Raw and Vegan Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 1 vote

Raw and vegan chunky monkey ice cream with the richness of cashews, sweetness from banana, and crunchy cacao pieces throughout.

raw + vegan chunky monkey ice cream // via thefirstmess.com
raw + vegan chunky monkey ice cream // via @thefirstmess
MY NEW ROOTS // via @thefirstmess

I love the plant-based and whole food lifestyle for a few reasons (like, all of the reasons). But really? I’m the kinda gal that likes to eat A LOT. Once I hit my teens I developed a pretty voracious appetite and haven’t looked back.

I’ve always admired Sarah Britton and her blog, My New Roots, because she seems to take the same approach to living with wellness that I do: Lots of plant foods, listening to yourself, and eating for taste and aesthetic pleasure too. Fine living and notions of the good life are built in to the plant-based lifestyle and her blog has always expressed that notion so vibrantly to me. Food as nourishment by way of sheer delight for all.

Sarah’s book is full of gorgeous dishes that you could serve up to your favourite people, knowing with good conscience that they will leave the table satisfied, significantly wowed, and  just full of life and energy too. This book is full of colourful and thoughtful feel-good food; the kind that makes you feel all glow-y and brimming with possibility as you make it. There are whimsical nods to nature and seasonal life cycles that open up to the big picture, as well as simple techniques that will add so much to your everyday life with food.

Sarah also proves that you can make dessert out of whole grains, nuts, fruit, vanilla, spice etc and yes, everyone will be blown away and love you for feeding them nutrients wrapped up in decadence. I went for this healthy rip on that famous Ben & Jerry’s flavour because I had just froze a bunch of perfectly sweet and ripe bananas, which form the base of this luscious and raw ice cream. Combined with a thick cashew cream, a vanilla bean and maple syrup, I was surprised (and delighted) at how rich this raw and vegan chunky monkey was. It was just the treat to wave hello to these warmer days we’ve been enjoying. Our grass is greening up and I saw some chives peeking up this morning. New beginnings in the works, all over again :)

MY NEW ROOTS // via @thefirstmess
raw + vegan chunky monkey ice cream // via @thefirstmess
raw + vegan chunky monkey ice cream // via @thefirstmess
raw + vegan chunky monkey ice cream // via thefirstmess.com

Raw and Vegan Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

Raw and vegan chunky monkey ice cream with the richness of cashews, sweetness from banana, and crunchy cacao pieces throughout.
5 from 1 vote
Sarah B's raw + vegan chunky monkey ice cream // via @thefirstmess
Servings 1 quart


  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped raw walnuts
  • ½ cup cacao nibs



  • From Sarah Britton’s My New Roots cookbook
  • I drizzled some date syrup onto mine once it was in the pan (pre-freezing) and sorta twirled it in with a butter knife to get a “caramel ripple” vibe. It was delicious! You can get date syrup online, at health food stores, or you can make it yourself.
  • Also, I added a teeny splash of organic vodka to avoid super-hard freezing. I do this with all of my homemade ice creams.


  • Soak the cashews in filtered water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.
  • Peel the bananas and break them into chunks. Place the banana chunks into a sealable plastic bag and freeze completely until you’re ready to use. Remove frozen banana chunks from the freezer 10 minutes before you’re ready to make the ice cream.
  • Combine the drained cashews and 1/2 cup of filtered water in a blender and blend on high speed until you have a completely smooth cream. Set aside.
  • Slice the vanilla bean down the center and scrape the seeds out with a paring knife. Add the seeds to a food processor along with the frozen banana chunks, cashew cream, sea salt, maple syrup, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Flip your processor to the highest setting and blend the mixture until smooth. Taste the mixture for sweetness and add more maple syrup if desired. Fold in the chopped walnuts and cacao nibs. Scrape the ice cream out into a glass or metal container and freeze for at least 4 hours.
  • To serve, remove the ice cream 5 to 10 minutes before you plan to enjoy so that it’s soft enough to scoop.
raw + vegan chunky monkey ice cream // via thefirstmess.com

15/04/2015 (Last Updated 09/02/2023)
Posted in: autumn, cashews, creamy, dessert, gluten free, grain-free, raw, snack, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Debbie

    Q: is there something else that could be used instead of bananas? I would love to share this with my sisters, but one of them is allergic to bananas. Thank you, it looks delicious. Debbie

    • Laura

      Hi Debbie,
      You could add another cup of soaked cashews to the mix and blend the cashews with an additional 1/4 cup of water. The bananas add sweetness and a fluffier texture, so you might want to adjust the sweetness before your freeze it. Additionally, I would recommend stirring it up a bit as it freezes–put the dish of ice cream in the freezer, let it freeze for a couple hours, come back to it and break up the ice chunks a bit by stirring, let it freeze a couple hours more, stir again etc. Hope this helps!

