Posts Tagged ‘Ice-cream’

Banana Pops- You have to try these!

If you follow this blog you may have noticed how much I love the following combinations:

1. Fruit and greens for nutritious smoothies

2. Cashews and water for a blended silky smooth neutral-slightly-sweet “cream”

3.Bananas and a freezer for “I can’t believe this is only a banana!!”

Frozen bananas really do take on the most decadent creamy texture so that my Dad even asked “Are you SURE you haven’t added anything to this ice-cream- JUST bananas??”  It’s fairly easy to whip up- but you need to have pre-sliced your RIPE bananas, and then blend them to a creamy soft-serve in your mini chopper. While it takes a mere ten minutes, you have to love this recipe today, it’s even quicker and NO APPLIANCES NEEDED!

1.Peel banana, cut in half if desired

2.Insert wooden skewer or lollipop stick

3.COAT IT!  I was just finishing off a batch of peanut butter cups made with coconut oil chocolate and I used the left-over chocolate (much to Amelia’s annoyance!) You can also coat them in a little maple syrup or thinned down honey, and then roll, roll roll. Perhaps in some dessicated coconut? Or some pecans and cinnamon? granola? Some melted dark chocolate if you don’t go for coconut oil chocolate?

Allow me to present my first ever banana pops, which would look decidedly better if I had had something more exciting to roll them in, and if the chocolate hadn’t been almost set when I had this idea. (Left hand pop has a coating of peanut butter under that gloopy dogs-dinner chocolate coating. Messy, but yum!

Still- here are some little beauties, courtesy of Pinterest. Good old Pinterest.

For a super-dooper healthy one, roll in coconut, carob chips, or chopped dried fruit (www.organicauthority.com)

Or you can coat in sweeter alternatives, still safe in the knowledge that your ice cream is a banana! (www.bakersroyale.com)

Oh TOO CUTE! These are coated in white chcolate, and you could also do it with sweetened natural yogurt or (you know what I am going to say-) sweetened cashew cream! (www.skinnytaste.com)

This version is from “peas and thank you” blog (www.peasandthankyou.com) dipped in fruit yogurt

OR- banana slices for super-cute little “pops”. (Unfortunately the link on pinterest had broken for the source of this photo, it was http://www.quirkymomma.com)

Are you all inspired??!

No mini chopper needed, amazing texture, SO easy, great  fun to make with the kids, and you can go 100% natural by coating with nuts and dried fruit, or add a sweeter coating and call it a gosh darn good compromise, frankly. Now all we need is some more sun. Please tell me that wasn’t our summer!!!

Healthy, Dreamy, Dairy Free Strawberry Ice Cream

Don’t look now but we have had 3 sunny days in a row! With a bite in the wind that defies all logic and climatic compassion, it is true……but sun, nevertheless. Praise be! Quick- let’s make some ice-cream!

Amelia is on designated treat duty for our designated family night. She wants to make chocolate brownies with whipped cream, generously sprinkled with a helping of freeze dried strawberry powder and meringue. She’s a classy lady alright. And she knows that anything goes when you are in charge of Treats.

The “rules” for Treat person are, if you choose cookies or cakes etc (be they home made or bought), you should also provide an alternative for those who wish to eat a little cleaner’n’greener. Clearly this week she was not interested in even selecting an interesting fruit, as she said to me with a dismissive wave of the hand- “why don’t you… you know Mum, do one of those healthy treat things that you like?”  🙂

Did I need to be told twice? I think not.

Fortuitously I had a large glass of cashew cream* in the fridge, some vanilla pods in the “junk drawer” (must see to that drawer!) and frozen strawberries in the freezer, because 3 boxes for £5 in Tesco means TONS of affordable strawberries all year round for smoothies and the like. It was clear what had to be done. Step this way………..

*CASHEW CREAM is nothing more or less than unroasted cashews that have been left to soak overnight until soft, and blended with water until silky smooth. Approximate ratio of  water to nuts is 1:1, and please note, the mixture will thicken in the fridge somewhat so bear that in mind.

Dreamy Strawberry Ice Cream

  • 2 cups of frozen strawberries, somewhat thawed
  • 1 cup of cashew cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup liquid sweetener (I used half maple, half honey) or more to taste
  • 1/8t salt

Blend to a silky smooth mixture and add to ice-cream maker to finish off.  If you do not have an ice-cream maker, I must point out I have a few tips for alternative super-healthy ice creams in the desserts section: Here Do have a browse, and please feedback your own ideas friends. I am always open to ideas.

Healthy yumminess (child approved) Read on…

In closing, may I share the small MASSIVE food triumph with Amelia with this ice-cream. I should point out that the last strawberry-cashew ice cream I made did not make it past the critical Second-Spoonful barrier. Spoonful one was heartily approved of, but spoonful 2….she pulled a face and said “It tastes of dates or something”. Me: “Do you mean, it tastes real, and wholesome, and not sweet enough for your sugar-adulterated palate?”

