Mint-Chip Ice Cream

Turning green with envy?

Or green with disgust?

Hopefully, it’s the former. This pretty little green ice cream–pretty by my standards, at least–might turn some away in disgust, but true lovers of the mint-chocolate combo will crave.

And feel free to crave away, because your craving need not be accompanied by guilt. Why?

It’s made with bananas! And the green coloring doesn’t require food dye, although you’re welcome to use that if you like.

Makes one big serving of mint-chip ice cream

Ingredients

1 large, frozen banana, chopped into small rounds

1/4 cup frozen spinach (or food coloring)

2-3 drops peppermint extract

splash of vanilla

dash of stevia

1-2 T dark chocolate chips

Directions

In a small blender, mix banana rounds, spinach, extract, vanilla, and stevia ’til smooth cream forms.

Remove from blender. Shape into ice cream if need be and top with chips.

If any of the banana melts down or gets too runny, simply freeze for a few minutes.

Would you have ever guessed those were bananas just by looking at them? I certainly wouldn’t.

Hope you think this recipe is as cool as I do… and find it as tasty, too!

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Pomegranate Sorbet

Pomegranate is one of those super fruits you often hear about, but rarely see (or notice, maybe) in your local grocery store, which is too bad because from what I’ve been reading lately, the health benefits are out of this world. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, fights various cancers, heart disease, lymphomas, and much more. Plus, it’s an anti-oxidant powerhouse. We’re talking the Chuck Norris of super foods.

Before this recipe, I had never really had pomegranate aside from the occasional store-bought juice or restaurant salad dressing.

So when I crossed paths with this little pink fruit, I was intrigued. What could I do with it?

My impulse buying side didn’t really case. I’d find something, and sure enough I did. Fruit + ice cream maker + nondairy milk base = healthy dessert perfection.

Ingredients

1/3 cup nondairy milk (I use almond, unsweetened)

3 T organic vanilla yogurt (coconut yo tastes great with this recipe)

1/2 T stevia

splash of vanilla

juice of 1 pomegranate

Directions

-In a small mixer or blender, place all ingredients except the fruit, which you can squeeze into the blender to prevent too many seeds from falling in.

-Blend ’til smooth and well mixed. Prepare in ice cream maker as directed. Spoon out and let the sorbet firm up in the freezer for a few minutes. Top with remaining seeds if you like.

If you’re thinking food dye made that lovely purple color, think again. That’s all-natural coloring. Mother Nature’s dessert presentation skills at their finest, coaxing us with vibrantly tempting colors, I suppose.

Banana-Berry Smoothie Pies

Need a frozen treat fix?

This recipe can satisfy so many sweet cravings. It starts with a super sweet bottom crust, moves up to a sugary-blueberry filling in the middle, and is topped with a little banana froyo.

So if you want ice cream, pie, frozen fruit, whatever, really. This dessert delivers.

Makes four mini treats.

Ingredients

Layer one: 5-6 dates, 2 t rolled oats, 1 t applesauce

Layer two: 30-35 blueberries, 1 t stevia or honey

Layer three: frozen banana slices (about 1/3-1/2 of a banana), optional: dash of stevia and vanilla

Directions

-In a good food processor, pulse dates and oats. Add in applesauce. Pulse once more. Press into a mini muffin tin (or all into one large muffin slot). Set in freezer ’til next layer is ready.

-Blend ingredients for layer two. Spoon onto the top of layer one. Return to freezer.

-Blend layer three ingredients until smooth, ice-cream-like texture forms. Use this layer as the topping.

-Freeze until solid. Serve as soon as you pull out of the freezer because they will melt after a few minutes of exposure to room temperature.

So healthy? All fruit? You could easily get an ice cream fix for breakfast with this recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Pops

It’s hardly sophisticated culinary, but it’s a sweet classic. Strawberry-banana is (by far) my favorite smoothie combination. Always has been. Always will be.

So when I found myself with a few handfuls of strawberries that were overly ripe, I fell back on an old standby.

I adapted this recipe from Eating Well’s Strawnana Pops recipe. I changed things up a bit, but the outcome was berry-licious (buh-nuh-nuh-nuh!).

Makes 5-6 pops

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup strawberries

1/2 medium banana

1/2 cup organic vanilla yogurt

2 T almond milk

1 T stevia

pinch of cinnamon

scantest pinch of salt

Directions

-Liquefy or puree all ingredients in a blender on high ’til well mixed and no fruit lumps remain. Alternatively, if you’d like a lump here, it might make for a pretty pattern in your pops.

-Use the spout on your blender to evenly distribute puree into popsicle molds.

