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.

Healthy Frozen S’mores!

A really neat idea was pitched in the “Let’s Do Lunch” section of Parenting‘s September issue. For picky eaters, parents might approve of “PB & Banana S’mores: “Stack graham crackers with peanut butter and banana slices.”

This sounded delicious and fun. So I tried it. But I only had frozen banana slices left. So I made this recipe a little more “a la mode.” No, there’s no ice cream. I’ll explain.

You’ve probably seen or read my postings on the deliciousness of frozen banana ice cream. By freezing bananas in little slices, you get the consistency of ice cream and all the sweetness with out undesirable sugar additives.

So then I decided I wanted my peanut butter chilled, too.

And then I thought it would be tasty to do a layer of chocolate fro-yo (simply mix 1/2 t cocoa powder with a pinch of stevia and vanilla to 1 T or more plain organic yogurt).

And then I added a little dark chocolate.

I couldn’t help myself.

And if you’re worried about finding a healthy alternative to graham crackers, consider making your own with this recipe or buying my health market favorite, Back to Nature Grahams.

Enjoy!

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.

Freeze-It-Yourself Chocolate Fro-Yo

Want a chocolate treat you can feel good about eating in this new, more health-conscious year?

Remember my cake cups post on my favorite alternative to regular ice cream and frozen yogurt?

If you don’t recall, you can make any fro-yo at home without an ice cream maker by simply freezing your favorite yogurt. Any flavor works, but if you choose a fruit on the bottom kind, be sure to stir up the fruit prior to freezing.

In this post though, I share a new trick: instant chocolate fro-yo.

Ingredients

6 oz. of your favorite organic yogurt (Greek or regular)

1 T cocoa powder

1 t stevia

scantest pinch of salt

Directions

Mix all thoroughly and freeze for 1 to 1.5 hours, churning occasionally if you’d like a smoother appearance when finished.

So good, right? And so good for you, too! I recommend adding some healthy toppings, like organic flaked coconut, sliced almonds, or a few dark chocolate chips.

And don’t worry about telling your taste buds. If you’re already accustomed to the sweetness of natural sweeteners, they’ll never know the difference.

Marshmallow Ice Cream

Marshmallow Ice Cream. Doesn’t that sound like a dreamy dessert?

S’more Whoopie Pies

I can’t tell you the last time I had a marshmallow. No jet-puffed, hydrogenated sugar lumps for me. That’s why I like this recipe so much!

I also love s’mores. Remember my home-baked take on the s’more? The one with the coconut-marshmallow replacement. Well, we may need to re-do that coconut-macaroon-marshmallow alternative because now we’ve got this tasty ice cream as a new option.

Maybe we should call it the winter s’more? Just like I dubbed the s’more whoopie pie the cold-weather version of the traditional, warm & melty summer s’more.

Ingredients

-2 T marshmallow fluff (I used Walden Farms’ Marshmallow Creme)

-1/2 t vanilla

-scant pinch of salt

-1 cup non-dairy milk

Optional: pinch of cinnamon

Directions

So simple! Just mix all ingredients well, being sure to get all the marshmallow creme lumps out. Pour into ice cream maker and prepare as directed.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, I recommend pouring the liquid into ice cube trays, freezing, and then blending. Or you could also pour the liquid mix into popsicle molds.

I topped mine with some chocolate and graham crackers for a s’more twist. What toppings would you pair with a marshmallow ice cream?

S’more Whoopie Pies

 

Remember my fascination with vanilla-maple ice cream? Well I found the perfect treat to mix it with…

Whoopie pies! S’mores style and seasonally appropriate.

Thanks, to Chocolate-Covered Katie’s multiple serving recipe, I’ve broken this one down and subbed coconut butter (the marshmallow part) for vanilla-maple ice cream.

And since s’mores are traditionally eaten during the summer, when you can actually toast them up around the campfire, I’m dubbing this the perfect too-cool-for-camping winter alternative. You can make it indoors and it features cold and creamy ice cream instead of a warm marshmallow.

Ingredients

2 T + 2 t spelt or whole wheat flour

pinch of baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon

1 t stevia

1 T non-dairy milk

a few drops vinegar

1 T applesauce

1 T water

small splash of vanilla

Directions

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside. (Or if you have a whoopie pie maker, you can just use that and follow the manufacturer’s directions.)

