I Scream For Ice Cream

Roy Mackenzie | July 19, 2016

img_6016Summer is here, and boy is it getting hot!  If you’re anything like me, ice cream is a staple in your house, the perfect treat to cool you down when the humidity and heat are getting to you.  While I would love to spend the summer eating ice cream non-stop, my conscious reminds me that it’s not the most practical and healthy lifestyle.  So began the quest to find the best ice cream substitute that would keep me cool and keep my taste buds smiling.

The thing about trying to be healthy while creating wickedly sinful desserts is that you get some rather unusual ingredients.  I found recipes based with avocados, coconuts, rice, and cashews.  I know, they all sound wildly exciting.
I was about to give up the search and tell myself if I really wanted to be healthy, I would have to give up ice cream and just live with the consequences. It would not kill me.

Probably.

Then I found this recipe for a banana based ice cream.  At first, I was skeptical.  I like bananas, but I find them to be quite potent and overpowering when cooking or baking with them (or, I guess, in this case, freezing).  But it looked simple and I had to give it a try.  And I got to say, it’s quite good.  I did give it my own twist  to make it a chocolate peanut butter recipe, but you can pretty much add whatever you want to it.  There is no precise measurement with this recipe, you have to play it by ear.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

4-6 ripe bananas, peeled

1/2 cup – 1 cup of almond milk (or whatever you have)

1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (optional)

1 – 2 tablespoons of organic peanut butter (optional)

1 bag of sugar-free chocolate chips (optional)

ice cream stagesThis recipe is great if you have some bananas that have been sitting around your kitchen for a while and they’re not looking particularly fresh.  Most grocery stores also tend to sell their day old bananas at a discounted price, so you can pick up a couple ripe bananas cheap. Once you get your bananas, peel them and cut them up into chunks.  It’s super important that they’re peeled…learned that one the hard way.  The chunks should roughly be the same size so they freeze evenly, but they’re all going to be blended together so they don’t have to be perfect.  Put the chopped bananas in a zip lock bag or some type of container and mix the cocoa powder in to coat the bananas.

Freeze the bananas for at least four hours or until they’re frozen completely through; I usually just cut up the bananas and throw them in the freezer and then pull them out whenever I feel like a treat…there’s no waiting that way!

After your cut up bananas have chilled out for a while, place them in a blender or food processor.  Add in the milk, vanilla, and peanut butter.  You may have to add more milk as you’re pulsing your bananas, but it’s always easier to add more milk than taking it out.  If you’re allergic to peanuts or don’t like peanut butter, you don’t need to add it in.  Peanut butter ice cream tends to be my favorite.

Once all the ingredients are in the blender or food processor, proceed to beat it all together.  You may have to occasionally pause to scrape down the sides or add more milk, but you’re basically looking for it to be the consistency of ice cream.  Once it’s all blended, pour/scoop it into a container and mix in the chocolate chips.  During my first attempt at doing this, I got a nice little banana smoothie (I added too much milk).  If this happens to you, just pop it in the freezer and let it harden up a little bit.  Or, pour it in a glass and poke a straw in it (milkshakes!).

There is no reason why you can’t stay cool this summer and be healthy at the same time!