raw challenge - day 39 - chocolate banana 'ice cream'

I Scream. You Scream. We all scream for ice cream!

As far as food preferences go, I simply don't have much of a sweet tooth. Desserts always seem interesting to look at, but I'm rarely tempted to actually eat them. Case in point- it is at day 39 that I am developing my first dessert recipe (with the exception of the 'Rum Balls' I created back on day 11). And they really shouldn't qualify as a dessert, but rather a 'healthy energy ball'.

So what ingredients does one have to work with when making a raw dessert? Nuts and seeds, dates and other dried fruit, avocados, cacao, vanilla, coconut milk and oil, fresh fruit..... to name a few. There really is quite a tasty assortment to work with. This 'ice cream' recipe uses only 5 ingredients and is dead simple to make. After peeling and freezing the bananas 8 hours ahead, the preparation time is less than 5 minutes. I've also started to experiment with other flavours such as 'Banana-Maple with Walnuts'. This 'ice cream' would also serve well in a milk shake, or as a filling in a raw nut crust that is then topped with fresh, seasonal fruit.

Banana + Chocolate 'Ice Cream' (with Hazelnuts)

4 bananas, peeled, wrapped in saran wrap, and frozen for at least 8 hours
¼ c raw cacao or cocoa powder
2 T raw honey
1 t good vanilla
1 pinch of salt
½ cup raw hazelnuts

Remove bananas from freezer and cut into ½” thick slices. Place in food pro and whirl well. Add cacao, honey, salt and vanilla and again whirl well, until thick and creamy. Add nuts and blend quickly, just until they are mixed through, but not ground too small (OR roughly chop them and reserve them until serving time, sprinkling them on top of each serving as a crunchy garnish). Pour mixture into a loaf pan and cover with saran wrap. Place in freezer. When serving, remove from freezer 5 minutes before. Scoop and serve, just as you would regular ice cream.

As an aside, I wanted to share this Design Sponge post about Lindsay Laricks of ‘Fresher Than Fresh’. She has created her own nifty little business making and selling gourmet snow cones. One of the things that makes her concept unique is that she crafts all of the organic syrups herself, often sourcing ingredients from her own back yard garden in Kansas City. And the coolest part of all? She sells them out of her adorable 1957 Shasta trailer, complete with a ‘stick man mascot’ that lights up at night. I see no reason why this icy summer treat could not be emulated in a raw version by pureeing fresh fruit with agave or maple syrup, citrus juices, vanilla, fresh herbs etc. and then passing the syrupy liquid through a sieve. Raw snow cones- why not?

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