Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vegan Banana "Ice Cream" with Whipped Coconut Cream

Vegan Banana "Ice Cream" topped with
whipped coconut cream and dried banana pieces.
So... let's talk a little bit about dessert, shall we? I LOVE dessert. I have a sweet tooth like nobody's business, but since I'm trying to eat healthier, I've been avoiding sugary treats as much as possible. But avoiding sugar doesn't mean I can't have sweet, luscious creamy desserts! One of our favorites around here lately is Banana "Ice Cream" with Whipped Coconut Cream. We've been eating it almost every weekend! I first learned about banana "ice cream" from this old vegan cook book I bought in 1990. I enjoyed it fairly often over the years, but my recent discovery of coconut cream has turn an old stand-by dessert into a completely decadent treat. And yet... it's not even bad for you, so you can eat it without any guilt at all! To make this, you'll need a food processor (a blender will do, in a pinch) and a mixer. You do have to plan ahead a little bit for this, as you need to freeze the bananas first. We solve this little problem by always keeping some bananas in the freezer, so we always have them ready for desserts and smoothies on a moment's notice. I usually just peel them, break them into chunks and seal them in a tupperware container or zip bag.

Banana "Ice Cream" with Whipped Coconut Cream

You will need:
1 can of coconut cream (I like the Trader Joe's brand) well chilled.
Natural sweetener of choice (I usually use liquid stevia for this)
1 to 2 frozen bananas for each serving.

Dump the coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer (or into any large bowl, if you're using a hand mixer) Start whipping, adding a touch of sweetener to taste. I don't think it needs much, personally. Keep whipping it, scraping the sides down occasionally, until it's fluffy. It won't get quite as fluffy as dairy whipped cream. When it's good enough, place it in the fridge while you make the ice cream.

Place your bananas in the food processor, and blend until they are nice and creamy. That's it!

Now... scoop the "ice cream" into serving dishes, and top each one with a generous dollop of coconut cream. Sometimes, to be fancy, I'll top it all with a few crumbled banana chips. A little spoonful of crushed pineapple is a nice addition, too!

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