Sunday, August 9, 2015

Vegan Chunky Monkey

While this isn't the healthiest of vegan foods, if you're going down the dessert rabbit-hole there's a way to minimize damage. This no-sugar, no-dairy "ice cream" is made with bananas instead of cream, and natural, dark chocolate instead of its refined counterpart. The concept behind this is extremely simple (unlike traditional homemade ice cream which requires separating eggs, making a custard, and whisking patiently) and so it's very easy to swap ingredients and play around with flavours.

Its three components are: ice cream base, a drizzle, and a garnish. Here, I used a banana and chocolate "nicecream" base, a chocolate drizzle, and salted peanuts. Try a strawberry theme by omitting the cacao, adding in some fresh or dried berries to the base, using a dollop of jam instead of the drizzle, and garnishing with sliced fruit. Or, try an orange and vanilla theme by adding vanilla extract and orange zest/oil to the base, foregoing the drizzle, and topping with juicy orange segments. For the following recipe, and as a general rule of thumb with few-ingredient dishes, try to use high quality items. There aren't a host of ingredients to mask your Skippy peanut butter.... So, 80-90% dark chocolate is best, along with non-GMO, organic peanuts. They're  notorious for being sponges of their growing environment. Along with spinach, celery, and a host of other sponge-like foods, organic peanuts are a good use of specialty-food dollars. Side-note: organic avocados, onions, sweet-potatoes, and whole coconuts are not a good use of your money.

Serves 2

For the base, blend all ingredient in a high-powdered blender, making use of the tamper tool. Scoop into bowls and chill in freezer (it'll melt FAST). For sauce, melt the coconut oil and dark chocolate and mix with other ingredients. Drizzle over chilled ice cream and garnish with peanuts. ...Told you it was easy.

Chocolate Banana Base: 
  • 5-6 frozen, very-ripe bananas 
  • 4 dates
  • 1 tbs cacao powder 
  • 2 tbs peanut butter or almond butter 
  • A few drops of vanilla extract 
  • A few drops of stevia 
  • *Optional: a tsp of instant espsresso/coffee powder 

No-Sugar Chocolate Drizzle
  • 2 tbs coconut oil, melted 
  • 3 tbs cacao powder 
  • 1.5 tbs maple syrup or honey 
  • 2-3 squares of dark chocolate, melted 

Garnish 
  • Natural, salted peanuts 

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