ICE-CREAM can be GOOD for you!
So, it’s heating up outside and you’re craving ice cream? Conventional ice cream is not something known for its health-giving ingredients, as many on the market are loaded with dairy, sugar and preservatives and highly calorific. But don’t worry, I am not here to be a kill-joy and ban the fun out of your life! Have no fear, whether you’re cutting down on dairy and refined sugar or going vegan there are some amazingly delicious alternatives that you can make yourself which, as well as tasting great, will allow your body to thrive and give you tonnes of energy!
There are several ways to make a healthy, vegan ice cream including using soaked cashew nuts (which create a rich, indulgent ice cream) and fresh young coconut meat (very tasty but it can be hard to get hold of the key ingredients). One of the easiest and most popular vegan ice-cream recipes is one based on frozen bananas – simple!
As bananas are high in pectin, they have the amazing quality of tasting like vanilla ice cream when pre-frozen and then blended. Even if you’re not a banana fan, give this a go; you can always add flavours so you won’t even taste any banana!
Some cool banana facts:
– Bananas are rich in potassium and contain vitamin C, fibre and vitamin B6.
– Bananas are the only fruit to contain ‘tryptophan’ which helps the body to produce serotonin – a natural substance that promotes happy hormones and consequently helps alleviate depression; pass the bananas!
– Research has shown that eating bananas may lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as decrease the risk of getting some cancers.
– If possible buy organic, fair-trade bananas so you know you’re not ingesting fungicides and pesticides as well as supporting fair-trade.
Here is a simple ONE Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe!
1. Start with really ripe bananas; the riper they are the sweeter and tastier your ice cream will be! Really ripe bananas have black spots on their skin and are soft to touch.
Chop up half a dozen ripe bananas into small coins, bag or box them up in a freezer bag or airtight freezer-safe container.
2. Place in the freezer for at least a few hours, ideally overnight. I like to keep a tub full of chopped bananas in the freezer to have on hand.
3. When ready to blend, throw all your frozen bananas into a blender or food processor and blend for several minutes until you have a smooth, creamy consistency! The length of time this takes will depend on the blender you are using; a powerful 1.5 HP blender will take less than a minute; a regular blender or food processor will take a little longer. To help them blend, you can add a little water or nut milk. The key is to be patient, as in a short time you will have delicious home-made ice-cream.
5. If you like your ice-cream to be ‘soft-serve’ then serve in a bowl and enjoy! If you like it more like frozen ice-cream then re-freeze for an hour or two in a container until it’s frozen solid.
If you want to add flavour, this is where the fun really begins! I always add a dash of vanilla powder to everything I make as I love the sweet flavour it gives everything; you can also use vanilla essence (always check the label as many brands have added sugar and invert syrup!)
For chocolate ice-cream you can add a tablespoon of carob and cacao or cocoa powder
For berry ice-cream add some frozen berries
For mint choc chip ice-cream add some mint essence then mix in some raw/dark choc chips, once blended
For apple pie ice-cream add in vanilla, cinnamon and mixed spice
Optional extras or toppings include chopped nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit or raw chocolate chips.
I love experimenting in the kitchen and I am on the way to perfecting a very rich, creamy chocolate ice cream recipe which contains a magic ingredient which you’d never guess! Follow me (links below) for the recipe coming soon!
Next time….Super healthy, easy-to-make snacks for days when more energy is needed and waves need to be caught!
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