Waffle Wednesday: Banana Split Waffle Sundaes!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

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Leslie Knope likes her waffles like she likes her Ben*: served in a short stack and smothered in whipped cream.

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For this year’s MoFo, I really wanted to recreate the gorgeous tower of whipped cream that always seems to find its way onto Leslie’s waffles. Unfortunately, none of the alternative food stores in my area carry the cans of SoyaToo whipped topping that would help me pull it off. (Or any vegan whipped cream, for that matter. Boo!) Instead I opted for the next best thing – making my own using coconut cream.

(More below the fold…)

Cookbook Review: Vegan Ice Cream, Jeff Rogers (2014)

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Should be Called “(Mostly) Raw Vegan Ice Cream”

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through the Blogging for Books program.)

I’ve been vegetarian since 1996, and went vegan in the mid-aughts. Along with vegan pizza, vegan ice cream is my absolute favorite – and have tumblogs dedicated to each to prove it. I own one ice cream maker (a Cuisinart Ice-45) and covet a second one (the KitchenAid Stand Mixer & Ice Cream Maker Attachment). No fewer than five vegan ice cream cookbooks line the bookshelves in my pantry. I’ve been allergic to milk my entire life (technically it’s galactose – milk sugar – that’s the problem, but same diff), and have never been able to have “real” ice cream. Growing up as I did in the 1980s, I still remember the Dark Days of vegan processed food: when vegetarianism was fringe and my mom bought my dad’s meatless links in the basement of the local Unitarian Church, and I was ecstatic to have two (TWO!) vegan ice cream options in the mainstream grocer’s freezer: Rice Dream (*shudder*) and Tofutti (which will forever occupy a special place in my heart).

I’m a bit of a vegan ice cream connoisseur, is what I’m saying.

I purchased Jeff Rogers’s Vice Cream way back in 2009, but as of yet haven’t tried a single recipe. For whatever reason (the abundance of cashews? the insistence on juicing everything? the multiple steps and machines required for each recipe?), none of the recipes really appealed to me. So when I spotted a new and revised edition – now called Vegan Ice Cream – on Blogging for Books, I decided to give it a try, in the hope that Rogers had tweaked his formulas. As it turns out, the updated edition contains twenty or so new recipes – along with the seventy originals – but all use the same bases found in Vice Cream. Hopes, dashed.

Just scanning through the book, I had my doubts. From my experience using cashews to make vegan cheeses, I could tell that they alone wouldn’t thicken the batter substantially, and certainly not to the pudding-like consistency needed to make a smooth, dairy-like ice cream. Nevertheless, I did experiment with two recipes prior to writing this review: Chai and Chocolate Pecan.

(More below the fold…)

Kiss Me Organics Matcha Review – and a Vegan Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe!

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Green Tea Ice Cream, Anyone?

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for an honest review.)

I love green tea, but due to its cost, I primarily use matcha powder for cooking and baking (ice cream and pastries, mostly). The matcha sold by Kiss Me Organics is comparable to other brands of matcha I’ve tried, with a vibrant green color; a fine, powdery consistency that’s not terribly difficult to whisk into liquids; and a rich taste that’s impossible to describe, except to say that it tastes like a good cup of plain green tea. The day I received my order, I whipped up a quart of green tea ice cream (recipe below); I was impressed with the smooth consistency and complex taste imparted by the matcha powder.

If you’re new to matcha, you can use it to flavor a variety of baked goods: add to your favorite vanilla cupcake mix, buttercream recipe, or even just mix a bit with powdered sugar and soy milk to make icing. There’s an excellent recipe for Green Tea Cupcakes on the Post Punk Kitchen (Google “Green Tea Cupcakes With Almond Flowers”), as well as a Matcha Truffles recipe from My Whole Food Life that I’ve been meaning to try. And don’t even get me started on Soy Division’s Matcha Glazed Vanilla Bean Donuts with Matcha Cream Filling!

