This ice cream’s ingredients read like an esoteric grocery list at a vegan food co-op, I know. It’s kind of crazy. It's also full of anti-inflammatory ingredients—maca, carob, and chicory—which all offer a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. An essential part of this ice cream’s disguise is derived from the cocoa butter, which is the part of chocolate that delivers the flavor without the acidic, kidney-stressing ingredient, the oxalates. Did I mention its also vegan and refined sugar–free? —Caroline Wright
Place maca, nutritional yeast, salt, xanthan gum and cinnamon in small bowl; set aside. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a blender jar.
In a small skillet, simmer juice over medium heat until bottom of pan is a foaming layer of bubbles and it just begins to smoke, 4 to 6 minutes; swirl pan and remove from heat immediately. (You will have 2 tablespoons of thick syrup that smells a little like a golden brown cherry pie.) Add cocoa butter and molasses to pan and swirl until cocoa butter is melted. (They will not combine.)
In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk (not cream), water and chicory. Bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes. (It will be the color of gingerbread and smell strongly of chicory.) Strain brewed chicory through prepared strainer into blender jar, gently scraping bottom of strainer with a spoon to allow liquid to pass; discard chicory granules. Add cherry juice syrup mixture, coconut cream, dates, carob chips, vanilla and reserved dry ingredients to blender.
Blend, with lid cracked and covered with a kitchen towel to allow steam to escape, until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap; place in refrigerator until thickened and chilled, about 3 hours or up to overnight. (If you stop here, this makes a delicious vegan chocolate-alternative pudding.)
Pour custard mixture into ice cream maker and churn until the consistency of a thick milkshake, 10 to 20 minutes depending on your machine. Transfer to a resealable container (about 2-cup capacity) and place a piece of waxed paper or parchment directly on surface before sealing. Place in back of freezer (the coldest part) and freeze until solid, about 3 hours. For easy scooping, temper ice cream by placing on the counter or refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Variation: Stir in 1 cup chopped toasted pecans to ice cream at the beginning of step 5 (my favorite!).
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Catalan Food, written with chef Daniel Olivella, comes out in early September from Clarkson Potter.