-Freeze for approximately 3-4 hours.

To remove, slowly tug the pop stick back and forth. If it doesn’t remove easily, run the mold under lukewarm water for 10-15 seconds. It should be removed gently so the stick doesn’t slide out.

And if you wanted an actual smoothie, all you would need to do is quickly blend a few pops up! How easy is that? It’s nice having sweet-treat options on hand, I think.

Yum!

Cantaloupe-Yogurt Sundae Bowl

I got this idea from one of my favorite foodie bloggers, Snack Girl.

I didn’t make many modifications to her breakfast version of this cantaloupe bowl.

Ingredients

1/2 to 1/3 cantaloupe, filled with your favorite yogurt and topped with blueberries or other fruit.

But I have a frozen little secret I’ve been sharing with friends for quite a while that turns this breakfast bowl into a sundae one!

A few nights a week, I pop a cup of Greek yogurt in my freezer, churning it with a spoon every 20 minutes or so until it reaches a frozen consistency similar to ice cream.

Pretty smart, right? It’s lower in sugar than most frozen treats you’d buy in store, plus it’s got more protein, too!

I often mix in fresh fruit as a topping. Blueberries are a regular feature in this frozen yogurt design.

But if you go for this sundae bowl, you could have a bit more fun with it…

Idea: Freeze the bowl (the cantaloupe bowl), too!

Idea: Add in a frozen banana for a real sundae effect.

Idea: Freeze into several chunks and mix with frozen fruit in a blender for a smoothie-like consistency.

Idea: Ditch fresh fruit and indulge in richer toppings (think chocolate…)

Idea: Try other frozen fruit bowls by carving out all or part of the center (of apples, oranges, pear, peach, etc.)

Fruit really does make for a delicious dessert. It’s naturally sweet, naturally the best choice.

Canta-nana Chiller

Those that know me know I’m not a big drinker. I like the idea of happy hour because, in theory, it’s a time to kick back, unwind, and connect with a good group of friends. There’s no greater form of social engagement than sharing a meal or a drink.

But because I almost never drink, I often feel like I miss out on this “sharing,” if you will, and the delicious frozen drinks that come with it.

That’s why I love making this Canta-nana Chiller for my nearest and dearest. It’s very similar to my watermelon-banana frosty, but it’s more of a subtle sweet.

Of course, this recipe only makes one, but I hope you end up doubling or tripling or quadrupling to share with others.

Ingredients

1 cup cantaloupe, cubed or balled

1/2 banana, frozen and sliced

splash of vanilla

twist of lemon

optional: stevia or organic maple syrup

optional: rum, gin, or other spirit of choice

Directions

Simply blend the frozen fruit for a few minutes, then add in remaining ingredients. If you have a frappe option, I recommend using that.

Mango Ice Cream

It’s beginning to look like I’m going to try every fruit-ice-cream or sorbet combination possible.

When I made this ice cream, mangoes were in season.

I wish they still were. So sweet for your health.

…and they taste pretty sweet, too!

Ingredients

-1 mango, diced into small pieces (skin optional, but I think it gives a fun confetti effect & it’s good for you!)

-1 t stevia

-scant pinch of salt

-2 T non-dairy milk

-small splash of vanilla

-1/4 cup organic yogurt

Directions

-Liquefy mango in the blender ’til very liquid-y. Then blend in remaining ingredients.

-Once mixed well, transfer to ice cream maker and prepare as directed. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can do one of two things:

1. Place mix in freezer, scraping and churning occasionally until you achieve a thick ice-cream-like texture.

2. Freeze chunked mango before hand. Freeze liquids in ice cube trays. Then place all ingredients–frozen and not–in blender and process ’til smoothie like. Freeze for a bit to let the mixture firm up.

Peachy Good Instant Ice Cream

 

I’ve featured a lot of ice cream recipes that require an ice cream maker for best results. (And if you’ve ever heard me talk about my ice cream maker, you know I consider it the best purchase of the past summer.)

But for those that don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t fret. You can still have icy sweet treats. I recommend this one. It’s easy to make, and even easier to devour.

Ingredients

1 fresh peach, chopped into small pieces

1-3 T organic vanilla yogurt

pinch of stevia and the tiniest pinch of salt

splash of vanilla

Directions

-Freeze  the chopped peach bits for 1-2 hours. You can also freeze the yogurt if you like (for a thicker consistency).

-Once fully frozen, transfer all ingredients to blender and blend only enough to reach a thick consistency. Return to freezer for 15-20 minutes to firm.

So easy, right? And could the ingredients be any better for you? Well, probably if you completely eliminated the stevia and salt, but a little won’t hurt.