LeAnne Campbell, Founder and Executive Director of Global Roots and Author of The China Study Cookbook) shared with me a recipe for chocolate ice-cream that has become a favorite in my household. Rich and I typically don’t eat desserts; we reach for fruit when we want something sweet. Now we can have it both ways. This creamy soft-serve style ice cream is made from frozen bananas and takes only a few minutes to make. While LeAnne makes it in her Vita-Mix, I find that I prefer making it in my food processor. It retains more of its frozen quality and requires less plant milk. Use whatever you have, it’s all good!
The first thing you will need to do is freeze some bananas. I slice mine lengthwise into three strips and then lay them on a silicone mat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Next pop them into your freezer and let them freeze solid. This takes anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour and a half, depending on how cold your freezer is and how thin your banana slices.
Once frozen, you may use them right away or store them in your freezer in a zip-lock bag until you’re ready to use them. I usually do both, use some now and save the rest for later. I also keep several bags of frozen bananas in my freezer for convenience.
Now, to make the ice-cream. Take your frozen bananas (The quantity is dependent upon how many people you are feeding or how hungry you are.) and break them into manageable pieces. Transfer them quickly to a food processor and pulse until you get a rough, crumbly sort of mixture.
Then add the plant-based milk of your choice, just enough to break the banana crumbs into a creamy consistency. You won’t need much, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Process on high, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides or to break up large balls of banana that have formed. The entire process shouldn’t take more than two or three minutes.
Add a heaping scoop of cocoa powder. I use a 1/8-cup coffee scoop but if you like it dark, feel free to add more. Blend until the chocolate has fully incorporated. Spoon out into individual serving bowls.
Add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter to the banana mixture.
Before serving, add a handful of frozen chopped organic cherries or raspberries.
Add a teaspoon vanilla extract.
Add no chocolate, but add a little maple syrup and chopped walnuts.
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I would be hard pressed to tell you which piece of kitchen equipment I value more, my Cuisinart food processor or my Vitamix high-powered blender. This machine is a workhorse and I’ve never had a moment’s problem with it. Below is their latest model. I’m still using the two I’ve had for 15 and 7 years respectively. I’m hoping one will break so I can buy the new model!
These silicone baking mats are nearly identical to the expensive French Silpat at roughly a third the cost. These are durable and fit my half sheet pans perfectly. Excellent non-stick surface for freezing, baking, roasting, and rolling out dough.