Sooooo going vegan is pretty much the best decision ever, because it means you can eat ice cream and chocolate all day long and get healthier and happier than ever before. How is this possible? You can make the best ice cream in the WORLD with one ingredient: bananas. You can make the healthiest dark chocolate sauce ever with super nutritious foods like cacao and carob. I eat ice cream for breakfast regularly, and I am smiling and jumping around the rest of the day, every day. Why spoon a bowl of antibiotic- and sugar-loaded bovine secretions when you can gorge on ripe fruit!? No offence to the cows. They are awesome, but we don't need their milk. Another terrific bit of information about vegan ice cream: it's inexpensive! Organic bananas are often $1.00/lb here in Vancouver, Canada (conventional ones are 70 cents/lb or so) and I KNOW they are often cheaper in the States.
Buy 'em in bulk (ask your grocery store if you get a box, or get a discount on extra ripe ones) and let ripen until they are covered in brown spots. Then peel, chop into chunks, lay them out on parchment paper-lined baking pans and freeze until solid. Finally, dump all the frozen chunks into big Ziploc bags and keep in the freezer until you want ice cream (like, everyday). The first time I made banana ice cream - also known as 'nana ice cream' or 'nice cream' - I couldn't believe how delicious and simple it was. In the recipe below I list vanilla and almond milk as ingredients, but the simplest form of banana ice cream is literally just frozen bananas. Note: you need a strong blender to do that (Vitamix or Blendtec). The second simplest? Frozen bananas + water. Ah, ain't life swell?
When I became vegan I thought I'd have to give up my favourite food (i.e. ice cream) until I realized the best ice cream IS vegan. Hello, brave new banana-filled world. It's good to be here. Join me?
OH AND JUST SO YA KNOW: I will be going away with my lovely Jack for a week in the snow-covered woods of northern British Columbia. We are escaping to his grandparents' cozy cottage in Wells, where we went in the summer, before I go back to university on January 7th. I probably won't be posting much on le blog in the next week, but stay tuned to my Instagram for daily photos of what we are eating! There is no oven and possibly no running water, so it'll be a healthy challenge for me to keep us nourished and I plan on sharing all my tips and tricks with you. Yams baked on an open fire? It's goin' down. Steaming veggies with melted snow? Expect it.
BANANA VANILLA SOFT SERVE with DARK CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE
4 peeled, frozen bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 cup almond milk (or water)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon cacao powder
1 teaspoon water
To make the ice cream: cut the frozen bananas into 1-inch chunks. Put in a high-speed blender with the vanilla and almond milk (or water). Blend until it becomes the consistency of soft serve ice cream. It may not seem like it will get to this stage, but it happens quickly and then all of a sudden your blender is full of a creamy, thick, white ice cream! Scoop this into a bowl.
To make the drizzle: stir the ingredients together until smooth, it will take a second for the cacao to combine with the liquid. Drizzle on your ice cream and enjoy! Add whatever else you like: berries, almond butter, cinnamon, cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp seeds, coconut... I like using this delicious mix from Blend Co.
ADAPTIONS: you can use cocoa or carob powder instead of cacao. You can use whatever non-dairy milk you want. You can use coconut nectar or date paste instead of maple syrup. You can use vanilla extract instead of vanilla powder.
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