The matcha comes packaged in a resealable pouch, which is rather handy, but I had a hard time getting it open (the top tears off well above the zipper; I had to trim the top of the bag a little bit at the time to avoid damaging the packaging). To be fair, matcha powder is inherently messy, and I’ve never been a fan of the various modes of packaging devised by manufacturers. This is at least preferable to some of the roll-up bags I’ve wrestled with in the past. (Matcha on all the kitchen things!)

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(More below the fold…)

Ozera Ice Pop Molds: Product Review & A Strawberry Fruit Bar Recipe!

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Healthy popsicles at a fraction of the cost!

five out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for an honest review.)

I make a ton of ice cream during the summer months – banana and soy-based, mostly – but haven’t spent a whole lot of time experimenting with popsicles. I think these “groovy” ice pop molds from Ozera might just be a game changer!

One set consists of six pop molds and a tray to keep them all upright. They molds are packed pretty tidily into the tray, so that it takes up minimal space in the freezer. (The tray measures about 5 ½” by 6”; I don’t know where the 7 x 5 x 8 inches in the product description comes from, since it’s not even an inch high.) While I’ve only had my molds for about a week, they seem sturdy and durable enough. The tops/handles fit snugly into the molds, and the molds in turn fit snugly into the tray. The set is dishwasher safe, but almost as easy to wash by hand.

The directions on the box are riddled with typos (I think the company is German, and the atrocious copy is due to comically poor translation), but the molds are easy enough to use: just fill with a popsicle mix (recipes not included), leaving ½” of space at the top. Freeze for four hours and then enjoy!

(More below the fold…)

Rosemary Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

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This recipe came about because I needed to use up some ripening strawberries stat, and I wanted to try something other than plain old strawberry-banana. The rosemary certainly makes for an interested addition – it gives the ice cream more of a savory feel – but I’m not sure it’s my absolute favorite. I guess I’m just more of a strawberry shortcake kind of girl, you know?

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Strawberry Rosemary Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

3 cups strawberries, diced
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3-4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or several sprigs fresh rosemary) + extra to taste
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

(More below the fold…)

Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

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I fucking love almonds. If you fucking love almonds too, this just might be the recipe for you.

Creamy, almond-flavored ice cream laced with delicious chunks of chocolate-covered toasted almonds; is there anything else to say? I didn’t think so.

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Chocolate Almond Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer, plain or vanilla
1 cup almond or soy milk, plain or vanilla, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

(for the chocolate almonds)

3/4 cup almonds, toasted
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

(More below the fold…)

Fennel Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

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I’ve wanted to try fennel ice cream for what feels like forever now, but somehow it always got pushed to the bottom of the list. When I found myself with an overripe bunch of bananas, I decided to finally give it a try. I was a little nervous about how the fennel would taste when paired with bananas (the flavor of which can sometimes be overwhelming in banana-based ice cream recipes), but a quick Google search turned up dozens of fennel-seasoned banana desserts, so I figured it was a safe bet.

The result is tasty enough; the fennel lends the bananas a sweet, licorice-like flavor that’s really quite refreshing. Still, it does compete a bit with the bananas for top billing. I really have got to try it in a more traditional, soy milk-based ice cream.

The little orange chunks are dates, which I added for extra sweetness (and I’m not gonna lie, fiber!); these are optional, but make an already healthy frozen dessert even more nutritious!

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Fennel Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 teaspoon ground, dried fennel + extra to taste (I used 1 3/4 teaspoons, all told)
4 dates (optional)
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas and dates in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen banana chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add one teaspoon fennel and process. Same the batter and add additional fennel to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Maple & Candied Pecan Ice Cream

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

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Maple ice cream: because sometimes you just gotta have pancakes for dessert. The candied pecans are based on a recipe from Donna Klein’s The Chinese Vegan Kitchen (Chinese Sweet Walnuts) – and, while delicious, they are totally optional. For a slightly healthier dessert, swap ‘em out for toasted pecans.