Just kidding. I said: “There are no dates in it!”

Okay so, she did her super-dooper Brownie thing, and she loved making them. So we are all having treats and she asks to try the strawberry ice cream. Ellie and Isaac were both enjoying it but Amelia is a tougher nut to crack, so I was pleased she was even trying it. I was not expecting any miracles considering last time.,,,but…”OH MY GOSH, that is SO NICE!”  (me…quiet….waiting for Second Spoonful) Again: “oh my gosh, that is the BEST ice cream!” (Me…ecstatic. I am such a geek) “Can I have some more for breakfast?” Me: But of course!

It may rain tomorrow. But we have strawberry ice-cream anyway. For breakfast, because, why not?!  And it doesn’t even taste of dates.All is well.

Go the extra mile: Glorious Passion fruit sundae

Sometimes you just need to make a little bit of extra effort to make plant eating decadent- because you’re so worth it.

This photo for example: it’s a glorified banana.

And it was seriously glorious.

A glorified banana. Glory be!

 
I had previously frozen some ripe bananas and took 5 or 6 minutes to whizz those frozen slices into creamy, fluffy, banana softserve ice-cream, as described in this post- Ice Cream for Breakfast.
Topped with passion fruit, dessicated coconut and a strawberry, my lowly banana was lifted to lofty heights of swoon-worthy, joy-full desserts that nurtures the body AND enlivens the soul.
Not bad for a banana.
Such glorious moments surely must be recorded.  And so, I record.
Who would have thought it? That you can watch your favourite ever period drama while eating a banana, and feel decadent? All is gloriously well.

Halva Ice cream

I got this recipe from Raw Living by Kate Wood. I saw her recently on a homeschooling documentary I watched with Alfredo, and the subject of her 3 boys diets was touched upon- she is raising all 3 of her sons vegan, and predominantly on uncooked plant foods. While the interviewer was quite taken aback, she seemed more taken aback still when she asked one of the boys (aged six?) what his favourite food was and he replied without hesitation- “Corn salad! I eat it every day!” (Corn salad is “lambs lettuce”, a very mild green leaf, perfect for salads and green smoothies. And, gardeners, it thrives over winter,apparently)

So anyway, this is one of her recipes and I made it last night. YUM. Sesame seeds are packed full of calcium, PACKED. This is sweetened completely with dates (fibre, potassium and other trace minerals) but you could always add some honey or maple syrup at the end if you like it sweeter. If possible, for recipes where you are not heating, invest in good quality unpasteurised honey for maximum benefits. I have 2 half-built hives in my garage. I’m just saying.

  • 400 grams sesame seeds (soaked overnight)
  • 120 grams fresh dates (pitted) or dried, soaked overnight
  • 500 mls water (I found I needed considerably more with my blender, but add it bit by bit)
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1-2 teaspoons vanilla essence

Blend until it is a thick cream “until there are no seedy bits left” says Kate. I only soaked my seeds for 1-2 hours, so I could not get mine completely smooth and I doubt I ever would with my blender unless I used tahini. I also added a bit of honey at the end.

At this point, you can stir in 100grams of raisins and add to your ice cream maker, but last night was hectic and I didn’t even do that! (though I will, in summer!) It is delicious, and I am using it as a breakfast base, stirring in raisins, chopped banana, organic rolled oats, and eating it as is (maybe a bit of maple syrup got on top….)

Sorry, there is no photo, it just looked like a dodgy bowl of overnight oats but it tasted like sesame caramel heaven.

Happy Friday!

Creamy Choco-banana ice-cream

My good friend mentioned that she had tried Macadamia Chocolate Spread in her new Mini-Chopper. I was eager to hear how she had liked it, and was slightly crestfallen that she didn’t share my ardour. You see, I am always curious as to how people will enjoy some of the things I like. I always secretly wonder if they are actually delicious to other folk. I admit to enjoying things like dried cabbage Amazing Kale Chips and Garbanzo Bean Cookie Dough, which may not be everyones cup of tea (mines a herbal, thanks) Having said that, I think if people can get over their preconceptions (is that a word?) they may be surprised at what they will enjoy. My husband is a crisp fanatic and always pulled a bit of a face when I offered him a kale chip (I know. Strange!) but the other day he finally tucked in, and was rolling his eyes and stuffing them in a bit too fast for my liking (Hello?? I like them too!)

Anyway, I am 35 now and I can finally admit I need validation. So when I went home from Sarah’s I thought “Was that chocolate spread as nice as I remember it? Was it?” I felt duty bound to make it again. I never eat macadamias, as they are my hubbies healthy treat, and I only delve into the bag once in a while to create things, because they cost £2 a bag, and that aint cheap- it’s a small bag. But I was now on a mission.

