The Beach House Kitchen is definitely rustic. Not in the manufactured ‘rustic’ sense of the word, I mean we have sheep invading our front garden and no coffee shop within a half hour drive. The wind howls and we regularly have horses looking into our bathroom window (which can be quite a shock when you’re getting out of the shower!). We live out here and it’s beautiful!
I try and convey this country feel in our pictures, I just don’t have the gadgets (and time) to make our food look so polished. I am in awe of many blogs that manage to make any dish look like food of the Gods. When it’s so grey outside, taking photographs of food just doesn’t do the dish justice. One blog who constantly dazzles with its photographs and gorgeous food is 84th&3rd. This recipe is inspired by their Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream recipe. This is one of those food blogs that is so delicious and sexy, you just want to try out all of the recipes.
This is an amazing recipe that will blow anybody away. Vegan or otherwise. Even the hardest of hardcore Ben and Jerry lovers will be impressed with this ice cream. It is a wonder, with purely natural and healthy ingredients. Good fats and sugars ahoy!
The Beach House additions to this recipe were mainly nutty. Almonds to be exact, although pecan and cashews would be lovely also. We used soaked almonds here, the soaking brings out the nutrients and also makes them nice and plump and soft, ready for blending. Soak your nuts! It helps.
Cacao powder is a great investment, a little costly, but a small spoonful goes a long way. It is surprisingly chocolaty and opens a doorway into much sweet experimentation. Contrary to popular misconception, vegan ice cream can be rich and we’ve turned to the old favourite, avocado, to give things that creamy richness that diary normally would.
Cacao or Cocoa?
Cacao is not cocoa, cocoa is not cacao. They are very similar in every way, which can be confusing, but one way they differ greatly is nutritionally. Cacao is raw, meaning not heated to an extent that fragile enzymes and nutrients are destroyed, cocoa is heated (although still very tasty). Raw chocolate is brilliant for the body (in moderation) and big slab of Cadbury’s just ain’t so great.
Try to buy organic with your cacao, they use a load of pesticides and bad things in cacao growing. There’s no point going healthy and opting for a chemical cocktail, it will probably be the matter of a few pennies more.
The bananas here, and in general, should be getting towards brown. Some brown spots and a nice soft banana is important. They will be alot sweeter and better for you (I won’t bore you with the science of it this time, see the ‘Foodie Fact’ for that). Most places sell bananas way to early, meaning we eat them far too early. We try and buy bananas a week in advance so they are nicely ripened when we get around to them. Bananas are an essential part of any healthy foodies diet. They are so packed with sugar and can add super sweetness to all kinds of things. No added sugar required when a banana is in town. It is a nice idea to keep some bananas (and fruit in general) chopped and ready in the freezer. It keeps them fresh and is perfect for making smoothies etc.
This recipe is so easy to prepare, no need for an ice cream blender (which is surely a dust trap/ counter clutterer waiting to happen). It just needs a little stirring and a freezer and you have a gorgeous, very chocolaty ice cream.
You may like to add even more chocolate to this recipe, just bash up a bar of your favourite dark chocolate or add cacao nibs for the healthier touch. This adds some nice crunchy bits, as does the almonds. If you like a smoother ice cream, just blend for longer.
1 cup soaked almonds (overnight), 1 ripe avocado, 2 large frozen bananas (chopped up), 1/4 cup cacao powder, pinch good sea salt (we use halen mon tahitian vanilla sea salt), 1 tsp maple syrup/ honey, 3 tbsp bashed up dark chocolate or cacao nibs (for serious chocolate fiends only)
Blend up the almonds first for a minute then add your banana, avocado and salt using a food processor until smooth. Chop up the rest of the almonds into rough looking pieces and stir them through with cacao powder until well combined. Add maple syrup/ honey. Stir through chocolate chunks/ cacao chips if using.
Pour into an old ice cream container, or something of those dimensions. Stir every 30 minutes or so, breaking up frozen bits and mixing until smooth. Do this approximately four times if you can. You may also like to dust off and put into use your ice cream maker here.
Set out for 15 or 20 minutes to soften slightly before using, it is easier to scoop this way. Sharing is optional.
We had ours with blueberries and chopped banana, with a little more chopped almonds on top.
We Love It!
The texture of this ice cream is so rich and has a lovely smooth nuttiness. We cannot believe how healthy and delicious it is, we will be making more of this. Alot more.
When bananas ripen proto-pectin is converted into digestible, soluble pectin and starch is also converted into sugars of which 20% is glucose, 14% is fructose and the remaining 66% is sucrose.
Bananas give off a large amount of ethylene, which helps fruits ripen. If you have any fruits that need ripening, pop them in a bowl with the bananas and wait a day. They use this ethylene to turn green oranges orange. Many people don’t like the look of a green orange, even though they are ripe. We do funny things with our food!
Bananas also contain our happy friend trytophan, that converts to serotonin and makes us shine. See our ‘Mood Foods….’ post for more info on happy veggie foods.