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.

Double Chocolate Raw Fudge

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Raw fudge–who knew??? Well, clearly lots of people, but not me. Until today.

This super chocolatey fudge could be called Million Dollar Fudge, because the ingredients are a bit pricey and also because it is worth every penny. I’m here to tell you that this recipe is really great. It is gluten-free, vegan, free of refined sugar and absolutely chock full of healthy ingredients. Prepare to be amazed!

I have been wanting to try some more raw recipes after out Clean Energy Bar success and I had heard a lot about raw cacao powder. Processed without heat, raw cacao is full of anti-oxidants and trace minerals like magnesium and vitamin k. Being a chocolate lover, I was ready to try some recipes that use it to its full advantage. I love fudge, but it usually has way too much sugar in it for me, making me tired and feeling bloated.

But I was really jonesing for some chocolate.

And I found THIS recipe from Gourmande in the Kitchen.

Seeing as how my local grocery (and even Trader Joes) don’t carry raw cacao, I trekked out to Whole Foods with Tom. It was a crazy experience. First, why in the world are cashews so expensive there? $13.00 per pound is crazy talk for nuts (they are $7.99/lb at Trader Joes). We asked several store employees where raw cacao powder was and no one had a clue. Not the baking aisle. Not the chocolate area. Not the bakery itself. Turns out, it is in the beauty aisle. Why? I still have no idea. But at least we found it (thank you, nice store employee with the many piercings!) and, after a trip to Trader Joes for raw cashews, we were in business.

Did I say this fudge is amazing? It is smooth, rich, chocolate-y and very filling. One square was definitely enough to satisfy my chocolate craving. I see this becoming a favorite in our house! The ganache recipe is something we have used for several other raw desserts–it is very delicious.

This recipe is easy to make and comes together very quickly. You definitely need a 7 cup or larger food processor to handle the mixing, but that is really the only equipment you need!

Double Chocolate Raw Fudge (makes 24 squares, 2″ x 2″)

Each square has approximately 186 calories

Fudge

  • 2 cups raw, organic cashews
  • 2 cups unsulphured, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup organic dates
  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 cup raw, organic cacao powder

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup organic, virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs (optional)
  1. To make the fudge, start by lining an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Process cashews in a food processor until very finely chopped.
  3. Add the coconut and pulse a few times.
  4. Add the dates and process until the dough just starts to come together (about 2 minutes).
  5. Add the maple syrup and cacao powder and process until the dough is smooth and sticky. I had to scrape down my food processor several times to keep things going.
  6. Press the dough down into the prepared pan, making sure it is evenly distributed. Park in the fridge while you prepare the ganache.
  7. Wipe out the food processor. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil and cacao powder. Blend for about 30 seconds, until smooth.
  8. Pour over the fudge and spread evenly. Sprinkle cacao nibs on top.
  9. Return to the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  10. Cut into squares and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
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