  • Asha

    Q: what purpose does the lemon juice serve in this recipe? I ask only because my friend is allergic to lemon and I’m wondering what would happen if I omit the lemon and make without?

    • Laura

      Hi Asha, I think the lemon juice is just in there to provide some acidity to balance all of the sweetness out and to brighten the flavours a little. If lime is okay, lime juice would get the job done. And if citrus is out completely, I’d say you’re okay without it.

  • Shyerwern

    Hi! This looks so amazing and I really really really wanna try it but just wondering is the coconut oil vital to the recipe? Cos I haven’t got any :(

    • Laura

      I think you could get away without it ;)

  • Amanda | What's Cooking

    What a beautiful post, Laura. Your writing is so eloquent and thoughtful. I too eat for pleasure first. Your description of Tara’s talents really highlight your own and it’s very generous. Your photography here is gorgeous and I can’t wait to pick up a copy of this book and make some of the gorgeous recipes on your blog. Love the new look btw.

  • Isabella

    Laura, can you tell me where that beaut ice cream tin is from. Amen for vegan alternatives. You and SarahB are too much, LOVE IT!

    • Laura

      Hey Isabella, I scooped it up at an antique sale :)

  • Judith de Haan

    Well, it’s done. Couldn’t help “testing” it during the chill time to make sure it was going to be yummy. Oh, it was all that and more. I probably added about a 1/4 cup of vodka and it’s still pretty hard from the overnight freezing.

    I wonder if putting it in a freezer bag will make it a little less rock solid?!

    Thoughts, ladies?

    • Laura

      Mine froze pretty hard too! (although I did use less vodka hehe) When I wanted this ice cream, I tried to get it out 1/2 an hour beforehand. That usually made it soften up to optimum level for me. I’m not sure if you’re opposed to this, but I have heard that adding a 1/2 tsp or so of xanthan gum to any ice cream will make it freeze less hard.

  • Judith de Haan

    1.Soaking the raw cashews (check!)
    2. Putting that weird middle thingy from my ice cream maker in the freezer (check!)
    3. Chopping up the bananas and freezing ’em (check)
    4. Trying to figure out how much a splash of vodka is so I don’t get all my friends drunkety-drunk-drunk (HELP!!)

  • Heather

    OMG! This looks amazing!!! I will be making this very soon to curb my craving for sweets!

  • jackie cohen

    Is it awful for me to ask the calorie and fat numbers for this beautiful “ice cream”?

    • Laura

      I haven’t plugged this into a nutritional calculator or anything, but I think you can assume that both the calorie and (healthy) fat numbers will be a little high because of the cashews and the natural sugars in the bananas and maple syrup :)

  • Grace

    This recipe is so thumbs up. I was practically making out with the food processor when I finished blending it all together. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe :)

  • Isabell

    Laura, amazing, as always. You and Sarah B are just incredible ladies! Can I ask where the beautiful tin is from?

    • Laura

      It’s a vintage find from an antique shop!

  • Martha @ The Fair Kitchen

    i love ice-cream, and since I’m trying to be healthy this year I will make one thank to your recipe. It’s really hard to find ice-cream recipes that are healthy and without fats and chemicals. My kitchen will be ready to make your delicious ice-cream recipe.

  • Jessie

    This looks insanely good. I have everything I need except for the vanilla bean – do you think I could substitute some homemade vanilla extract? (That would handle the vodka, too.)

    • Laura

      Most definitely! :)

  • Aysegul

    Quite honestly, I prefer recipes that are written by food bloggers than a recipe from food network’s website. Especially because I know how much work goes into creating a blog post.. Recipe testing, styling, photographing, editing, recipe & blog post writing, etc.
    This book is my absolute favorite book so far this year. There are so many recipes I simply cannot wait to make. And this chunky monkey ice cream is just one of them. Beautifully photographed, as usual.

  • Michelle

    This looks delicious! I love how simple the ingredients are. If it ever warms up in New England I’ll be making this!

  • Lily | Kale & Caramel

    UGHHHHH this is seriously my errythang. I absolutely adored reading through your brilliant post and sweet words about Sarah and My New Roots for reasons that are obvious. But let’s talk about this ice cream! This gorgeous, gorgeous ice cream. And these shots (so beautiful). AND THAT DATE SYRUP SWIRL.

    And how much I wish I could sit down over a bowl of this with you. Damn, girl. So, so good. Mwah.

