I’m not sure how this is my FIRST ice-cream related post of the summer – but it is. I’m actually shocked there isn’t more ice-cream in my freezer right now.
I’ve been practically melting in our early-summer heat wave here in Vancouver. We usually get ‘summer’ weather later in the season in August, even into September. It’s really crazy that we’ve had almost 30 degree weather all week long, and more in the forecast.
Last week I posted for Vancity Buzz about frozen treats to try in Vancouver, including popsicles and ice-cream. Right now the only thing I want to eat is a cool treat.
As much as I’d love to eat ice-cream all day every day it’s not very healthy – except maybe when it’s only 3 ingredients and homemade.
When I’m not reaching for ice-cream my go-to cool down is a nice cold smoothie with lots of ice. Right now I’m loving blueberry, peanut butter, kale, almond milk and ice. I announced the winner of last weeks giveaway if you haven’t check it out yet! Thanks for entering everyone =)
This weekend I’m excited to go to a friends bridal shower, and looking forward to the stagette next weekend in the interior – which will be even hotter. Thankfully we will have a lake to jump in, and wine tastings to cool off with. She’s getting married in September – and I can’t wait for their wedding!
Speaking of wedding – I’ll have to post about our progress so far – or lack thereof. I was so crazy about wedding stuff when we first got engaged and then lost my inertia. We’ve been engaged almost 7 months now! but still have lots to do.
Last year I discovered the joys of 1-Ingredient Banana Ice cream. You can definitely eat it plain, or add in some other ingredients. With a dairy-allergy ice-cream in the summer can be a real tease – which is why I’m happy to make my own better versions at home to eat myself.
This ice-cream recipe is vegan & dairy-free with only a few ingredients that you can make in no time. I also dipped some cones in chocolate and almond meal to give it that extra indulgent quality. It’s sort of like a grown-up Drumstick – only much healthier.
And yes – I did eat this for lunch.
Almond Butter Chunky Monkey Ice Cream
Just like your favourite indulgent ice-cream flavour, this Almond Butter Chunky Monkey is healthier, which means you can eat more of it. Banana Ice-Cream studded with, almond butter chunks and chocolate chunks in a dipped waffle cone.
- 3-4 large Ripe Bananas, peeled + sliced, and frozen for at least 1 hour or more
- 1/2 cup + 3 Tbs. Almond Butter
- 3 Tbs. Almond Meal + more for dipping
- 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate chopped, or Dark Chocolate Chips + a little more for melting
- 2 tsp. Coconut Oil (separated)
- Small Waffles Cones (optional)
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside. Add the1/2 cup Almond Butter, + 1 tsp. coconut oil and Almond Meal together in small bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Spoon mixture onto parchment paper and spread with spoon or spatula to create a square/rectangle.
- Place in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Remove frozen banana slices from freezer and place in food processor.
- Turn food processor on and blend bananas, stopping to scrape down when needed. This will take about 5-10 minutes of blending. The bananas will get easier to blend as they warm up. The beginning of the ice-cream will look like small banana 'crumbs' and then blend into a creamy soft-serve style ice cream.
- Allow to blend until smooth. Once blended add the 3 Tbs. Almond Butter and pulse one or two times to distribute.
- Remove Almond Butter mixture from freezer and, using a pizza cutter, slice into small squares. These will become your "Almond Butter Chips" throughout the ice cream.
- Quickly add the Almond Butter Chips along with the chopped Dark Chocolate to the ice cream and pulse again until just blended.
- Using a spatula transfer the ice-cream to a container with a lid and smooth the top. Place in freezer for at least 3 hours before serving.
- Melt 1 tsp. Coconut Oil along with about 1/4 cup dark chocolate (either in the microwave on low intervals, or on the stovetop) - place in small ramekin or shallow dish.
- Take one cone at a time and dip top into the chocolate making sure to cover all edges and about 1/2-inch down the cone.
- You can leave them plain - or roll the freshly-dipped cone into almond meal to cover.