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Maple & Candied Pecan Ice Cream

Ingredients

(for the ice cream batter)
2 cups soy creamer
1 cup soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon Mapeline or maple extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

(for the candied pecans)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, roughly chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. In a small mug, combine 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the soy creamer, remaining soy milk, and maple syrup; mix well. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the arrowroot slurry immediately, whisking well. This should cause the milk to thicken noticeably. Add the maple and vanilla extracts and mix well.

3. Cover and transfer to a fridge to chill for six to eight hours or, better yet, overnight.

4. Next, make the candied pecans! Preheat the oven to 250F. In a medium bowl, combine the maple syrup and water; add the pecans ad stir well to coat. In a small bowl, mix the sugars and cinnamon; combine with the pecans and mix until evenly coated. Place the nuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading them out so that they’re in a single layer. Bake at 250F for about 45 minutes (or until the nuts are toasted), stirring every 15 minutes. When done, allow to cool on the countertop. Transfer the nuts to a Tupperware container, breaking each nut apart as you do. Store in the fridge until ready for use.

5. To make the ice cream, process the batter according to your ice cream machine’s directions. Add the one cup of the pecans about seven minutes into the cycle – before the ice cream is done freezing, but after it’s thick enough that the pecans won’t fall to the bottom. Store the remaining pecans in the fridge for use as a topping.

6. Enjoy immediately or pop it in the freezer for a firmer dessert!

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Butternut Squash Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

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So here’s the deal: I bought a butternut squash a few weeks ago and then completely forgot why. I assumed it was for a specific recipe, but I’ve combed through my cookbook pile and I’ll be damned if I can find it. So into the ice cream it goes!

This recipe’s a lot like the Sweet Potato Soft Serve I made last year, only with butternut squash in place of sweet potatoes! (Next up: Spaghetti Squash. I kid, I kid.)

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Butternut Squash Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

2 cups roasted butternut squash (about 1/3 of a squash)
4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. To roast the squash, cut it in half lengthwise. Place it on a large baking sheet, flesh-side up, and bake at 400F for about 30 minutes, or until the insides are soft and tender. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. When cooled, peel the skin off the squash and dice into 1/2″ pieces. Put two cups of diced squash in a food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Add a little soy milk if necessary.

3. Next, add the bananas and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl.

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

4. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

5. Add the cinnamon and pulse until blended.

6. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

 

P.S. I just so happened to photograph this ice cream during the dogs’ post-lunch bathroom break, and this happened:

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“It’s mine, you understand? Mine! All mine! Get back in there! Down, down, down! Go, go, go! Mine, mine, mine! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!”

Chocolate Coconut Crunch Ice Cream

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

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This recipe has a kind of funny backstory: I tried to whip up some coconut milk whipped cream, but didn’t realize that I had to separate the solids from the liquids first. Basically I ended up with grainy (because it was still chill) coconut milk. And because that was my last can of coconut milk, I had to put ice cream on my apple pie instead. So sad, right?

Anyway, this is a coconut milk-based chocolate ice cream with a coconut-chocolate bark. The trick is to break up the bark into super-tiny pieces so you don’t break a tooth on it once it’s frozen (says the girl with all the crowns). Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

P.S. Is this an adorable ice cream dish or what? Goodwill, people!. Good. Will.

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Chocolate Coconut Crunch Ice Cream

Ingredients

1 15 ounce can (1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
1 cup soy milk, divided
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut + extra as needed

Directions

1. In a small mug, combine 1/4 cup of the soy milk with the arrowroot powder. Whisk well and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, remaining soy milk, sugar, and coconut powder; mix well. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and add the arrowroot slurry immediately, whisking well. This should cause the milk to thicken noticeably.

3. Cover and transfer to a fridge to chill for six to eight hours or, better yet, overnight.

4. Next, make the “crunch”! Place the chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Cook for 90 seconds in the microwave, pausing to stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. When done, spoon the chocolate out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spreading it as thin as possible. Sprinkle the coconut shreds on top, pressing down gently with a spatula or spoon. Put the baking sheet in a freezer to chill for about an hour. When cold and hard, break the sheet of chocolate into bite-sized pieces using your hands or a knife. Store in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer until ready for use.

