When I started making this recipe this morning my aim was to revamp one of my first ones ever (from 2011 when I started da blog). But I just realized that this turned into an almost exact replica of my immediately previous recipe, with the addition of a tart crust. Oops. Oh well! Don't cry over repeated ice cream + chocolate recipes, I always say. Actually that is the first time I've ever said that yet now I think it should be stated more often. I do eat banana ice cream and chocolate nearly every day, and positive reminders are always... positive. Ah, I just started the new semester today so my brain is already overworked. Thank goodness no one comes here for the prose. I know you only love me for my ice cream recipes and it's OOOKAY. I love you right back.

I totally failed at redoing the original recipe; it was a peanut butter crust with buckwheat, filled with banana ice cream and topped with a thick chocolate frosting. The only thing I really did the same was the banana ice cream filling. The crust in THIS recipe is made from pecans and raisins, and the "frosting" is definitely a drizzle. I guess this just means I will have to try my hand at a third attempt. I don't hear any complaints, right?

I'm finding it very relaxing, rejuvenating and nostalgic looking through my old posts (back when I just started this blog in the fall of 2011). Now I read what I wrote back then - I was 16 years old - and realize how much simpler life was. I had just started university, not sure where I wanted to go with it. I had never been in a romantic relationship. Veganism was all new and thus very exciting, with so much to explore and learn. And obviously, no one read my blog then! Or, almost no one. What I mean is that I wasn't defined by my blog or cookbooks. Of course I'm not entirely now, but you all know me through those platforms. I wasn't a professional blogger or author or vegan public figure or whatever ya wanna call me... I was simply Emily! A young teenager, freshly vegan and enthusiastic about sharing my passion for compassion with the world and everyone around me who would listen. In short: I was a baby! It's helpful for me to go back to those times, via reading my blog posts from that age, to remind myself who I was and how I got to be who I am now. As humans, we are constantly changing; physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. For one second we are never the same. Being a human is a crazy, chaotic, entropic, wonderful experience. I decided this year that every year I want to look back at who I was a year ago (example: on New Years, I reflected about who I was at the beginning of 2014). I want to remember who I was, what I thought about myself and the world around me, and what I wanted. I've made it a goal to try to always improve myself every year. I want to look back and say, "Hey, you were awesome! But you've accomplished even more now! High five, woman." This isn't to devalue myself now, I'm not standing here - yep, I've got a standing desk - thinking I suck or anything. I just believe in consistently trying to be a better version of myself, while simultaneously loving whoever I am at any given time. After all, self-love should be everyone's #1 priority. Without it, what's the point of anything?

Loving myself is at the heart of everything I do. Maybe that sounds ridiculously arrogant, since we live in society that shakes its head at being proud of yourself and loving who you are, but it's true. We're allowed and expected to compliment our friends, peers, and partners all the time, but what about complimenting ourselves? Self-love is independence, healthy confidence and a necessity for a happy life. Get in front of the mirror today and express out loud all the things you like about yourself, physical and non-physical. You're a magnificent creature who can do anything you set your mind to.

Looking back at my older posts, I am proud of who I was then, and even more proud of who I have grown into. I look forward to future years when I can reflect on this time in my life with a smile on my face, and gratitude for myself and the world that built me. For now, I'm gonna eat another one of these tarts. Wanna join?

Makes about two big ones. 

3/4 cup pecans
3/4 cup raisins

Chocolate sauce:
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

Ice cream:
2 cups frozen bananas (peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes) 

To make the crust: process the pecans in a food processor until they turn into tiny crumbs. Add the raisins and process until it all starts to stick together. Press into two lined tart tins and put in the fridge. 

To make the chocolate sauce: stir the ingredients together until smooth. Add water if it's too thick.

To make the ice cream: blend the bananas in a high speed blender until smooth and thick like soft serve ice cream. Scoop into your tart crusts. Drizzle on your sauce and eat 'em up.

ADAPTIONS: use any nut or seed instead of pecans. Use dates, figs or prunes instead of raisins. Use cocoa powder or carob powder instead of cacao powder. Use vanilla extract instead of vanilla powder, or omit the vanilla powder. Use coconut ice cream instead of banana ice cream. 

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