Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve

Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve

 Cherries + dark chocolate is always a winning pair. Here I have continued my love of banana based ice creams and have added the duo to make this Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve ice cream. The inspiration comes from one of Ben & Jerry's top selling ice creams 'Cherry Garcia'. Here I have veganized it using simple ingredients that come together making a quick and easy soft serve to enjoy during the coming summer months. Gather some of the season's cherries, freeze some bananas and get your chocolate ready...all in the name of good health and a tasty treat that you will enjoy time and time again. Eating healthy and cruelty free is as delicious as can be!

Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve

Dark chocolate can happily be a part of your healthy diet as long as it's enjoyed in moderation. I usually have a small chunk every night with a dollop of almond butter as my dessert. Some of the benefits of dark chocolate/raw chocolate are its powerful anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants may help to control blood sugar levels by helping the body use its insulin more efficiently. This in turn may help with reducing the risk of diabeties. It also can help improve and lower cholesterol. Dark chocolate has flavanols that may lower the risk of Alzheimer's and slow the onset of dementia. These same flavanols may protect your skin from UV damage. It's also rich in vitamins and minerals, can improve your mood, and reduce your stress.. These are just some of the benefits associated with dark chocolate. It's best to consume chocolate that is 70% cocoa and above or pure raw chocolate, as it will have the most benefits. And to the men out there, it has been found that men benefit most from eating dark chocolate in moderation. So enjoy your dark chocolate without feeling guilty. For more information: Web MD...Dark Chocolate For Health Benefits, Huffington Post: Chocolate Benefits & Men Benefit Most From Eating Dark Chocolate

Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve

And then there are cherries, the real star of the recipe! Cherries, known as a 'super fruit', are one of the few food sources that contain melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body's sleep cycle. These little red beauties are also packed with antioxidants called anthocyanin's which aid in the reduction of heart disease and cancer. This same anti-oxidant can help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis and gout. They are a perfect post work-out snack for those looking to reduce pain and joint soreness, like runners and heavy training athletes. Cherries are abundant in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, fiber and contain 19 times more beta carotene than strawberries and blueberries. They are perfect for any healthy lifestyle. For further reading take a look at these: Huffington Post: Cherries For Health & Seven Benefits of Cherries

Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve

Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve

Ingredients
  • 2 frozen bananas, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and frozen (divided)
  • splash of unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
  • scant 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (70% +), cacao nibs or raw chocolate chips

Place banana chunks, 1 cup cherries and splash of milk into blender/food processor and blend until just combined. You may need to scrap down the sides a few times or add another splash of milk to help the mixture move. Add in chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup cherries, pulse until just combined. Serve immediately as this is a soft serve ice cream. Top with shaved dark chocolate, cacao nibs or raw chocolate chips. Serves two generously.

Notes: It helps to freeze your serving dish beforehand if possible. Will keep your soft serve chilled a bit longer.

Variations: If you don't want any chocolate chunks try adding 1 heaping teaspoon of raw or dark cocoa powder instead. Adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract never hurts either. It adds another flavor level.

Enjoy!

• • •

A note on bananas

These are perfectly ripe bananas and just about ready for the freezer. I usually wait until they're a bit more ripened before storing as that is when they are the sweetest and coincidentally have the most health benefits. Using them in their sweetest state means the less added sweetener you will need. So let your bananas ripen well before storing. I freeze mine whole and slice, or break in half, for the recipe if needed but you can just as well cut them into chunks before freezing. Having these on hand you can add them to smoothies, shakes and ice creams. They will stay well in the freezer six to nine months.



32 comments :

  1. This one I'm pinning for sure! This soft serve sounds amazing! I'm super excited to try it out!

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! I love you! ; )

    ReplyDelete
  3. Whoa! and we thought 2 frozen bananas,toasted almonds and choc chips was where it's it.lol

    ReplyDelete
  4. gorgeous! have a bowl full of cherries in need of a cause! thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And your welcome. Enjoy this combo :)

      Delete
  5. I've made *ice cream* this way for a few years. Never thought to add chocolate to the mix.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that is why I love being here! Inspiration, pass it on :)

      Delete
  6. How timely; our local market is full of cherries, thanks for sharing :) I've been making frozen banana icecream for a while now, but never thought of adding other fruit! Gonna give this one a try though, chocolate and all... And thanks also for the info on cherries- I didn't realise quite how many health benefits they have!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks awesome..about how many servings does it make?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Makes two serving or one generous serving if you feel like indulging!

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much! I have a potluck tomorrow & was thinking of making this...of course, I'd have to schlep the blender along so it'd be fresh. :0) I tried freezing banana-based raw ice cream and the results were not good.

      Delete
    3. I tried freezing this too and didn't care for it much. I have another banana base ice cream that freezes well but it just didn't work for me with this one. It can be done but I definitely prefer this one as a soft serve. Have fun tomorrow! :)

      Delete
  8. WOAH YES!!!! I even have frozen bananas & cherries at home. This I *need* to make. Like, 5 minutes ago!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am enjoying this as I type. How delicious. What a great soft serve!

