So being a vegan is sometimes… difficult. There, I said it. I’m used to disputing my food choices with scumbag foodies, so all the debating is just a matter of sticks and stones these days. Besides, those whom I eat with on a regular basis are used to it by now. My dad calls me a rabbit (because, apparently, we vegans eat only what’s to be found in Mr. McGregor’s garden), but it actually works out rather well for most of my close friends and family (gone are the days of me stealing my husband’s last slice of pizza, or all the pink jelly babies).
But I’m not immune to cravings. Heck, I miss pizza and jelly babies. Ordering cheese-less pizza has (somewhat) become a palatable substitute, and I have been ordering boxes of vegetarian Percy Pigs from the UK to get my sweet fix. But, it has to be said: Vegan imitations of non-vegan foods are sometimes—just sometimes—not the same. And my worst craving of all has been summer’s staple food group: ice-cream.
If I had an ice-cream maker and some patience, I would try a recipe like this one which, I am sure, is absolutely delectable. But unfortunately I am a just-out-of-college 20-something, living almost entirely on toast and canned beans, so buying an ice-cream maker is not exactly super high on my priority list (and yes, I did shed a single tear over that sentence). And I do, occasionally, have the odd $5 to spare, so recently I thought I’d give myself some love and buy some vegan-friendly ice-cream. Oh, I thought I’d struck gold when I walked out of Von’s with a pint of pecan-fudge-macchiato coconut milk ice-cream, but honestly? It wasn’t worth it. Kinda tasted like churned-up cardboard.
Especially when I soon found I could make something even tastier at one-fifth of the price. After seeing my Instagram feed blow up with pictures of banana “nice cream,” I decided to try it out for myself. In fact, I was so delighted with my creation that I ruined our group viewing of “The Conjuring” by smacking my lips with glee every time I guzzled a spoonful. I’m not saying you can make a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra out of a few bananas and a splash of almond milk, but you will make a frozen dessert that doesn’t feel like an awkward substitute.
… Trust me, it even passed the boyfriend test.
This recipe has been altered slightly from one at This Rawsome Vegan Life—definitely one to bookmark!
- 3 ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup almond milk (or other plant-based milk—hazelnut is a dream!)
- Peel the bananas and slice them thickly. Place them in a Zip-loc bag and freeze for at least two hours (ideally overnight).
- Put the frozen bananas in the blender or food processor, add a little milk, and start to pulse the bananas together. At first they will look crumbly– use a wooden spoon to scrape the mixture down and loosen it up periodically. After a while, the bananas will start to turn creamy and custardy, like soft-serve ice cream.
- Serve right away or store in the freezer in a lidded container.
- A sachet of organic cocoa-hazelnut spread is utterly amazing and feels super-decadent. And adding some good-quality cocoa powder makes it even more chocolatey!
- Try other frozen fruit– frozen mango and pineapple work seriously well.
- Add a bit of frozen spinach for a tasty way to get more greens into your diet.
- Chopped nuts add texture, while a drizzle of honey once it’s blended will add a sweeter dimension.