5. To make the ice cream, process the batter according to your ice cream machine’s directions. You can add the chocolate chunks to the batter prior putting it in the ice cream machine, if that’s easier for you, or as you dispense (or scoop) the frozen ice cream from the machine. Depending on how chunky you like your ice cream, you may have a handful of chocolate-coconut bark left over; these are great on a sundae, or just for snacking!

6. Enjoy immediately or pop it in the freezer for a firmer dessert!

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Vanilla Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

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The freezer cases at Whole Foods, Green Acres, and Price Chopper are so cluttered with non-vegan desserts (not to mention three kinds of chocolate-covered frozen bananas! three! that’s valuable real estate you’re wasting, businesses!) that I’ve pretty much given up on buying anything other than chocolate and vanilla ice cream at the store. If I want a more exciting or unusual flavor, I’ve got to make it my own bad self. So you know what that means, folks! Saturday ice cream blogging is back on! (I usually posted my ice cream recipes on Saturday, right? I forget.)

This one’s a simple vanilla blueberry swirl, inspired by the Purely Decadent Blueberry Cheesecake flavor. (But sadly minus the cheesecake. I’m working on it though!) Pretty tasty, although next time I think I’ll blend the blueberries for a smoother ice cream. (See the variation under Step #4.)

(More below the fold…)

Cocoa Crunch Soft Serve

Friday, December 13th, 2013

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After I saw some people on tumblr making ice cream sundaes with sugary cereal, I got to thinking: why not skip a step and put the cereal right in the ice cream? I could make whole flavors based on my favorite cereals! Sadly, I haven’t had much chance to experiment – current weather conditions are more conducive to hot chocolate and hotter tea than they are to ice cream and milkshakes – but I did give Cocoa Puff cereal a whirl. Or rather, Cocoa Roos or whatever the generic, cereal-by-the-bag version is called. Sadly, Cocoa Puffs contains the non-vegan version of Vitamin D (D3), so I had to switch to the store brand, which isn’t quite as tasty. But no sheep parts, yay! (Or at least that I know of; the label doesn’t specify. Damn fortified cereals!)

In addition to the cereal, I added some cocoa powder for an extra-chocolatey taste. It’s really good, and you can definitely detect the cereal’s distinct flavor over all that chocolate. And between the cereal and the bananas, I think we can all agree: this is totally a breakfast food. Dessert at 7AM, does it get any better than this?

 

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Cocoa Crunch Soft Serve

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 cups generic Cocoa Puffs cereal
3-4 tablespoons cocoa powder
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Place one cup of the cereal into a food processor and pulse until it’s almost powdery.

2. Add the bananas to the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

3. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

4. Add the cocoa powder and pulse until blended. Add the rest of the cereal and pulse until it’s broken up into bite-sized bits. Sample the batter and add extra cocoa powder or sugar to taste.

5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

 
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Cranberry Banana Ice Cream

Friday, December 6th, 2013

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In the four days between my making this ice cream and photographing it, Shane asked me every single night whether I’d taken the pictures yet – since he’s not allowed to eat the homemade ice cream until I can photograph it for the blog. A little whinier each night, he sounded a kid waiting for…well, his ice cream. Annoying and a slightly endearing all at once. Needless to say, he’s super-stoked to see this post go up!

This is a pretty simple recipe, and a tasty way to use up leftover cranberry sauce. By my best estimate, you’ll need about a cup of cranberry sauce per four to five bananas, which ultimately yields about a quart of ice cream. But just in case you like your ice cream with an extra cranberry kick, I included instructions for making two cups of sauce. You can stick with my basic recipe or swap it out for your own favorite version. Just be sure to simmer as much of the moisture out as you can!