    ReplyDelete
  10. are you trying to say milking a cow is cruel?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon...Thank you so much for posing this question to me. I'm not really sure if this is a serious question or not, so I'm going to assume that it is and take this opportunity to express the way I feel. I don't talk about the practices of factory farming as much as I would like too.

      To get right to the question...Yes, I find that milking a cow is cruel, especially factory farmed cows. The factory farmed dairy cow is the hardest working mother on the face of the planet!

      Let's take for instance Ben & Jerry's, they are not a some little ice cream store that can use milk from one or two cow's that are 'humanely treated' on a loving farm. They must use milk that comes from huge factory farms. Let's go over the scenario of what it takes to milk a cow in today's world.

      First you must impregnate that cow...they do not produce milk out of thin air. Every single cow on the factory farm that is being milked has been impregnated (or raped if you want to get technical...animals have rights too and I find this horrible). So now they are producing milk, not for their baby but for the masses of consumers who are so conditioned to not think twice about the process at hand (I was one of them for many years). Many are given hormone injections so they will produce more milk than they would naturally. They are then hooked up to machines two to three times a day and milked.

      Once their baby calf comes, the baby is taken away from the mother within the first day or two. If the calf is female she will most likely be raised as a dairy cow to repeat this process. If the calf is male, he will be sent off to be raised for beef or sent to be slaughtered for veal. This little baby is just a by product of the industry. This is all standard practice, even with small farms. After the calf is taken away from the mother cow, she will bellow for days on end. Why, because she is a loving creature who just wants her baby...animals have the same internal instincts as we do...I find this extremely cruel indeed.

      Normally a cow will live for 20 to 25 years. The dairy cow however, after 5, maybe 6 years of this impregnating, milking and taking away her baby will be deemed useless and then sent to slaughter herself. Not much of a life, and a very hard life at that. I don't wish this upon any living creature.

      Delete
    2. This is just a small portion of what goes on. There is also disease and infections that these mother's get in their utters from all the hormones they are given. There is also the whole aspect of the calf that I barely touched upon.

      Thank goodness for banana ice cream and almond milk! I love my plant based milks....they are made from a seed planted in the ground, given nutrients, water and lot's of sunshine to grow...then processed into a most delicious and nutritious milk. There are so many alternatives these days that dairy milk is simply not necessary, contrary to what the dairy farmers will market and have you believe!

      My perspective has simply changed about the way animals are used for profit. It is cruel in every sense but that is just my humble opinion. I cannot knowingly support or buy into this system. I find it completely unappealing....just like beef, pork, chicken, etc.

      As for the dairy cow that is milked on the small family farm...I don't find that appealing either. It is strange to me that we will so readily consume milk in any fashion from another species but cringe upon the thought of consuming our own. Funny how we tend evolve...things that I thought of as ok in the past, seem so outdated today. I've shifted to a new world and love it. My new world isn't perfect either, we can go all the way down the rabbit hole...but it sure is better then the old one I lived in. :)

      Here is a great link for more info about this subject if your interested: http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/dairy.htm

      I LOVE this video from Colleen-Patrick Gourdreau called From Excuse-itarian to Vegan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWD1Zze5Qo4


      Have a lovely day and enjoy some of this ice cream! :)

      Delete
  11. I am not a vegan and I eat meat and normal ice cream. However I love the way you answered the question without it being a lecture or any irritation. Every comment I have seen you answer on this website has been done in a really wise and thoughtful way, even when someone has critised what you made. I had no idea this is how cows were milked and yes that does seem cruel. I have never been a big milk drinker, but I can't hide behind morals. I simply don't like milk. After a lot of research I realise raw fruits and veg are the most healthy way to live and maybe, just maybe one day I will become a vegetarian, be it for the animals or for health. Tat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this feedback! It let's me know that I expressed myself the way I wanted...in a positive loving way.

      It's true that fruits and vegetables are the way to go, along with whole grains, nuts and seeds. There is a balance and it's so easy to get all your nutrition this way, it just takes replacing items, sometimes one at a time, until they are habits...and you will actually crave them!

      Thanks again Tat! Cheers...I hope you get a chance to try this soft serve. :)

      Delete
  12. This looks amazing! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looked great after being without ice cream as a vegan for 5 months. The processed cherries and banana were good alone, but probably needed the suggested vanilla extract to taste like anything other than cherries and banana together ;-) I thought that the dark chocolate crumbles were a big clash with the blended fruit both texturally and taste wise. Half my family agreed. Maybe chocolate syrup would work, but I'll probably just leave it out next time. Thanks for the idea though. /bill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping to share your thoughts! Chocolate syrup is a good idea to replace the chocolate chunks. Without any chocolate can be just as good! However it suits you, enjoy! Cheers to vegan ice cream. :)

      Delete
  14. This looks amazing. Beautiful photos!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Brilliant! Just made this tonight. It was incredible!

    ReplyDelete