I first made this “ice cream” years ago for children I used to babysit. It is simply frozen bananas blended to a creamy iced treat. When I began working as a chef, I used to use this recipe (and it is barely that) or a cashew ice cream to garnish vegan or dairy-free desserts.
Despite the humble ingredients, the finished product is very rich and one scoop is more than satisfying.
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
2 large bananas, sliced and frozen
1-2 tablespoons cacao
1 tb tahini or nut butter of your choice – optional
vanilla, cinnamon, chilli – optional and to your taste
Simply throw everything into a blender or processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Serves 4.
*I try to keep 2 or 3 sliced, frozen bananas in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. They are then ready to add to smoothies or blend into ice cream. In the photo, I have sprinkled some nuts and coconut – quite unnecessary garnishes and my ineffective attempt to make brown food look slightly better.
Warm, soft-centred chocolate pudding is a luscious treat – especially on the grey, grizzly days we have been having this week. My husband makes a gorgeous chocolate pudding at every restaurant he works at and it is one of my favourite desserts. However, I don’t fancy consuming white flour and sugar just to tickle my fancy for pudding. I like to think that my sweet treats can support my nutritional health as well taste gorgeous. So this recipe uses cooked quinoa (yes, trust me!) in place of flour which makes this recipe one of my few gluten-free recipes made without nuts. The quinoa adds an earthy flavour which sits well with the rich cacao and hints of coffee, cinnamon and vanilla. As an added bonus, quinoa provides protein, fibre, iron and magnesium – so you can have your cake and eat it too. Deceptively rich, you would not guess that the pudding contains just over 2 teaspoons of sugar per serve.
I particularly like this mix poured over bananas and baked, although it is delicious made with soft, ripe pears. The bananas do add to this dessert’s comfort factor and, to gild the lily, marry well with a dark chocolate sauce.
chocolate quinoa pudding
1/4c melted butter, olive oil or coconut oil
1c cooked quinoa (from 1/3c raw)
2/3c rice malt syrup or maple syrup
1/2c raw cacao powder
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp instant coffee or finely ground coffee (optional)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 soft ripe pears, peeled, cored, quartered or 3 large bananas, sliced thickly
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Arrange your choice of fruit in a small, shallow oven-proof dish and pour over the pudding batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 175’C until the edges are cooked but the centre is still a little soft. Allow to cool slightly before serving with chocolate sauce or cream or both. Serves 8.
Notes: for a simple chocolate sauce, heat 1/2c cream and pour over 100g of chopped 70% chocolate. Stir until smooth.