Also, feel free to dress this up with chocolate chips and dried cranberries; cinnamon (~ 1 teaspoon), nutmeg (~ 1/4 tsp), and allspice (a dash); some extra lemon or orange zest, perhaps in addition to a few tablespoons of frozen OJ concentrate); or a shot of bourbon or triple sec.

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Cranberry Banana Ice Cream

(Makes a little more than a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

(This makes about two cups of cranberry sauce, or enough for 1 to 1 1/2 or even 2 batches of ice cream, depending on how heavy your hand. You can use the leftovers as an ice cream sauce, in oatmeal, on savory foodstuffs, etc. If you’d rather not have any extras, reduce this recipe by half.)

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Begin by making the cranberry sauce. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the cranberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until the berries burst (about ten minutes). Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened up considerable. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature until continuing to step #2.

2. Transfer one cup of the cranberry sauce to a food processor and pulse until it’s relatively smooth. Some chunks are okay.

3. Put the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

4. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend. If you’d like a stronger cranberry taste, add some more sauce.

5. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

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Normally I wouldn’t try to claim that ice cream in November is “seasonal,” but pumpkins! Or pumpkin pie spice in this case, which is pretty much the laziest way to make pumpkin pie ice cream. And I’m okay with that! Lazy is good, especially this time of the year. (But if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice mix on hand, you can totally make your own.)

By the way, don’t you just heart my foam pumpkins? They’re an old family decoration – I’m pretty sure they’re older than I am, much like 25% of my parents’ holiday swag – and my mom gave them to me when I moved out of the house. I’m pretty sure she has a bunch more, including some ginormous, life-sized one. Note to self: raid the attic for Halloween decorations the next time you find yourself in New York.

 

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Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Soft Serve

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice mix
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add the cocoa powder and pumpkin pie spice and pulse until blended. Sample the batter and add extra seasonings to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

Serve topped with cocoa powder and cinnamon!

 

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Mucho Matcha Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

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In all my banana ice cream experiments, I’ve been hesitant to try green tea on account of I wasn’t so sure the two flavors would taste all that hot together. Unless you’re pairing the banana base with a truly overpowering flavor – chocolate, maybe, or peanut butter (or, better yet, both together!) – the banana taste tends to bleed through. And while green tea goes well with some fruits – oranges, lemons, and blueberries immediately come to mind – green tea and bananas is hardly anyone’s dream team.

But I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately, and what better snack that potassium-rich bananas paired with antioxidant-rich matcha powder?

As it turns out, green tea banana ice cream? Not too shabby. Naturally I prefer the soy-based stuff, but this Mucho Matcha Banana Ice Cream (as I now call it) is pretty tasty, too. Better still served with sprinkles and strawberries.

For a richer dessert, try adding a third flavor to the mix: lemon or orange peel, perhaps, or vanilla or almond extract.

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Just playing around with my camera’s settings, don’t mind me.
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Mucho Matcha Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
3 tablespoons matcha powder
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

optional seasonings: lemon peel, orange peel, vanilla extract, almond extract, etc.

Directions

1. Put the bananas in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add the matcha, a tablespoon at a time. Pulse until blended, sample the ice cream, and, if the green tea flavor isn’t strong enough for your liking, add another tablespoon. (If using optional seasonings, add them at this step as well.) Three tablespoons of matcha powder hit the sweet spot for me, but you may prefer less.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

M is for Milkshake, Strawberry Vanilla

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

M is for Milkshake, Strawberry Vanilla (0001)

Giant milkshake is giant.
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(Working subtitle: “My milkshake frees all the cows from the stall.” Not really, but it’s nice to dream.)

“But wait! I thought you were vegan. Vegans can’t have milkshakes!”

If you’ve been vegan for more then ten minutes, most likely you’ve been subjected to some variation of the above. “Vegans can’t eat pizza! Pizza has cheese.” Or, “Does bacon suddenly not come from an animal anymore?” (as you chow down on soy strips). Omnis, prepare to have your minds blown: vegans have developed versions of nearly all the foods you enjoy. Cheese. Beef. Milk. Eggs. Chocolate (which is naturally vegan!). Caviar, even. And yes, ice cream. You know what that means, people: IT’S MILKSHAKE TIME!

