Healthier Banana Split

CC Pics 036

Happy Monday! The day that follows the best day of the week, in my opinion, Sunday, when we recognize the importance of relaxation. No work is to be had on Sunday. I wish I could say I was better about obeying that commandment, but I’m not.CC Pics 035

What I am good at doing on Sundays is caring for myself however I see fit. Usually, this means some time spent talking to my higher power in church or alone, watching 60 minutes, relaxing before the week to come, and spoiling myself with something really delicious for dinner and dessert.

People like the cute “Sundaes on Sunday” idea. Me, too. But I like mine wholesome and nutritious. I’m not saying that’s for everyone, but let me send a little divinely delicious inspiration your way.

You’ve probably heard by now that frozen banana chunks are so sweet and smooth it’s like biting into ice cream. If you follow this blog, you’ve read about my successful experimentation with this and with freezing yogurt for homemade froyo. Both have major yum factor.

So I started putting them together.

With some fresh strawberries, of course–and in another instance, dark chocolate chips–and just made an all frozen, holistic banana split I like quite well.

IngredientsCC Pics 037

1 banana

2-3 T chopped strawberries

1/4 cup yogurt of choice ( I like vanilla coconut)

optional: chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

Directions

Slice the banana to your likely. For a split classic, I split mine down the middle and then in halves to fit in my dish. You might also chop or chunk them and layer your yogurt on top.

Next comes the yogurt. Top or drop as you like on your banana split slices or chunks.

Last is the berries. Sprinkle as desired.

 

Advertisements

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!

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.

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!

Berrylicious Trifle

I’m inspired by the most peculiar things.

This time it was a $1.97 single-serving trifle dish. It caught my eye, and I knew it was time to create my first trifle.

I knew it would be easy, too, because I’d seen Dr. Oz toss one together in seconds on his show. Basically, just put your favorite yogurt (or other topping), berries, and cakes in varying layers and make it look pretty. Easy enough.

Except for this looming question: What cake was I too use?

I’ve made oh so very many cakes and cookies. Should I go chocolatey with my blue velvet cupcake recipe? A little tart with my raspberry cupcake recipe? Traditional chocolate? No-pudge brownie layers? Sweet-and-pink strawberry cookies?

What’s a baker to do?

I couldn’t decide on just one, so I went with two: My imitation VitaTop chocolate muffin top recipe and my strawberry cookie recipe.

I’m not going to list out how to make each. You may very well want to try others, like one of the others mentioned above. So instead I’ll link to each of the different cookie-cake batters I’ve already published and hope that you’ll have an easier time deciding than I did.

Sweet-and-Soft Strawberry Cookies

Strawberry cookie recipe used in the trifle I made.

 

VitaTop Chocolate Muffin Tops

Chocolate-Raspberry Fudge Cake

Sunrise Banana-Oat Muffins

Berry-Stuffed Breakfast Cakes

Shortcakes

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust

Spice Cake

Pumpkin Cookie Dough

Sugar Cookie Dough

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Once you’ve made that decision, all you need to do is bake and layer!

Directions

-Bake your batter of choice. Make sure that you form batter into a round, circular shape that will fit well in your trifle dish. I flattened mine out into large cookie shapes and then cut into perfect circles using the circular edges of a measuring cup.

-Layer as you like using different yogurts, ice creams, berries, cakes, toppings, etc! But before you layer, make sure that anything baked has cooled completely so the yogurt or ice cream layers don’t melt into a runny mess.

I popped mine back in the freezer for a few minutes. Doing so on a hot evening made my chilly treat that much more scrumptious.

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.