The 4th of July has a way of sneaking up on me every year, but it still always ends up being one of my favorite holidays—perhaps because the very nature of Independence Day is jubilant and celebratory, even though it’s one of the most casual and easy holidays in the U.S. We can throw on our t-shirts, denim shorts, flip flops, and baseball hats and we’re good to go.
I like getting dressed up as much as the next girl, but down deep I’m as casual as they come. The fanciest item hanging in my closet right now is a pretty basic knee-length black dress. I live in hoodies in the winter and t-shirts, skirts, and shorts in the summer. My makeup fits in less than half of a small bathroom drawer, I own mostly flat shoes, and I have two purses that I’ve alternated using for the past five years.
It’s simple but it’s me.
I could spend my money shopping for clothes or shopping for really good food. I choose the food. I could spend my time pinning fashion and hairstyle photos that make me look like a total fashion criminal in comparison, or just to head the kitchen and make ice cream.
The ice cream wins every time.
Much like the 4th of July, homemade ice cream is casual, easy, and the perfect “no pressure” summer dessert. I’ve made this recipe twice since I originally developed it a few weeks ago, and I’m pretty convinced that you just can’t mess it up. It even tastes good as a milkshake straight from the blender.
Cashews and coconut milk add body to the base while strawberries, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and dates provide plenty of sweetness and fruity flavor. All you need is a spoon. (And maybe some self control so you don’t eat the whole batch at once.)
I hope you have a chance to slow down and savor something tasty this 4th of July. Maybe it will be a bowl of this ice cream, or one of my other refreshing frozen treats:
- Mini Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Strawberry Pie Milkshake
- Double Chocolate & Banana Superfood Pops
- Caramelized White Nectarine Ice Cream
- Apricot Coconut Freezer Treats
To all my U.S. friends, have a relaxing and joy-filled 4th of July. Let freedom ring!
- ¾ cup raw cashews or cashew pieces, soaked for 4-12 hours
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries (or about 1-1/2 cups frozen strawberries)
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 4 large Medjool dates, pitted and torn into pieces
- ¼ cup raw honey
- 2-3 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Rinse and drain the cashews. Add them to the container of a blender. (A high-speed blender like a Vitamix is ideal for this recipe.) Add the strawberries, coconut milk, water, dates, honey, orange zest, and vanilla. Blend on high until creamy and smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. (I churn mine for 20-25 minutes.) Enjoy the ice cream right away or freeze for 2-3 hours for more shapely scoops.