- Place dipped-side down on a piece of parchment and allow to dry on the counter until set. You can also transfer to the fridge to speed-up the process. Store any un-used cones in an air-tight container in the fridge.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
I have a passion for Bananas. You might say I’m a connoisseur. We usually have one or two large bunches in the house at all times. I love them on their own, sliced over warm oatmeal, mixed in with cool cereal, over ice cream (even banana ice cream), in cookies, as a substitute for butter in many baking recipes, and even in brownies. You might say Banana’s are one of my favourite fruits. I think they’re tied with apples. I feel like apples and bananas are just a given staple in our house, we’re never without either of them. Ok, well maybe not true for this week.
Adam sold his truck last week, so he’s been taking my car to work (since I’m only at school a few days a week). This means during the day I have no car. Although, we live right across from an outdoor shopping centre/mall that I can easily walk to if we actually needed anything. It’s funny, I thought I’d be over there everyday when we first moved in, and much to Adam’s surprise, and probably relief, I don’t go over that often. Maybe once every two-three weeks I’ll walk over and shop (it’s not as hard as I though it’d be to live across from an H&M haha.) This is probably because I’m so busy anyways to even have time to stroll over and peruse.
I have been trying, and I mean trying not to go overboard with buying groceries. I was feeling like we were throwing away a lot of produce at the end of the week because it wasn’t getting eaten. And I wasn’t happy about it (although we do compost all organics.) I tried to blame Adam, because really he won’t make himself food unless I’ve already prepared it. He only eats breakfast at home, lunch at work, and then I make dinner. However, if there is produce etc in the fridge and he’s hungry, he’d rather not go to the hassle of making an entire meal, and opt for something like an apple or bowl of cereal if I’m not making something. He’s not a fan of cooking. So, a lot of the food doesn’t get eaten. And I’m home most of the day now that school is out, and my classes are later in the day. I only really eat a small breakfast and a smoothie, so I’m not making a huge meal other than dinner. But when it comes to dinner it is always heavy on the veggies. But still, I was finding I was throwing out some bad lettuce or even kale, tomatoes, cucumber etc. that I had bought too much of in anticipation of eating it during the week.
I think it’s also our schedules. Lately, I’ve had baseball Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday I have classes until late, and then Thursday I might have baseball again. So, we’re not home for dinner a few nights each week. Which means, lots of veggies get left. Weekend are usually ok, because we’ll make dinner Friday, Saturday and Sunday at home.
In the end, I’ve realized I have to buy less groceries. Even though Adam can eat a lot. Usually we’ll just go up to the produce market or the butcher shop that night if we want to make a specific meal. Now, I do love meal planning, and I always have some idea of what I want to make that week, but I won’t buy all the items just in case we actually don’t get around to having time for dinner that week.
I have to say, it’s actually nice not to have to go on a big grocery run, or think I had ‘better go buy that.’ It’s against my usual habits, but I think I’ll get used to buying less. And hey – even better, less money, and no money/food wasted, which was my biggest concern, wasting food.
Do you do a big grocery shop at the beginning of each week? Or do you buy-as-you-go for meals, and pick up that day?
One thing I never worry about really is fruit. If it’s starting to brown, it goes in the freezer. And when it comes to Bananas, you can never waste them. If they’re really brown/starting to brown, they either get sliced up for banana ice cream, whole for banana bread, or for smoothies and put in the freezer.
And even better – 2-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Ice cream. My new favourite combination.
It’s super easy, and can be prepped well in advance, and kept in the freezer for up to a month. For summer I think I’ll have a batch in the freezer each week for a quick healthy, yet satisfying, sweet frozen treat to beat the heat.
2-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
*Wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan*
- 4 Medium ripe bananas
- 1-2 Tbsp. All Natural Peanut Butter
Slice your bananas, and place into a plastic freezer bag. Make sure they are in a single layer, and lay flat in the freezer. Allow to freeze overnight, or up to a week.
Remove frozen banana slices from freezer and place in food processor.
Turn food processor on and blend bananas, stopping to scrape down when needed. This will take about 5 minutes. Pulse if you need to, and stop to scrape down the sides so the chunks all get mixed int.
Allow to blend until smooth. When it is all blended, add in the Peanut Butter. Pulse again until completely mixed.
You can eat it like this, soft serve, or, transfer ice cream to a plastic tupperware container and return to freezer. Freeze at least 3-4 hours, or longer before serving. Keep leftovers in the freezer.
