13 Jun 2013
When I first switched to a vegan, gluten-free diet, I was excited that there were still so many sugar-free treats I could enjoy. I baked up cookies, brownies, cakes and more, all within the parameters of my new eating plan.
But it never occurred to me that, despite my love of creating every kind of healthy dessert recipe imaginable, I’d find myself missing ice cream.
In our family when I was growing up, we ate ice cream for a very limited period each year (June to August), since it was considered a special, summertime-only treat. My mom would purchase large, brick-like cardboard boxes of the stuff that she toted home from the strip plaza a few blocks from our house. It seemed to me that she always stocked my dad’s favorite flavor, Neapolitan, and nothing else. Because I was never a fan of strawberry ice cream, I quickly learned to sneak some of the chocolate stripe by scraping along the bottom of the box (where its absence wouldn’t immediately be noticed) when I wanted to indulge.
In other words, I didn’t consume much ice cream when I was younger (though that chocolate stripe did always end up quite a bit thinner than the other two).
When I reached my teens, I discovered soft serve, and my world changed. I loved visiting Dairy Queen with my friends, where we’d opt for a chocolate-vanilla twist dipped in a vat of molten chocolate that hardened to a solid, glossy sheen the moment it was turned back upright. Years after that, I became smitten with the Blizzard, always choosing the double chocolate flavor (with chocolate fudge and cookie bits mixed in).
When the warm weather hits, I sometimes still yearn for those Blizzards. Only now, I have re-created them in a form I can freely enjoy.
Is there such a thing as a tantalizing, irresistible dairy-free, sugar-free and gluten-free frozen treat that doesn’t diverge from a healthy diet?
Well, now there is!
My “healthified” version of the classic dessert recipe offers up chocolate-coated crunchy cereal bits and cacao nibs (or chocolate chips—your choice), blended into a smooth, creamy base—and it’s so simple to make, you won’t believe it.
So go ahead and indulge in this rich, decadent-tasting frozen dessert this summer. It provides all the best parts of that childhood classic ice cream treat, without any of the downside. And, unlike my dad’s Neapolitan ice cream, you’ll definitely want to eat the entire thing.
What was your favorite frozen dessert as a child? Has it changed since then?
Ricki’s “Bluster” Soft-Serve with Choco-Crunchy Bits and Chocolate Sauce
YIELD: 2 large and up to 4 smaller servings
DIETARY TYPE: vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free
- 2 large ripe bananas, peeled and frozen for at least 24 hours
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) Erewhon Corn Flakes Cereal
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsweetened cocoa powder
or raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup (40 g) coconut sugar
- 10-20 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid (optional)
- 4 teaspoons (20 ml) water
- 4 teaspoons (20 ml) unrefined coconut oil
- Pinch fine sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) cacao nibs, dairy-free chocolate chips
or unsweetened carob chips
At least 24 hours before you wish to make the dessert, peel the bananas and place in the freezer.
In a small, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the cocoa powder, coconut sugar, stevia (if using), water, coconut oil and salt. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the coconut sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble at the edges. Remove from heat and set aside 1/4 cup of the sauce in a glass measuring cup or small bowl.
Pour the remainder of the sauce from the pot over the cereal in the bowl, and toss with a wooden spoon until the cereal is completely coated. Place the coated cereal in the refrigerator while you blend the base of the Bluster.
Make the Ice Cream Base
Break the frozen bananas into 4-5 chunks each and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is broken up, then continue to process until it comes together and blends to form a smooth, creamy mixture resembling soft-serve ice cream (you may need to scrape down the sides occasionally).
As soon as the desired texture is achieved, stop the processor and sprinkle the coated cereal into the processor bowl along with the cacao nibs. Pulse once or twice only to incorporate the cereal and break up the nibs a bit (but do not overprocess! You want the bits of cereal and cacao nibs to remain visibly separate from the banana base).
Scoop into bowls or tall glasses and drizzle with the reserved chocolate sauce. Enjoy immediately.
Note: for a lower-glycemic version, use frozen pear instead of banana. Just as delicious!
RickiCheck out my latest posts here