Woohoo, Friday has finally come, and it's a long weekend! So, so excited. How did I start off this wonderful day you ask? Only with the most delicious breakfast! As you all know by now ice cream and cupcakes are my weakness. Love, love, love. Ever since going vegan though, it's one thing I've missed... however, last year when I first discovered the blogosphere, banana soft serve was one of the things that wowed me. I could not believe just how similar it resembles ice cream, from flavour to texture. What I love about it is that you can add anything you want to it to resemble your favourite non-vegan ice cream and it tastes' just like it!
This morning I decided I wanted to have peanut butter cup ice cream. However, seeing as I have made any late I decided I would use it's main ingredients peanut butter and chocolate (yes for someone who isn't a fan of chocolate it definitely wouldn't seem that way as it's been popping up all over my blog lately. I *cough blame Katie because her recipes always look so darn delicious, chocolate included. Last night when I went to the grocery store I even had to pick up some more cocoa powder, and usually that lasts' me a good couple of months, up to a year... this last tin lasted a good two months? Oi...
This banana soft serve was probably the best one I've made so far. I added two bananas this time instead of one (I was being a glutton, oh no), and the flavours were just perfect. With the added crunch from the carob chips and peanuts it was wonderful. I will definitely be making this combo again as it reminded me of a healthier version of a Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen (I've never been a fan of those because of the crunch peanuts... but this was wonderful).
Peanut Butter Buster Banana Soft Serve
Recipe by me
- 2 frozen bananas, large
- 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1-2 tbsp soy milk
- Carob chips - to taste, chopped
- Peanuts - to taste, chopped
In the bowl of your food processor add your soft-serve ingredients. Process until you've reach desired consistency. Do not over mix as you will get melted "ice cream".
*Note: start out with a smaller amount of milk, and add more as you need to to reach desired consistency.
I'm sure many of you have noticed that cashews have been used in a lot of my recipes lately. I've always loved cashews, seriously when I was younger I could sit and eat a whole can in one sitting... it's not to say that was the best decision I've ever made nutrition wise... but I sure enjoyed it while I was doing it. Nowadays however, I barely ever snack on nuts unless it's almonds or pistachios. I rather use nuts in sauces, nut butters, truffles, cookies or other forms of foods.
Yesterday I used cashews in a way I hadn't before. The other day, I used them in my Chocolate Coconut Kale Chips as a sauce and that I'd never tried before, needless to say it makes your treats super tasty which is why people do it often ;). .. of course there are other reasons as well. But, the other day when I came across for a cashew salad dressing I figured why not. I have a lot of cashews and I'm really enjoying using them in my cooking and not only in baking, it's a nice way to change things up.
The dressing was absolutely delicious. I'm not sure if I would classify it as a Caesar dressing (that's what the original recipe title was called), but it was good. Perhaps it is similar to Caesar, it's just been years since I've had that type of dressing, no exaggeration, I was never a fan, but I figured made out of cashews you can't go wrong ;).
Seeing as I haven't had a creamy dressing on my salad in ages this was definitely a treat. I couldn't get enough of it, and definitely wished I had packed more in my lunch. It really was delicious, and I'm almost positive that the dressing was what made my salad fill me up so quickly... however that didn't stop me from eating a whole mango and some cookies after, which we will get to soon!
Creamy Cashew Dressing
Recipe adapted slightly from here
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Drizzle over salad (mine was made up of spinach + 1 tomato + 1 baby cucumber + a huuuuge amount of baby carrots)
Will store in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Spiced Mixed Fruit Cookies
Recipe by me
Spiced Mix Fruit Truffles I got eight mini-sized cookies. They are the perfect size for an afternoon pick-me up. I really enjoy these cookies. They are not too sweet, they are packed with protein, fiber, iron, natural sugars, healthy grains, they're just delicious. I love this recipe too as it's a nice sized one, that it will give you a couple of cookies for some days to follow, after that you can change the flavours make a new batch and do it all over again. You don't have to freeze any, and they're good for you so you don't have to feel any remorse either ;).
When I first made the truffles there was an aroma emitted that I recognized, it was sweet, fruity and just... something that was similar but my brain and my nose didn't want to cooperate in identifying this mysteriously beautiful smell. It didn't occur to me what the smell was like until they were baked in the cookies and out of the oven. When I took the cookies out of the oven, I was reminded of my childhood Christmas'. I thought immediately of shortbread cookies, and that's what the smell was! There may not of been pounds of butter in these cookies, but they smelt identical to my mom's shortbread cookies. Needless to say I couldn't wait to taste them. The dough definitely had a shortbread-like consistency and the taste was very, very similar as well. I was quite impressed with what I had made, and I can't wait to see what other flavour pairings will be made in the future.
Spiced Mixed Fruit Truffles
- 1/3 cup cashews
- 2 dates
- 6 tbsp dried plums
- 3 tbsp dried apricots
- 3 tbsp dried cherries
- 1/3 cup wheat bran
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2-1 tbsp real maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
By now you should know what to do with your truffles, if not here we go.
Process your cashews in your food processor until tiny pieces are left... be careful not to over process or you may end up with cashew butter... which isn't a bad thing either.
Put your cashews aside. Add the rest of the ingredients, process until a ball forms. Add your cashews, process again.
Roll your nut/fruit/spice mixture small balls, I got 15 out of my batch.
Shortbread-esk like Cookies
- 5 tbsp WW flour
- 5 tbsp spelt flour
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp coconut sap
- 1 1/2 tsp cane sugar
- 2 tbsp soy milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients, then add wet and mix with a fork.
Get your dough and wrap it around your truffles. The truffles should be completely covered, if you can't completely cover it, allow the bottom to show, don't worry it won't burn. Smush them down JUST a tiny bit.
Cook for 7-9 minutes. I like mine a little bit on the raw-er side so they don't get hard and still remain sort of "un-cooked".
What are your favourite ways to add some zing to your banana soft serve?