  • Keara McGraw

    Stunning photos, Laura. This looks so feasible in my very immediate future that I could cry. Need me some nice cream (+ Sarah’s cookbook) right about now <3

  • Sarah B


    This is so insanely beautiful. Thank you endlessly for posting this and spreading the word. Sorry we missed each other in Ontario. Next time, okay?

    All love and gratitude,
    Sarah B

  • Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness

    Umm…can I have this for breakfast?? This looks so good!!

  • Ally @ Om Nom Ally

    I love that the base for this icecream is cashews – is there anything they can’t do?! Loving this recipe and that someone adores the My New Roots cookbook as much as I do. I haven’t made anything from it yet, but you’ve given me a kick up the backside to get into it, pronto :)

    • Laura

      From my experience, anything with cashews is almost guaranteed to be a total success. Have fun cooking from MNR! ;)

  • Jenné

    First off, your photos are gorgeous (as always)! I am loving Sarah B’s book so much too. I really can understand how it helped you cross the finish line for your proposal. Each page is an inspiration and a work of art.
    My fave books are definitely the ones by bloggers too. I love being able to touch the recipes of people I’ve admired on my computer screen for so long. Looking forward to your creation too :) Happy Spring!

    • Laura

      Aaaah thank you Jenné! So kind of you. Sending happy spring vibes your way, too :) xo

  • Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation

    I SO want Sarah’s book!
    Thanks for making he recipes come alive.

  • Jodi

    Big bigillion high fives for that first paragraph, Laura! Eat plants, lots of em, even in forms of ice cream and don’t count damn calorie. Eat to feel alive. A-f’in-men. This ice cream almost had me jumping in the car to drive the 30 minutes to the health food store to buy a pound of bulk cashews (almost). The perks of living in the boonies. Next week – your mine, chunky monkey. Big love to you + Sarah for being the awesome babes you are! x

    • Laura

      This comment rules. “Eat to feel alive.” is pretty much the ultimate living philosophy. <3 <3 <3

  • Ella

    “Seal salt” teheh. A typo that made me giggle. Looks so gorg!

    • Laura

      I’m so artisanal that I only source sea salt harvested by cute lil’ baby seals ;) ;) ;) I’m gonna go fix that typo now! Thanks for spotting it, Ella.

  • Sonja

    Looks amazing, I absolutely LOVE your blog and I’m so excited about every new recipe! :)

  • lynsey | lynseylovesfood.com

    i love how you see the world, food, and all. So damn cool. Can’t wait to see what you craft for you book!! xo

  • Jessica DeMarra

    I recently purchased this book and was wow’ed by its photography and recipe ideas. I LOVE how it is divided by season, especially early summer vs late summer since they are so different. Whenever I purchase a cookbook, I flip to the dessert chapter first. I opened the book and vegan ice cream was staring me in the face, SOLD! Can’t wait to see your cookbook in my kitchen.

    • Laura

      The seasonal layout is so great. Definitely helps with that whole “living in the moment” thing. I always flip to the dessert section first too :)

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This ice cream sounds so incredible!! Totally in love with the flavour!

  • Tim Sanders

    You are without a doubt a genius. This looks so bad and so good all at the same time – the date syrup swirl does seem to add a lovely extra touch. Thanks for the recipe link for that. I honestly can’t believe that something that looks this good is made from bananas and cashews!

  • Alanna

    This looks exquisite, especially the date syrup swirl – genius!

  • Emily

    This looks like something special. I tried an ice cream made with cashews once, but it tasted a little marshmallowy, but this one seems so luscious. I think I’ll have to try again using this recipe. Beautiful photos, as always.

    • Laura

      Thanks Emily! I know exactly what you mind with that funky, sorta flat mashmallow-y taste that cashews sometimes bring to the party. Since this recipe is half bananas and it’s cut with lemon, that weird flavour definitely subsides quite a bit. Hope you try it out!

  • Abby

    Well, this ice cream is GORGEOUS, Laura. You captured it so brilliantly (and before it melted… bravo!) Sarah’s book looks wonderful. I can’t wait to check it out. xo

    • Laura

      It was getting to be a melty mess towards the end, trust me! Thanks for your (always) lovely and kind comments, Abby! :) xo

  • Jade Sheldon-Burnsed

    Um, I’ve been dying to get my hands on that book and with this recipe I want it even more!

  • Sarah from Soymilk + Honey

    As someone who was told to avoid milk…thank you thank you thank you. And yum! (And super excited to check out a new blog!)

