Miriam Olenick is an avid ice cream producer. On her weekly column, you can find all sorts of recipes for delicious, frozen treats. Find more recipes on her own blog www.scoopdujour.net.


A lot of people love chai; that’s not news. My friends have been asking me to make chai ice cream for a while, but I’ve been a little resistant to the idea. It’s not that I don’t like the taste of chai – in fact, I love Chai. The other day I went to the café in the student center and asked for an iced chai latte, and the girl working there told me they were out of chai. I said, “What?” And she said, “We’re out of chai.” And I said, “WHAT?” And she said, “I know.”

So my love for chai is proved. I just didn’t want to make something so obviously delicious. Where’s the challenge in that?

That was the gist of my thinking, until I saw this very intriguing vegan recipe for chai-cashew ice cream in Annie and Dan Shannon’s cookbook Betty Goes Vegan. Vegan counts as enough of a challenge, so I decided to go for it.

I adapted the recipe quite a lot, and I don’t know what it would have tasted like if I hadn’t, but I think I got the gist of it. More importantly, I liked the ice cream. The most powerful tastes were chai and banana; I didn’t taste cashews, just a general nuttiness. The texture was pretty grainy, but it worked.


Vegan Chai-Cashew Ice Cream


  1. 1 ½ cups vanilla soy milk
  2. 4 chai teabags
  3. ½ cup cashew butter
  4. 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  5. ¼ cup agave nectar
  6. ½ tablespoon vanilla
  7. 1 ripe banana
  8. ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  9. ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  10. ¼ teaspoon cloves
  11. a few grinds black pepper


  1. Place the tea bags in a bowl.
  2. Heat the soy milk until just boiling, then pour over the teabags.
  3. Let steep for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Remove tea bags, pressing all the liquid out of each one into the bowl.
  5. Set chai-milk aside to cool.
  6. Meanwhile, mash the banana into a pulp.
  7. Using a kitchen-aid or a handheld mixer or a food processor, combine the rest of the ingredients with the mashed banana, including the soymilk.
  8. Refrigerate mixture in a metal container for about half an hour (or 10 minutes in the freezer).
  9. Pour mixture into the ice cream maker; turn on.
  10. Let it churn for 20-25 minutes.
  11. Place ice cream in the freezer a few hours before serving.


- Miriam ‘13