Friday, July 19, 2013

Chocolate-Cherry Swirl Banana Soft-Serve

 I love my ice cream – not the dairy kind, my vegan homemade kind! I mostly make ice creams that are nut-based – usually cashew. However, every once in a while it’s nice to have a simple, lower-in-fat alternative, such as a banana-based ice cream. This recipe is super simple, super sweet, and a much better choice than having a dairy-based traditional ice cream or gelato. You don’t even need an ice cream maker. A food processor or high speed blender will do the trick. In fact, if you don’t have a blender or food processor available to you, you can even make this by hand – although it will take longer…


   
For this recipe I made two separate flavors and swirled and folded them together. I also added some natural SunSpire SunDrops candy for added texture and flavor (mostly for my hubby). You can leave these out if you’d like as they are not vegan. Once you make this you can serve as is, soft and creamy; or you can freeze it for an hour or more for more of an ice cream scoop consistency. Either way it’s delish! Now for the recipe:

Banana Soft-Serve Base.
Ingredients:
6 to 8 ripe, medium-size bananas (peeled, chopped, and frozen)

Cherry Flavor.
Ingredients:
1-2 cups frozen cherries
1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
drizzle raw agave, honey, or coconut nectar (optional)

Chocolate Flavor.
Ingredients:
3-4 T raw cacao powder
6 to 8 drops SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™, chocolate flavor
1 tsp non-alcoholic vanilla extract
dash or more ground cinnamon
drizzle raw agave, honey, or coconut nectar (optional)
dash of pink Himalayan salt (optional)

Base Preparation:
Place frozen chopped bananas into a food processor or blender and mash till slightly broken down. Divide banana mixture in to two parts. Add in flavoring accordingly.

If not using equipment to mix, let frozen bananas lightly thaw in a big bowl. Using a fork, mash up banana till slightly broken up. Divide banana mixture in to two parts. Add in flavoring as directed.



Cherry flavor.
Preparation:
Place half of the banana base in food processor and add the cherries, vanilla extract, and optional sweetener. Process until well blended and creamy. Set aside.

If making by hand, smash cherries well. Combine with half of the banana base mixture. Add vanilla and optional sweetener. Mix well. (Note: cherry mixture will not be as smooth when made by hand as it would be when mixed in a food processor or blender). Set aside.



Chocolate flavor.
Preparation:
Take remaining half of banana base and place in food processor with raw cacao powder, vanilla extract, chocolate flavored stevia drops, and optional sweetener and salt. Process until well blended and creamy. Set aside.

If making by hand, take remaining half of banana base and combine with remaining ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Using a large spatula, mix until all ingredient are very well incorporated, blended and creamy. Set aside.



Chocolate-Cherry Swirl Banana Soft-Serve.
Assembly:
In a large mixing bowl, combine both flavors of the banana soft-serve and carefully fold and swirl together with a spatula. Don’t mix well as you want the different flavors to stand out on their own. Fold in any additional optional goodies such as candies or nuts. You can serve it as is, very soft and creamy; or place in a large sealed container and freeze for about 1 to 2 hours or more. Serve with your favorite syrups, toppings, or as is. Store tightly sealed in the freezer.





Suggested Topping
Simple Raw Chocolate Sauce.
Ingredients:
2 T raw cacao powder
2 T raw agave nectar, or maple syrup
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
dash pink Himalayan salt
few drops SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™, chocolate flavor
1-2 T water as needed to thin to desired consistency

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together, and mix together until very well incorporated and smooth. Pour over ice cream or fruit to serve. Store in an air tight jar in the refrigerator.