I have access to delicious fruits.  First I had in mind a chocolate based ice cream with cherries, but then the vanilla loving girl in my won over and I decided on a vanilla almond cherry base for the ice cream. Because almond extract and cherries makes me swoon.

It was heavenly, silky and smooth and just the right amount of sweet.  Now of course I could have just enjoyed it like that once frozen, but I am one to pretty much always include add ins in my ice cream.  For this one, I added in a cherry swirl, some crunchy almonds, and some raw brownie chunks so it still ended up with a little chocolate.

It was like a-la-mode cherry ice cream with brownies, which is how I would prefer it a larger ratio of the creamy to the cakey.  Simply heavenly, and what could be better on a warm summer day than a big sundae glass full of ice cream deliciousness with cherries and chocolate?!

Raw Sweet Cherry Brownie Chunk Ice Cream
Makes about 6 cups

Brownie Pieces:
1/2 cup soft medjool dates, pitted (if not soft, soak them for 30 minutes in filtered water and drain well)
1 cup finely shredded dried coconut
1/4 cup raw sprouted dehydrated buckwheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp chopped  raw red beet
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
Ice Cream:
2 cups coconut water
4 cup young coconut meat*
2 cups  pitted fresh sweet cherries 
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar, or your choice liquid raw sweetener
seeds of one vanilla bean
1 tsp pure almond extract
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup coconut butter, warmed to liquid

2 cups pitted fresh sweet cherries
4 soft medjool dates, pitted
2 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch sea salt

1 cup chopped raw almonds

For the brownies, combine the dates, coconut, and buckwheat flour in the food processor and process until well blended and the consistency of flour.  Add the sea salt, vanilla and beet  and process until smooth and starting to hold together when squeezed (if it doesn't add a little more dates). Turn out onto a foil lined sheet pan, and press into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (rolling with a rolling pin to smooth). Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Once firm, cut into 1/2 inch squares.   Reserve a few for topping the ice cream.
To make ice cream base, add coconut water, fresh coconut, cherries, nectar, vanilla, sea salt, and cacao powder. With the motor running slowly add the coconut oil (so it does not clump) and process until very smooth, about a minute or two. Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to directions.
To make the swirl, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  Set aside.
When the ice cream is done churning, remove from ice cream maker, stir in cake pieces and almonds (but not the reserved ones)  then pour  1/3 into into a freezer safe container with a lid, then drop some of the swirl over it by the tsp.  Repeat 2 more times until all the ice cream base is used up (you will have extra swirl). Swirl with a knife.  Place in the freezer and let sit for at least four hours or overnight to firm up to scoopable consistency. 

To serve, scoop some of the ice cream into a bowl, spoon some of the left over cherry sauce over, then top with some of the brownie chunks. Enjoy!
*If young coconut meat is unavailable, you can substitute the 4 cups fresh coconut with 4 cups finely shredded, dried coconut and 2 cups coconut water (it makes thick coconut milk basically).  But, you MUST have a high speed blender to do this or it will never become smooth.  Blend the coconut first until it becomes butter, using the tamper to press it into the blades until it is liquidy, then add the coconut water and blend until combined. Add this to the ice cream base in place of the young coconut meat.  Alternatively, if you do not mind the recipe not being nut free, you can use 4 cups soaked cashews in place of the coconut meat.

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