-Mix vinegar drops into milk. Mix well.

-Then mix all wet ingredients into milk-vinegar mix, and then mix in each of the dry ingredients.

-Once all is blended, drop small balls on sheet and bake about 8 minutes.

Let cool slightly, but while still warm rub a few chocolate chips on the flat, bottom side of half the cookies. Once completely cooled, put a dollop of ice cream (or other preferred topping) on the other half of the cookies. Press together and enjoy!

Pumpkin Dessert Parfait

I just can’t get over pumpkin, can I? 

This parfait recipe features a sweetened vanilla yogurt, pumpkin, and my healthified gingerbread cookie recipe. All are wholesome, good for you, and every time I lick the bowl I make the cookie dough in, I practically melt with delight. Seriously, that recipe is unbelievable, make-it-even-in-summertime good.

You could mix it up a bit and try a cream-cheese frosting layer, too! Or opt for a graham-cracker crumble instead of gingerbread. What’s not to love about those possibilities?

Ingredients

1 container plain organic yogurt (you can buy vanilla or sweetened, but I prefer to lower the sugar a bit by mixing in a lower lgi alternative)

1 T stevia

pumpkin

pumpkin (Photo credit: meerkatbaby)

.5 t vanilla

4 T pumpkin puree

heaping dash of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice

optional: gingerbread or graham cracker crumbles

Directions

Open the yogurt container. Mix in stevia and vanilla. Set aside.

-In a small bowl, add puree and spices. Mix in about half of prepared yogurt.

-In a parfait glass, layer the pumpkin yogurt with the vanilla yogurt as you like. You can also use the crumbles to make layers or top like I did.

For a special ice cream consistency, freeze the parfait for about one hour and mix up slightly. Freeze another 10 minutes or so. It’s delicious!

Frozen Hot Chocolate

There’s a chill in the air. You know what that means for evening athletic events? Hot chocolate.

This recipe for frozen hot chocolate, from Chocolate-Covered Katie, is great for folks like me, who love the richness of hot chocolate, but aren’t a fan of the traditional, piping hot drink.

Unless it’s really, really cold. We’re talking c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-cold!

If I’m going to drink chocolate, I want it to be more like an ice cream treat. Behold the perfect compromise.

CCK’s Fro-Co

(Frozen hot chocolate)
Makes 1 reeeaally big serving

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk of choice (at least 1/3 cup as lite or full-fat canned coconut milk if you want a truly-rich treat)
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • scant dash of salt (do not omit)
  • 1/2 t stevia or 1 T agave or maple syrup
  • Optional: for an even richer flavor, try adding a little melted chocolate

Directions

-Whisk all ingredients together on the stove. Alternatively, you can microwave the mix for 30 seconds; stir, then microwave another 30 seconds.

-Let cool completely.

-Pour into an ice-cube tray. If you don’t have one, pour into as many small containers as you can find. Freeze.

-Once frozen, pop the mixture into a blender and place on the frappe option, if you have one. Important: Do not add ice, lest you dilute the flavor (a lot!).

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“Squashed” Bread Pudding

So I had a lot of butternut squash leftover and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Until, that is, I found a dessert recipe for butternut squash.

Hmm. I’m always up for trying new desserts, especially ones featuring squash.

Much to my surprise, the end result was pretty good. You’d never know squash was in this recipe. And it tastes almost exactly like warm bread pudding.

Top it with a dollop of ice cream and you’ve got a winning combination.

Winter isn’t my favorite season, but winter squashes are quickly becoming my favorites! Try this recipe next time you’re feeling adventurous.

Ingredients

2 T + 2 t squash puree

1 T stevia

2 t vegan butter

2 t lemon juice

1/5 of an egg, mixed (or try a flax egg)

1.5 T spelt flour

dash of baking powder, ginger, salt, cinnamon, and allspice

Surprise! I shaped a hole in the center of my pudding and filled with a little chocolate cake batter. Yum.

Directions

-Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a small ramekin and set aside.

-Mix puree, stevia, and butter. Blend in juice and egg.

-Then slowly add in the remaining dry ingredients. Once well mixed, transfer to ramekin and bake for 12-14 minutes.

If you like a gooey bread pudding, take the dish out a little early.

And don’t skimp on the ice cream. You deserve it!