Kabocha Squash Ice-cream with Maple Toasted Pecans

November 18th, 2013


Today we celebrate our book, The Vibrant Table, being available for pre-order and all the work on it – successfully completed . We’ve been pretty much consumed with making it for year and a half, and have put all the best that our minds and hearts have to offer into it. Looking back on the whole process, I remember the tremendous challenge, the ups and downs and self-doubt. But above all, I remember the challenging and fulfilling work, the excitement, and the sense of great accomplishment. And we really love the result.


The book is beautiful, thanks to the guidance of all the fine people at Roost Books, it is colourful and radiant, with fresh, vibrant dishes and many family stories. There are 320 pages with all but two new 100 recipes, which are very diverse – I tried my best to offer something for everyone. Most of the recipes are vegan, all of them are vegetarian and all but two are gluten free. We also took care to make most of the recipes as light as possible, letting seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs shine and take the main stage. As many of you have requested in the past, I share my ideas and experience of raising kids to appreciate healthier foods. You’ll find many of our favorite soups and salads, plenty of main dishes to choose from, and desserts to indulge in. In short, we’re very proud with the way the book has shaped up and so excited to share it with you.
The official release date is June 10th of next year, but you can get it earlier if you order it from Roost Books. We’ll keep you updated on any news regarding The Vibrant Table, including when the “look inside” option will be available on Amazon. We hope that you’ll love the book as much as we do. Pre-order it on RoostAmazon, Shambhala, Random House, McNally Robinson.


Now to the ice-cream. This was my first attempt to make a winter squash ice-cream and now I wonder why I haven’t done it every fall, all season long. It has a beautiful colour, perfect texture and amazing flavor. The cranberry sauce creates the most pleasant contrast with the smooth and mild ice-cream, and the maple toasted pecans contribute the delicious finishing touch. Make it to celebrate with us, or surprise your family and friends at the Thanksgiving table, I know I definitely will.


Kabocha Squash Ice Cream
(makes 2 batches)

1 small kabocha or red kuri squash, or pumpkin – cut in half and seeded
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon shredded ginger
3/4 cup maple syrup or more to taste
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon xanathan gum – optional

for the cranberry sauce
2 cups cranberries
1 cup honey

for the pecans
large handful of pecans
maple syrup and grapeseed oil for drizzle
sea salt

to make the ice cream base
1. Turn the oven to 400 F (180 C). Place the squash halves cut-side down on the baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes or until soft throughout. Let cool
2. Meanwhile, pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan, add in ginger, bring to a boil, remove from heat and let infuse for 30 minutes.
3. Combine the squash flesh (I utilize the skin of red kabocha or red kuri squash as well, as it’s soft when baked. You’ll need a high-speed blender though, if using the skin), gingery coconut milk and the rest of ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
4. Chill well in the refrigerator, preferably overnight.

to make the cranberry sauce
1. Combine the cranberries and honey in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the cranberries begin to pop open, for 10-12 minutes. Let cool and pulse in a blender or food processor to a chunky consistency.

to toast the pecans
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). In a bowl, drizzle pecans with maple syrup, grapeseed oil and a pinch of sea salt, mix to coat. Spread on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes. Let cool and chop.

to make the ice cream
1. Make sure that ice-cream base and cranberry sauce are well chilled. Churn the ice-cream base in your ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions ( I needed to do this amount in 2 batches, based on the size of my Cuisinart ice-cream machine).
2. Prepare a chilled container and scoop about 1/3 of the freshly made ice-cream into it, distributing into an even layer. Drizzle about a third of the cranberry sauce on top, followed by a third of the maple tossed pecans.
3. Continue to scoop another third of the ice-cream into the container, alternating with the cranberry sauce and pecans. If you do it in two batches, keep the ratios accordingly. Chill for at least 2 hours or longer before serving. When hardened completely, let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before scooping.

Tags: ice cream, recipe, squash

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  • I could go for a few scoops right now. Divine :)

  • OMG, you have me drooling over here, that sounds zoo good. Must try!

  • Asha@FSK says:

    Oh! Such a beautiful color, so festive! I imagine the flavors to be perfect for the season and it is still warm enough indeed for ice cream

  • Rebecca Jane says:

    I am so thoroughly excited that i will be able to hold in my hands all of your incredible wisdom and beautiful food. This ice cream has me almost as excited. Congratulations and thank you- for all of your hard work and passion xx

  • Natalia says:

    Can’t wait to buy that precious book of your, дорогая голубка :)
    I will have to try this recipe, it looks so good!

  • amy chaplin says:

    This icecream looks heavenly!

    So exciting to see the cover of your gorgeous book, congratualions!! Can’t wait to include it in my collection.

  • Dina says:

    it looks delish!

  • lauren halliburton says:

    WOW amazing!! YUM!!

    • Anya says:

      Thanks Lauren, happy holidays!

    • Lindsey says:

      Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and
      willl eventually come back in the foreseeable future.
      I want tto encourage continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!

  • Looks amazing! I’m inspired to buy an ice cream machine and make this decadent dessert!

  • I just talked my husband into making this for the family at Thanksgiving! YUM :-)

  • Off to pre-order. How exciting! Congratulations on a huge project. I’m sure it will be sensational.

  • April says:

    Congrats! That’s great, and the ice cream looks incredible! Can I ask if you made the cones as well? thanks!

  • denni says:

    sounds wonderful. how many servings from this recipe? Denni

  • adele says:

    This looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g! just wondering if dried cranberries could be used in the sauce

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  • Julia says:

    Hi Anya – this recipe sounds wonderful, I really wish I had some of this ice cream in my freezer right now:) You have a beautiful blog and amazing photography, I’m excited to see you book next year!:) Julia

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  • maria says:

    I think this looks absolutely delicious. Got to pull out the ice cream maker.

  • […] is just as tasty and versatile. Instead of serving it savory, transform creamy kabocha squash into Kabocha Ice Cream with Maple Toasted Pecans. The golden ice cream has a velveteen texture and flavor of ginger-infused coconut milk, nutmeg, […]

  • That sounds so incredibly wonderful! I could do with a tubful right about now… :)

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