I whipped up a batch of Macadamia chocolate spread in my mini chopper  (the recipe is here, but all you need is macadamia nuts, honey and cocoa) I added 2-3 Tablespoons of soy milk because there wasn’t quite enough nuts for the size of the  chopper to get a really smooth buttery consistency (Thanks Sarah, you were right) You could just add a handful more nuts though.

So as I contemplated – and taste-tested this mini chopper full of expensive, nurturing chocolatey fat, I concluded that it was as delicious as I remembered it and all that remained was to either eat it with a spoon, or try to eke it out a little. I still have my frugal hat on, so eke I did. I threw in about 30 slices of frozen banana and whizzed until it was totally creamy.

Oh goodness!  Delicious! I think I may have mentioned more than once how amazing Banana softserve ice-cream is. I was once asked “Are you sure you didn’t put any cream in this? Nope- just  bananas! It’s a miraculous transformation it undergoes when it is frozen, and whizzed. While this is a little richer, as it has the nuts, it is decidedly guilt free. I was so excited to share it with Alfredo because we had decided to have a bit of a campfire out back and if we ate my ice cream, he might not miss “smores”  🙂

He took a polite spoonfull, nodded, and handed it back to me. Wait! My validation! On the point of feeling crestfallen, I remembered he dislikes all chocolate ice-cream, even Haagen Dazs. And anyway? Whatever. I love it. Stoke that fire. And pass the ice-cream!

Tropical Sorbet

I think I should call this blog “Adventures of a Mini Chopper”. BUT- no ice cream maker needed for this one-hooray! Remember my glut of 3p baby mangoes? (Previous post) Well Isaac and I have just found a great use for one of them. No precise recipe needed !!

I used:

  • 1 baby mango (which yielded 100grams flesh)
  • some fresh pineapple (100grams flesh)
  • 1 ripe speckled banana
  • the juice of half a large lemon

I do think the lemon juice is essential to give it a bit of delicious sharpness, and I used the banana so I could get an extra creamy texture (even though sorbets are technically not creamy. I am not one to get hung up on technicalities) NOTE: If you are going to use a regular sized food processor, you will need to use more fruit or it will never “get going” and process the fruit properly.

This is a two-part-mini-chopper-adventure, but nevertheless takes a question of minutes (not counting waiting time, but you can do it overnight and have it for breakfast!)  Read on.

1. Process your fruit in a food processor with the “S blade” or a mini chopper until you have a nice smooth mixture. Taste, and tweak appropriately.

2. Now. Take your mixture and spoon it into a ziploc bag; if you have lots of mixture you may possibly need two. You can do it in a regular sandwich bag, you just need to be more careful. The idea is, on a plate or small tray is to extend your mixture in the closed plastic bag so you have a large flat rectangular smoothie 🙂

3. Place your bag(s) in the freezer overnight, or for about 4-6  hours.

4. When your mixture is solid, you simply remove it from your plastic bag, and “snap” it into pieces into your mini chopper (you have washed it from the last use, right?)  You will notice ice crystals; that is what an ice cream maker prevents, but don’t worry- we are going to break them down now, and end up with a beautiful slushy sorbet with not an ice crystal in sight!

5. Now blitz your mixture in your chopper, until all lumps are gone and you have a creamy, dreamy frozen dessert!

Indulge alone or share with a friend.  I shared it with my little man  🙂

Ice Cream and Sorbet: The Fruit, the Whole Fruit, and nothing but the Fruit

Amelia has requested, even demanded, full credit for this, and so it shall be. She  wanted to make a raspberry sorbet. She loves making anything in the ice-cream maker, but happily it wasn’t even needed!

I followed her instructions, and this is how it went. Too easy. Take 1 bag of frozen raspberries (ours was 300grams) and process in the food processor until broken down and slushy-in-a-sorbet-kind-of-way. Wait 5-10 minutes for them to begin to thaw, before processing them.

Truthfully this was a bit too sharp for me, and I wanted to blend in a bit of fresh pineapple or something to sweeten it but she wanted it so.

I had some frozen sliced bananas so I made some banana soft-serve to go with it. I still cannot believe how the colour even changes when you blend it, it turns so creamy white as opposed to the yellowey-brown hues of an extremely ripe banana.

I envisaged a beautiful small glass that we could layer with the 100% raspberry sorbet, and the 100% banana soft serve creamy ice cream. Then I remembered that   a) both of my girls hate bananas   b) All of my nice glasses have smashed, and I feel no inclination to buy any more while in this micro-kitchen.

So we just dolloped each variety in two large glasses and presented it on our paint-stained table. Did I mention I was pipped to the post in a food photography competition just last week?

Not naughty. And pretty nice actually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still, the sunny afternoon refreshment was delicious. And two of our “five a day”, nothing added, nothing taken away, so it’s all good.

 

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