internet research on ice cream makers, and discovered that although users of the Donvier ice cream maker that I have are generally satisfied, the "experts" rate it very low. It's very easy to operate, and if you have the freezer space to store the metal canister, ready at a moment's notice. However, the pricier electric machines apparently make a creamier product. In addition, some machines create a product that stays creamy in the freezer during storage, something that the Donvier does not. Also, you must refreeze the canister for 7 hours if you want to make a second batch. (And, I can tell you for a fact that this is true.) I don't take ice cream making seriously enough to warrant buying a new machine. You can spend $50-$700 on a machine, but I plan to continue using my $5 garage sale Donvier. You can read an article about ice cream makers here.
this ice cream did not get icy in the freezer. After several days, it's hard but still smooth and creamy.
Easy vegan chocolate ice cream
2 cups cashews (soaked and drained)
2 cups water
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup agave syrup
1/4 to 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Soak the cashews in water (in the refrigerator) for four hours or overnight. Blend the first six ingredients in a blender or food processor until extremely smooth and creamy. Blend, blend, blend! Stir in the chocolate chips and chill the mix for an hour or overnight. Freeze in your ice cream freezer.
note: My son tried to make this, and while it was delicious, it was a challenge for his blender to get the cashews really blended to a creamy consistency. You might want to do a little test to see if your blender is up to the challenge before making an entire batch.