Diary-Free Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream Cake!

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I think it’s time for some refreshing, summer-friendly, completely dairy-free ice cream cake sweetened with not sugar, but dates, don’t you agree?! This cake may be the healthiest ice cream cake around, but don’t tell your friends or family how healthy it is before they try it! To do otherwise would ruin the surprise! Upon digging their forks (or spoons) into their own hopefully large slice, they will assume it’s the real-deal bad for you stuff. It tastes that good, trust me I would know. I had a cake food coma from this cake yesterday. Yet, my cake food coma is irrelevant. What is relevant is the health of this cake! And how you explain to your friends and/or family what is truly inside of it!

As their mouths are relishing a bite, BAM, at that very moment, you can wow them by mentioning the surprise healthy ingredients inside and lack of sugar, dairy, artificial ingredients, preservatives or any other undesirable “is this really an ingredient in food” ingredients that often find their way into the processed junk found at your local grocery store.

This cake is an environmentally-friendly cake, an animal-friendly one and a human-friendly one. I like the idea of calling vegan cakes environmentally-friendly as well as human-friendly because it’s nothing but the truth. All it takes is reading articles like this one to understand that by preparing a coconut milk-based ice cream cake instead of a dairy-based cake, you are in fact, doing your part to reduce your environmental footprint, however large or small for that day. Are you as much of a fan of One Green Planet as I am?! I have a love affair with that website. If I could leisurely peruse that website while eating a piece of this cake, I would be a happy camper. I would know. That’s what I did yesterday.

Now for the recipe! I hope you find it as delicious as I do!

Chocolate Crust Layer:

3/4 cup raw walnuts
1 cup cocoa powder
1 (15 oz) can black beans from an EPA-free brand (like the Eden Brand)
1 cup almond milk (or nondairy milk of choice)
20 medjool dates, pitted (divided into two piles of 10 dates each)

Coconut Vanilla Layer:

2 cups nondairy ice cream of choice (my favorite is So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk No Sugar Added)
4 very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon ground vanilla bean or vanilla extract

OR (alternative middle layer):

1 (15 oz) can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon ground vanilla bean

Pitaya Strawberry Layer:

1 (10 oz) bag organic frozen strawberries, about 2 ½ cups
1 (15 oz) can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
10 medjool dates, pitted
½ Pitaya Plus smoothie pack (pitaya is another name for dragon fruit!) (about 2 oz)

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Directions:

This recipe calls for a round springfoam pan. I used a 9-inch, 10 cup pan with a removable bottom. Once you have your pan ready, you are ready to begin preparing the bottom layer! In a food processor, grind up the raw walnuts until you have relatively fine walnut pieces. Once this is done, add all other ingredients except for one pile of 10 dates. You will add those once you’ve blended the chocolaty mixture somewhat. If you blend all of the dates at once, the food processor may get jammed. Add in the last 10 dates after processing all other ingredients for a few minutes. Once all ingredients have been added, processing for another minute or so will leave you with a smooth and creamy chocolaty bottom layer! Pour this layer into the pan, smoothing out the top with a large spoon. Place this layer in the freezer as you begin preparing the coconut vanilla layer.

You have two options for the coconut vanilla layer. I enjoy it prepared with the nondairy ice cream ingredients best. For either method, blend all ingredients in a cleaned food processor and pour on top of the chocolate base layer. Smooth the top with your spoon and place the pan in the freezer once again as you prepare the top layer.

To prepare the top layer, process all of the ingredients in your cleaned food processor and pour the mixture on top of the middle layer, smoothing the top. If you don’t have pitaya (aka dragon fruit), that’s fine! The top layer will simple not have a color that is quite a bright pink! Smooth the top and freeze again for at least 30 minutes.

Once the top layer is done freezing, add your favorite decorative toppings. Enjoy!!

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