    • Laura

      This recipe seems to mimic that intense creaminess of dairy pretty well, so I hope you try it out. Everyone needs some ice (non-dairy) cream in their life ;)

  • Heather

    Thank you thank you thank you for sharing Sarah’s ultra creamy, beautiful, non dairy, no-ice-cream-maker recipe. My love for ice cream and desire to make it home made has been overridden by my kitchen’s angry voice of “if you put one more contraption in here, I’ll explode!” Her blog rocks, and I really want her book, just haven’t made the leap yet. Lovely photos per usual. Cannot wait to try this one!

    also, yay! congrats on your little green sprouty things :)

    • Laura

      My kitchen’s gonna freak if I get one more specialty appliance too. Sometimes you NEEEEED a waffle cone maker though (to go with the ice cream duh)! :)

  • Ashley

    Girl! This post. Love, love. I have to get my hands on a copy of this book. I just adore Sarah’s blog, obvz. Love that you highlighted this killer dessert recipe. I’ve only tried making vegan ice cream with coconut cream, so I can’t wait to try this one out!

  • dorota @ plants on the plate

    chunky monkey is my favorite ice cream! we had ben&jerry here in italy for some time but they discontinued plus i discontinued to eat regular ice cream. i want my ice cream machine back in my house! my parents insist on keeping it because in their eyes it’s the only reason why i ever visit.
    thanks for all the deliciousness!

    • Laura

      I think my favourite thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require an ice cream maker, which is a total bonus because mine’s still at my parents house too :)

  • kristie {birch and wild}

    I was so stoked for this book. I actually squealed when it came in the mail! I will be equally stoked for your book. Love your take on the ice cream here. I didn’t know about the vodka trick.

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

    Since going vegan, cashews are basically my lifeblood, yeah! I agree with you, anytime I don’t eat more plant based, I feel full and gross and kinda like a bug lump, so I’ll stick to all the carbs and a lot of this ice cream, pleaseandthankyou.

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    This looks TOO GOOD. I am so stoked to try it. Gorgeous photos as always, Laura, and need to get my hands on this amazing cookbook that seems to be taking over the blogging world right now (way to go Sarah!).

    • Laura

      Girl, I knoooow you’ll love it! :) xo

  • Sara @ Cake Over Steak

    Great post! Your words about Sarah’s blog and blogger books in general are so true. (It’s part of why I’m so excited for your book!) This raw ice cream sounds insane and I’m really liking the idea of this “healthy” dessert. Sarah’s book was already high on my wish list, but now it’s even higher.

  • Kate

    Gorgeous! I’ve seen a lot of love for Sarah’s book online and am debating whether I can add another book to my wishlist! I love her recipes but they quite often use unusual ingredients/processes. This looks lovely and simple though and bananas and date syrup are both things I always have to hand.

    • Laura

      The book definitely has a great mix of recipes highlighting some of the more funky food stuffs (which can be fun for kitchen project kinda stuff) and then lots of everyday-appropriate kind of dishes too!

  • valentina | sweet kabocha

    I love ice-cream and I just started to freeze some bananas for the season :D I love Sarah’s too, but I saw in the cookbook preview that she uses more eggs than usual in it. Or maybe it’s only the preview.

  • Erica

    This looks phenomenal! I’ve got such a soft spot for ice cream, and I’ve been dying to try and make a raw ice cream from frozen bananas.
    Beautiful photos too! I love that last one, the ice cream looks so creamy!

    • Laura

      The frozen bananas add so much creaminess. It’s almost unbelievable how dairy-like this one is. Thanks Erica!

  • Kathryn

    Ha, your first paragraph is pretty much the best reason for anyone to follow a more plant/whole-food based diet (and the fact that you wrote is totally why I <3 you + what you do here). I was dithering whether to buy Sarah's book because I have a stupidly massive stack of unread books next to my bed but you've convinced me that this is a total must have.

    • Laura

      So excited that I convinced you to add this beauty to your collection, Kathryn! You’re gonna love it. Cheers to lots (LOTS!) of good food :) xo

  • Natalia

    Such a beautiful book! Love the recipe,thanks for sharing here! Would love to try it too!

  • June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

    That looks incredible! I’ll definitely have to check out her cookbook, if this recipe is any indication. Love all the chunks in here! :)

  • Tuulia @ Tuulia Talvio

    Love Sarah B. as well, and LOVE this ice cream! Your photos are always so stunning and full of life Laura.

  • sophie // the cake hunter

    It fascinates me what you can make out of cashews…it’s so versatile. This looks absolutely delicious and the data syrup swirled in is perfection.

    • Laura

      It’s true! Cashews remain my favourite vegan secret weapon for so many reasons :)