This weekend is Mother’s Day, and I thought I would share some things that my mom has taught me. I’ve seen other bloggers post about what they’ve learned from their mother over the years and I started thinking about all of the things she has said to me, taught me, and continues to teach me in life.
My mom and I are close – really, really close. People confuse us for each other on the phone (we sound a lot alike). We are often mistaken for sisters (I’m sure she’ll love hearing that, again), and we have become even closer as I grow older, when the big stuff happens and real life begins. Many people comment to her asking ‘how’d you get so lucky to have two good kids?’ – well, I think I’m a little better than my brother, Nick ;) but, I think she is a pretty lucky mom to have us too. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a loving, crazy, funny, caring, and strong mom.
After losing my dad when we were younger she had to become two parents in one, and I want to thank her for being there for us through the hard times, and the really hard times, and never ceasing to love and support us in all our of endeavours.
She is the first person I tell important news to, and the not so great news to, the first person I look to for advice, even if I don’t always want to hear it (ahem, the couch
), the first person to know when I’m sad, upset or something is bothering me just by the tone in my voice over the phone, the person who encourages me that everything will be alright, not to stress and the first person to forgive me when we have a fight (i’m pretty stubborn).
Things my mom has taught me
- There’s no excuse for rudeness
- Manners matter, always say thank you
- Don’t hold a grudge, life is too short
- It’s better to be overdressed, than underdressed
- Saying sorry is one of the hardest things to do, and admit your wrong
- Always be the bigger person
- How to be a good friend
- Any education is a good education
- Never leave the house without making the bed (this one is still a work in progress..)
- How to host a family dinner
- Advil and Zantac cure all
- How to properly fold sheets
- How to cook a roast
- How to make a roux
- How to make a good chili, and simple tomato sauce
- If you don’t want to have a drink, just order a coke with lime
- Don’t stress, everything will work out
- Always be kind to animals
- Do what makes you happy
- Trust your instincts
- How to be strong
People ask me where I got my love for cooking and baking. While my dad was my biggest influence, my mom always made really great cookies, without a recipe – and really good cinnamon buns.
I made these brownies last week when I wanted to use up some ripe bananas on the counter. I wanted to make something other than Banana bread. I decided to make 1-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream, recipe here
- but then I had more bananas to use up. So, I thought about what I could make with them, or what recipe I could add them to. I decided to make brownies, with the addition of Bananas. Some people don’t like certain combinations of chocolate and fruit, but Bananas and Chocolate are one of my favourites. The bananas make the brownie super dense and rich, like fudge. The banana flavour is certainly there, but it’s not as strong as say banana bread. The chocolate takes over, which makes it deep and rich.
And then I went a step further, and topped the Banana Brownies with Banana Ice cream.
Let’s just say I couldn’t eat it fast enough. Plus, there’s no guilt in adding the ice cream because it’s just Banana.
These are also gluten free, I made them with Rice Flour. You can sub regular flour as well. I recommend refrigerating them for a couple hours, or even overnight. I always refrigerate my brownies because it allows them to become more dense and fudge-like.
Fudgey Banana Brownies
Dense, fudgey banana brownies are incredibly moist and rich. Perfect with 1-Ingredient banana ice cream!
- 6 tbs. Butter
- 3/4 Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate (can use chocolate chips)
- 2 medium Ripe Bananas
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 1 Tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 cup Rice Flour
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.Heat butter and chocolate in a small saucepan, stir until everything is melted. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.
- In stand mixer with whisk attachment, or medium bowl and blender, mash the bananas, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add the egg and blend again.
- Add in the melted butter-chocolate mixture and mix well.
- Stir in the flour mixture and blend just until combined. Stir in all of the walnuts, you can save a few and sprinkle on top too.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. You want it to be slightly gooey when you check it, not completely dry. If it needs another couple minutes increase baking time.
- ** These brownies are best after they are refrigerated! **
- I always refrigerate my brownies - it makes them extra dense and fudgey. I recommend letting them come to room temperature on the counter, and then cover and transfer pan to fridge for a couple hours, or even better, overnight. Of course, if you can't wait feel free to eat them immediately =)
- Store leftover brownies in the fridge for up to a week, or, freeze.
- You can sub AP flour for rice flour also.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
Even Better Topped with Banana Ice Cream!