This is just a little something I threw together one morning after coming home from an especially hot and sweaty walk. (Yup, I eat milkshakes after working out. I’d eat them during, too, if only they’d stay frosty in the sun.) I wrote up a recipe, but don’t feel obliged to follow it; milkshakes are more fun when you improvise.

Hint: I bet a tablespoon of chocolate or strawberry syrup would taste amazing swirled in here.

 

Strawberry Vanilla Milkshake

Ingredients

1 cup nondairy creamer, plain or vanilla
1/3 cup nondairy milk, plain or vanilla
4 ice cubes
2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
2 hearty scoops nondairy vanilla ice cream
2 hearty scoops nondairy Neapolitan ice cream (vanilla or strawberry are also excellent choices!)
1 big fat straw

Directions

1. In a blender, combine the creamer, milk, ice cubes and strawberries; process on high until smoothly blended. Add the vanilla ice cream and mix on low for ten seconds or so.

2. Pour into a large glass; add the extra ice cream. Enjoy – and try not to give yourself an ice cream headache!

 
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A is for Apple Pie Ice Cream

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

It’s that time again, folks: VeganMoFo, where vegans (and the veg-curious) the world over gather to drool over their favorite foods. This year I’m doing an alphabet theme, Vegan A to Z, where I try to hit all 26 letters of the alphabet while cooking/baking/eating my butt off. Let’s kick things off with – you guessed it – the letter A!

A is for Apples! In this case: Apple Pie Ice Cream. Made with frozen bananas, so no ice cream machine required!

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Always start with ice cream, and Always take a banana to a party.

In all seriousness, this dessert is as tasty as it is healthy. Basically you start with a half a batch of my apple pie insides, and blend them with a few frozen bananas. It’s that easy!

 

A is for Apple Pie Ice Cream (0010)

 

Apple Pie Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
brown sugar or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of nondairy milk or creamer, if needed

3 medium-sized apples, cut into slices 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 vanilla bean (or a teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a dash of allspice
2 tablespoons margarine, cut into small pieces

Directions

1. Begin by preparing the apples. Preheat the oven to 400F. After you’ve cleaned and peeled the apples, cut them into slices about 1/4″ thick. Consistency is more important than the size; try to cut them as evenly as possible so that they bake at the same rate. The thicker the slices, of course, the longer the bake time!

2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; mix well.

3. Transfer the apples to a small baking dish. Dot with the margarine. Bake, uncovered at 400F for about 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft and tender. Stir halfway through so that all the apples bake evenly.

4. When done, allow the apples to cool. Transfer the apples (and their juices!) to an airtight container and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or until cold. You can make and store the apples up to a day before blending the ice cream.

5. To make the ice cream: Put the apples in the food process and pulse until chunky.

Tip: If you’d like your ice cream chunky, set a few apples slices aside. Cut them into smaller pieces and mix them into the ice cream at step #8.

6. Add the (frozen) bananas iand pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead. The juices from the apples should help in this regards.

7. Sample the batter and add a bit of sugar or other spices if desired.

8. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

 

A is for Apple Pie Ice Cream [with granola] (0006)

Doubly amazing when topped with fresh apples, cinnamon, and a handful of Apple Cinnamon Granola.
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Maple-Roasted Carrot Banana Ice Cream

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

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So this ice cream has got it going on: with both bananas and carrots, it’s got a serving (or two or three, depending on how big you like your sundaes!) of fruits and veggies, all in one delicious dessert. I got the idea for it while reminiscing about the Carrot Cake Banana Ice Cream I made last summer (mmmm, carrot cake ice cream!). Here, the carrots are roasted in a maple syrup-bourbon sauce (the bourbon is optional, but gives it a nice kick!) and then blended into a fine mash using the food processor.

Personally, I think that the bourbon’s the most distinct taste, but Shane’s undecided. We’re both big fans, though. Try it and see for yourself!

