Chunky Monkey Ice Pops

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Well, my experiments with vegan, dairy-free ice cream were ok, but I have found greater success making creamy ice pops in interesting flavors! These pops are sugar-free, gluten-free, raw and vegan. And magically tasty! Like a fudgesicle that actually has loads of flavor instead of just sugar. I also like that we have individual servings all ready to go–no scooping needed, although I do need to tap the mold on the counter a few times to get rid of those pesky air pockets 🙂

The real secret to these ice pops is bananas. They give the popsicles a lovely, creamy, thick texture without any dairy (I’ve also used soaked and drained cashews–this works well, too). You do need to freeze the bananas ahead of time, but we always seem to have bananas on the brink of disaster, so freezing them before they turn too mushy is a regular habit. I take ripe bananas, peel them, cut them into slices and freeze them on a parchment lined baking sheet. When they are frozen, I pop the slices into storage bags and keep them in the freezer until I need them. They are terrific in smoothies!

Since ripe bananas are pretty sweet on their own, I didn’t add any sweetener, but you could add some raw honey if you wanted to (this would change the nutritional profile). As is, these are cool, creamy, and have a great banana/peanut butter/chocolate flavor.

Many thanks to fellow blogger, The Midnight Baker for sharing her success with the Norpro Ice Pop Maker. Check out her recipes–they look amazing. The Norpro mold makes 10, 3 ounce ice pops, is BPA free and is very affordable. Click HERE for more information.

Chunky Monkey Ice Pops (makes 10, 3 ounce ice pops)
Each ice pop has 100 calories, 5 grams of fat and 3 grams of protein

  • 2 organic bananas, peeled, cut up and frozen
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup organic almond or soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Put all ingredients into a Vitamix or Magic Bullet blender and blend until very smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into the ice pop molds. Tap the mold on the counter a few times to release air bubbles.
  3. Freeze several hours or overnight.
  4. Unmold the pops and enjoy!
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Vegan Banana Split Ice Cream

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Honestly, I have no idea what happened to spring. Our weather turned from glorious to miserable and has been stuck there for over a week, with no end in sight. When it comes to coffee, I already drink enough to power an army a fair amount, but this week, I am one with the people of Seattle (well, without the hip vibe or public transportation).

Still, we have fresh strawberries, so all is not lost.

And spring will come. Or maybe we’ll go from late winter to blazing hot summer In a matter of days. North Carolina can be like that. Either way, we’ll be ready for ice cream.

Ellie and I love ice cream, but it does not like us. Milk is not our friend. So I have been experimenting with dairy free ice cream recipes because have you tasted some of the dairy-free ice creams from the grocery??? Some are so gummy, you could almost chew them. And they have a LOT of added sugar. And they are super expensive. Who needs that?

Not me, that’s who.

So this recipe is a blend of tricks I have learned from various raw food and vegan sources. Like, did you know that raw cashews soaked in warm water for a few hours can replicate creaminess?

It is true–pinky swear.

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This ice cream is creamy, smooth and sweet, but it also has rich chocolate flavor that is amazing. It really tastes just like a banana split without the gross cherry on top. We used our fresh, local strawberries and local honey! Try this and you will be sold. You do need a very good blender to purée all the frozen fruit, but otherwise, you don’t need any special equipment. I have a Vitamix and love it, but I believe the Nutri Bullet is also a great blender for frozen foods.

I may need to park myself under a grow lamp, jack up the heat in the house and scoop myself some more ice cream. Spring is just around the corner, right?

Vegan Banana Split Ice Cream (makes 3 cups)

1 organic banana, peeled sliced and frozen
2 cups sliced, frozen organic strawberries
1 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 cups unsweetened, organic soy or almond milk

Put the raw cashews in a medium mixing bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 1-2 hours.
Drain the cashews and add to blender.
Add all other ingredients to the blender. Cover and blend on high until all the fruit is puréed and the mixture is smooth. The texture will be like soft serve. Eat it like it is OR
Pour mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for about one hour (the thicker your container, the longer this will take). Scoop into bowls and serve!

Got banana haters in your house? We also made a banana-free version that we call “Chocolate Covered Strawberry.” Just take out the banana and replace with another cup of frozen strawberries!

