I’ve spent years of my life dieting and creating rigid rules about food that have stripped the joy from eating.
These days, I live by Michael Pollen’s rule: Eat anything you want, as long as you make it yourself.
Enter: Two-ingredient vegan “ice cream,” made from a frozen banana and coconut milk base. No added sugar, no weird ingredients, and lots of space to get creative.
Quick note about coconut milk: If you’re not making your own, be aware that canned milks often come with a bunch of random weird preservatives and chemicals in them. Sadly not all of us will have access to the coconut milks without chemicals — where I am now in Kingston I cannot find any — but it’s something to be aware of.
In my most recent batch, I got creative and swirled in some sweet sesame paste (sesame seeds + honey) and homemade salted carob chips (carob powder + coconut oil + sea salt). The possibilities are virtually endless.
Vegan Banana “Ice Cream”
6 large frozen bananas, peeled
1/4 cup of coconut milk
Blend the bananas and coconut milk until smooth, or if you like some banana chunks, by all means leave them.
Put the blend into a container that’s easy to scoop from, and then place into the freezer to harden.
Once the base has been in the freezer for at least 30-45 minutes, bring it out and scoop contents out into a large bowl. Now, you can start adding things, stirring them in with a spoon as the ice cream softens. Once all has been evenly incorporated, put the ice cream back into its container and return to the freezer for at least 30 minutes or so.
Sweet Sesame Paste
1/2 cup of sesame seeds
1 tbsp of honey
In a spice grinder or bullet, grind the sesame seeds into a fine meal. You’re finished when you no longer see any whole seeds, but if there are a small amount you should be ok.
Transfer the sesame meal to a bowl and add the honey. Mix well with your hands, until it becomes a firm dough.
When you incorporate this into the ice cream, you may wish to leave it in chunks (think: cookie dough ice cream), or throw the ice cream back in the blender with the sesame paste to incorporate more evenly. Your call. Delicious either way.
Salted Carob Chips
1/2 cup of carob powder
1/2 melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
In a bowl, mix the carob powder and coconut oil very well. Make it as smooth as possible.
Pour the mix into a shallow container, preferably somewhat small so that the carob covers the bottom of the container.
Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt evenly over the carob, and place the container in the freezer.
After 30 minutes, you should have a solid carob bar that will pop easily out of the container.
Chop the bar up into chips or chunks, however you prefer. Incorporate into the ice cream as instructed above.