I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it for the rest of my life: I have an insane sweet tooth. Sometimes… well, sometimes it’s a problem. Like, gimme gimme all the shugaaaa runs thought my head at least three times a day, whether I’m actually eating or not. It’s something I’m working on.
These past couple months or so I’ve been really trying to lower my intake of refined sugars. Quite a feat for someone like me who craves sweet things 85% of my waking – and dreaming – life. It’s been a difficult process; when you eat it so regularly your body gets so used to it and actually starts to crave it. Those first early days when I was intentionally cutting out sugar I felt like a junkie going through rehab.
I neeeeed it. Just one cookie. Maybe three. Sooo goooood. Why don’t you just stick your face in the brown sugar? Eat it by the spoonful. Oh yeah.
That might be just a slight exaggeration, but still, it really was difficult.
The good news is, it’s been a few months and I no longer crave sugar like I used to. Sure, I always want it, but it’s not like my body needs it. I actually had my first Iced Capp of the season the other day and I took a sip and puckered. It was almost too sweet, even though I used to drink those things like water a few years ago (don’t judge).
*I have no idea why I went to buy one when I have a really yummy copy-cat recipe, one that I can customize the level of sweetness to my liking. Lesson learned!
I’m not saying I don’t eat sugar. That would be a complete and total lie. I love to bake and with that comes sugar, and I’m not going to deprive myself of something when it’s offered or when I can make it myself. Baking makes me happy. Eating makes me happy. Sugar makes me happy. Who would I be if I didn’t let myself be happy?
A damn fool.
BUT – and this is a big but – when I can I try to replace the refined sugars with natural sweeteners. Honey, agave syrup, berries, and dates are all exceptionally good at curbing my sweet tooth when the craving hits.
Instead of indulging in a gooey brownie for dessert, I’ll have a small bowl of Greek yogurt with a handful of berries and a drizzle of honey. At least on weeknights. Weekends are a free-for-all (and I’m okay with that!).
Which brings me to today’s post. I debated on whether I should actually call this ice cream, because in fact, it isn’t. It’s not even close. There’s no cream involved, so it’s safe for all my lactose-intolerant friends to ingest. It’s ice cream without the guilt.
If you haven’t tried pureeing frozen bananas, you’re missing out. The concept has been all over the internet for ages now, and I’ve only just gotten into it. Last year I made some Banoffee Popsicles, which were my first attempt at making “banana ice cream”. I’m not sure why I had never attempted it before that – maybe because I always thought hey, if I want ice cream I’m going to have freaking ice cream. Maybe because the thought of cold mashed bananas never really appealed to me. I tend to like my bananas in loaf form.
How wrong I was. I’m shocked by how simply frozen bananas can be whipped into a creamy, ice cream-like dessert, and how yummy they can be when pureed until creamy and smooth, mixed with some coffee and chocolate (dark, because it’s good for you) and sweetened naturally with a bit of honey. Like I said, it’s ice cream without the guilt.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a replacement for actual ice cream. I won’t try to fool you about that. While it has a similar texture to ice cream, it does taste like bananas. I doubt there’s any getting around it, since the base is really just frozen bananas, but when it’s combined with yummy mocha flavours, it’s tasty. And since it’s so good for you, there’s no excuse not to eat
one or two three or four scoops in one sitting. Because let’s face it, that’s going to happen at one point or another.
Haven’t we all binged watched Netflix while stress-eating an entire tub of ice cream? Well, next time that happens, try this recipe instead. #noguilt
…..I really can’t pull of hashtags.
I’m sure this ice cream will make a regular appearance in my house over the summer months. It’s been an insanely hot one so far (YES) and cool treats are the best way to cool down while basking in the glorious sunshine.
I live a few blocks from a local gelateria and at one point – I’m ashamed to admit this – Matt and I would walk up there three times a week for a scoop of some delicious gelato in the most amazing flavours. If you’re local to North Van, check out Brazza’s -yum!) Hey, we had to take the dog for a nighttime stroll anyway, why couldn’t we just stop in for a scoop? We ended up knowing all their flavours by heart. Oops.
That was a while ago. This year, well, I’ll really try to tone it down to once every few weeks.
When I have this homemade, healthy, faux ice cream in my freezer, do I really need to go out? Nope. Cue staying inside in my pajamas. Win-win.
Annnnnnyway, freeze some bananas. It helps to peel them, then slice them into chunks and place them on a baking tray to freeze for about an hour or so before transferring them to a sealed, freezer-safe bag. Placing them on a baking tray allows them to freeze individually – if you were to dump all the banana chunks in the bag to freeze right away, they’d all clump together.
When you’re ready to make the ice cream, take the banana chunks out of the freezer to thaw for 5-10 minutes. You don’t want them frozen solid, since that would likely damage your food processor – but you don’t want them too soft, either. Transfer them to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
Dissolve some coffee powder in water, then whisk in some cocoa powder to make a sort of paste. Add the paste to the bananas in the food processor and pulse until incorporated. Add in some honey, if you want to, then stir in some chocolate chips. You can eat it immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe bowl to freeze until you’re ready to serve.
Voila! Easy, homemade, dairy-free, naturally sweetened “ice cream”. Ice cream without the guilt!
|Banana Mocha "Ice Cream" (Vegan!)|| |
- 4 frozen bananas, chopped
- 4 Tbsp coffee powder
- 4 Tbsp water
- 4 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1-4 Tbsp honey (optional)
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate, chopped
- Remove bananas from freezer and let sit on the counter for 5 minutes until they're slightly softened. You don't want them fully frozen (they'll damage your food processor!) but you don't want them soft either. If they're not peeled already, peel now, then transfer to a food processor. Pulse until bananas are smooth.
- Dissolve coffee powder in water, then stir in the cocoa powder to form a smooth paste. Add to food processor with the bananas and puree until thoroughly mixed. Add in honey, to taste, if desired, pulsing until incorporated.
- Stir in chocolate chunks and serve immediately, or transfer to a freezer-safe bowl to chill in the freezer until ready to serve.