1 food 5 ways, Bananas, Way #2: Banana Split Ice Cream

I love ice cream. I especially love ice cream that you need to chew. I like it to be hard and have other stuff in it. When you are a soy free vegan who doesn’t own an ice cream maker, there aren’t a ton of choices out there that fit that description. One of my favorites growing up was a banana split ice cream. Not a real banana split, but the banana flavored ice cream with the fruit and chocolate mixed in. Lucky for me, Dreena Burton made a cashew banana ice cream that I was able to adapt to replace this childhood favorite.

Banana Split “Ice Cream”

“Ice Cream”:
5 very ripe bananas, cut into large chunks and frozen (1.25 lbs after being peeled about 4 cups frozen chunks)
1/2 cup salted all natural peanut butter (the stir-in-the jar kind)*
1/4 cup agave nectar

*If you have unsalted peanut butter add 1/8″ tsp salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand are vegan, gluten-free, and soy-free)
1/2 cup frozen pineapple, cut in 1/2″ dice
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, cut in 1/2″ dice
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

Mix the add-ins together in a large mixing bowl. Put bowl in the freezer while you make the ice cream base so you won’t end up with strawberry juice streaks in the “ice cream”.

Put the frozen banana chunks in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. If you have a small processor, you might want to do that in stages. Even with my large one, it almost tossed the processor around a bit. Add the peanut butter and agave nectar and process until smooth.

Get out the add-in bowl and scrape the “ice cream” on top of the add-ins. Then fold in the add-in ingredients until they are evenly distributed.

Put the entire mixture in a freezer-safe container and freeze ice cream until hard, overnight-12 hours. I put that time on it because at 5 hrs after making it was too soft, when I woke up at the 12 hour mark it was perfect! If it’s too hard to scoop after refreezing, just leave it sitting out for a couple minutes and it should scoop perfectly.

I kinda hate to admit it, but I ate this for breakfast as soon as it was frozen hard enough. I just couldn’t help myself. Then again, with all that fruit in it, I guess it’s not so bad.
Liebster Award:

Thanks to Richa from Hobby and More , Mel from Veganise This! and Kelly from Three and a Half Vegans for each awarding me a Liebster. “Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during Vegan Mofo!
The rules of winning this award are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!
I’d like to award Liebsters to the following:
1. Amanda at In My Vegan Life
2. Celyn at Miso For Breakfast
3. Celeste at Growing Up Veg
4. Cara at Fork And Beans
5. VeggieAmanda at Newman Improved

1 food 5 ways, Cashews, Way #3: Sweet ‘n Sour Cashews & Chickpea Nuggets

I was never a huge fan of most Asian food before going vegan, but it seems I want it more often now. And cashews beg to be put in Asian sauces. So I decided to try my hand at a sweet and sour dish (sauce made without cane sugar for my sister!) If you had actually been at my house last night, you would have gotten dinner & a show. The show was my trying to figure out how to eat with my beautiful, previously unused chopsticks! At least dinner was good.
Sweet ‘n’ Sour Cashews & Chickpea Nuggets
–the most popular post on this blog! Made into nuggets or made as cutlets and cut into bite size pieces after baking. This is one time I wished I hadn’t skipped the coconut aminos/soy sauce substitute. Still good, but it would have given the whole dish a richer flavor. So if you can use that this time, you won’t be sorry.
(go ahead and make the whole batch and freeze the other half. I did that because I need the others for later in the month. A whole batch was 48 nuggets)

Sweet and sour sauce ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar (be sure it’s RICE vinegar – it’s milder than others. If you’re trying to be cane sugar free – check the bottle – some of them add sugar)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos (if you’re not soy-free you can use gf soy sauce here. If you are soy-free and don’t have access to the coconut aminos, I think a little tiny bit of salt would suffice)
  • 2 tsp arrowroot
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup diced pineapple
Other ingredients:
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into thin half-moons
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
While chickpea nuggets are cooking, begin the sauce. Whisk together the vinegar, agave, tomato paste and coconut aminos. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. While waiting for the sauce to boil, mix together the arrowroot and 2 Tbsp of water. When it boils, add the arrowroot mixture and whisk vigorously to keep it from clumping. It will thicken quickly. When thickened, remove from heat and stir in pineapple. Set aside.
In large skillet over medium heat, saute cashews in olive oil until golden brown (about 8 mins). Remove cashews and stir them into sauce. Leave the oil in the pan and add onion & pepper. When the oil cooks out, add water as necessary. Cover with a lid and let it steam-fry until vegetables are translucent (15-20 mins). Uncover, turn temperature up to medium high cook until any remaining water is gone and onions are browned.
When nuggets are done, put them in the pan with the sauce and toss to coat.
When vegetables are finished, remove from heat and add the cashews/nuggets/sauce. Stir it all together until vegetables are evenly distributed and coated with sauce.
Serve with rice and a cup of green tea. For me, this would serve 4, but it depends on how hungry you are! If you want to bulk it up some more, add a side of steamed broccoli.

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