 

Maple-Roasted Carrot Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about three quarters of a quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 large carrots, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vegan bourbon (optional)

3-4 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
brown sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a 9″x9″ baking pan with the sliced carrots. (4-5 large carrots halved lengthwise and halved or quartered into thin slices should be enough to do it, but use your own judgement!) In a measuring cup, whisk the maple syrup, olive oil, and bourbon. Pour the mixture on top of the carrots and mix well, making sure that all the carrots are coated. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Toss the carrots and continue to bake for another 15 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and tender. Remove from the oven and (carefully!) transfer the carrots and their juices to a food processor. Process until smoothly blended. Allow the mash to cool on the countertop before continuing.

2. When you’re ready to make the ice cream: Add the bananas to the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

3. If the ice cream isn’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of brown sugar (or other vegan sweetener) to taste.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

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Lemon Lime Banana Ice Cream

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

2013-07-22 - Lemon Lime Banana Ice Cream - 0002

Like Sprite, but frozen – and about a million times healthier. I went with a combination of lime juice and lemon zest; the juice helps to get things moving during the blending process, but you also don’t want to add too much extra liquid, since that can lead to ice crystals. If you’d rather, you can use lemon juice and lime zest, or swap out the juice altogether for lemon and lime zest. Whatever you’ve got in your spice rack!

The candied lemon peel is optional but a nice treat. Stir them in my hand @ step #4 if you’d rather not give your food processor a workout. The tend to stick to the blades like whoah.

 

Lemon Lime Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon candied lemon peel (optional)
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas and lime juice in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add the lemon zest and pulse until blended. Sample the ice cream and add extra sugar and spices to taste. If desired, toss in some candied lemon peel and pulse a few times to mix them in. Most likely they’ll make your food processor jump, so hold on tight.

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

 

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Peach Blueberry Swirl Banana Ice Cream

Friday, July 26th, 2013

2013-07-21 - Peach Blueberry Swirl IC - 0002

Photographed with nectarine slices,
on accounta I used all my peaches to make this ice cream!
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So this is a simple yet delicious recipe that I threw together using some leftovers – namely, a few ripe peaches I had on hand, along with some blueberry pie filling, most of which I used as a topping for pancakes. (VeganMoFo spoiler alert: there will be pancakes!)

Since blueberries are in season, you can just as easily make your own sauce if you’d rather. It’s as simple as simmering blueberries, sugar, and water on medium heat until the berries burst and the sauce thickens to your liking. If you make too much, you can freeze the leftovers for later use – or use them as a sundae topping! Chocolate So Delicious with a blueberry drizzle, yum.

2013-07-21 - Peach Blueberry Swirl IC - 0006

Peach Blueberry Swirl Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart and a half of ice cream.)

Ingredients

5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
powdered sugar or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of coconut milk or creamer, if needed

3 peaches
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 to 1 cup canned blueberry pie filling or homemade blueberry sauce

Directions

1. Begin by roasting the peaches. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the peaches into quarters; peel each slice (optional) and remove the pits. Combine the peaches and brown sugar in a large bowl; cover and toss to mix. Transfer the slices to a baking pan (9″x9″ fits perfectly). Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, or until the peaches are tender. Once the peaches are done baking, flip each slice onto the other “cheek” so that it soaks up some of the juices.

2. After they’ve cooled, transfer the peaches and their juices to an airtight container and refrigerate for six to eight hours, or until ready for use.

3. To make the ice cream: Place the chilled peaches in the food processor and pulse until chunky.

4. Add the (frozen) bananas and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead. The juices from the peaches should help in this regard.

5. Sample the batter and add a bit of sugar if needed.

6. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. As you do so, gently mix in the blueberry sauce, so that you create a swirl effect. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

2013-07-21 - Peach Blueberry Swirl IC - 0008

I can’t tell y’all how much I love this plate, scored at Goodwill for a buck fifty.
idk what dogs have to do with tomatoes, nor do I care. DOGS!
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