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Raw Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs

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Look out, Easter Bunny! These raw vegan eggs are delicious and healthy!

There’s something pretty magic about the chocolate/peanut butter combination. One of my favorite Easter treats is the peanut butter egg–creamy peanut butter covered with milk chocolate. Looking at the ingredients list of those babies is enough to make me back off and look for an alternative. I didn’t find anything that looked all that appealing until I saw THIS recipe from The Lunch Box Bunch, a great vegan blog and recipe site. The site has ideas for making cute bunnies, but I wasn’t feeling that creative. So, I made eggs (or something approximating eggs) for a special Easter treat. Yummy, raw peanut butter enhanced with healthy ingredients and covered in a raw chocolate ganache. Stay home, Easter Bunny ’cause I got my treat!

My version of the original recipe uses a thick, very rich chocolate ganache (based on THIS recipe from Gourmande in the Kitchen), but the original uses a lighter chocolate coating that lets the peanut butter be the star. Either way, you’re in for something pretty darn amazing. To make this vegan (but not raw), use regular coconut powder, peanut butter and unsweeted cocoa.

Raw Peanut Butter Chocolate Eggs (makes 6 eggs)

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 4 Tbps. raw, organic coconut flour
  • 3 Tbsp. creamy, salted raw, organic peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. organic maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. melted organic cocount oil

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup melted organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  1. Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Use a fork (or your very clean fingers) to work the ingredients together and make a somewhat sticky, soft dough.
  2. Put the peanut butter filling in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove dough from freezer and scoop by generous tablespoon. Shape each tablespoon into an egg and put each egg onto a parchment lined plate. Put eggs into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
  4. While eggs are chillin’ in the fridge, combine all ganache ingredients in a small food processor and blend for about 5 seconds. If ganache is too thick to dip eggs, microwave for about 5 seconds or put the bowl in a larger bowl of very hot water.
  5. Remove eggs from refrigerator and add eggs, one at a time, to the ganache. I used a fork to toss each egg to coat and then return the egg to the parchment lined plate.
  6. Put eggs back in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. Serve!
  7. Store eggs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Raw Honey-Almond Butter Truffles

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Pinterest is an amazing thing, isn’t it? I can start looking at garden ideas and POOF! an hour is completely gone. If I spent as much time making the things I pin as I do looking for new things to pin, my yard would be pretty incredible. While Pinterest seems to be a collector area for canned soup and crock pot recipes, I’ve also found some pretty delicious raw recipes there as well. Like these honey-almond butter truffles from Raw Food Recipes. These are very sweet and really make the most of the beautiful flavor of raw honey. They remind me in a way of lovely honey Greek cookies I used to buy at a local Greek festival. Raw honey (or at least local honey) has an amazing, lovely flavor that processed honey loses. Not sure if it’s the processing or the time it spends on the shelf, but if you have local honey available, buy it!

This is another recipe using coconut flour. Coconut flour is gluten free, vegan and has all the vitamins and trace minerals of coconut without the fat. I find it makes a wonderful addition to raw desserts. It gives some of the texture of flour, but it is very light. What a great new discovery!

I followed the instructions and coated these in raw cacao powder, but if I made them again, I’d roll them in coconut instead. I don’t think the chocolate adds anything, personally, and I’m one who LOVES chocolate. You can experiment and find what works for you. Chopped pistachios might be great…or ground, toasted flax seeds…or cinnamon…or…

Honey-Almond Butter Truffles (makes 12 2″ truffles)

  • 1/2 cup raw, organic coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup raw almond butter (you can make this in your food processor)
  • 3 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 Tbps. ground flax seed (you can buy flax seeds and grind them in your coffee maker or food processor)
  • 1 Tbsp. raw cacao, raw unsulphered coconut or chopped raw almonds (for topping)
  1. Add first four ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and combine well using your very clean hands or a wooden spoon (I find using my hands a lot easier). Combine until you have a soft, sticky dough.
  2. Roll dough into a log about 2″ in diamter. Cut the log into 12 equal pieces.
  3. Roll each piece into a ball. Put topping (cacao or coconut, etc) into a small bowl.
  4. Roll each ball in the topping to coat.
  5. Put truffles in a storage container and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  6. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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