Banana Ice Cream & Candied Pecans


Slowness-to-cotton-on-to-worldwide-human-trends is a personal trait I flaunt with no shame. It’s generally accompanied by a quiet smugness that lets you watch everyone else get all excited by a new trend, while you hold off and then watch it burn out. Then just when everyone else is nearly done with it, you jump on board and get to enjoy it all as if it were brand new. Because it is – to you.

Flares, fringes, mobile phones, skinny jeans, cronuts (I actually still haven’t yet tried one of these magical creations), frappuccinos, smartphones, apps of every kind (I only joined instagram a couple of months ago) and…. vegan ice cream made from bananas.

Image result for frozen banana

Ignorance… Is it blissful?

You are no doubt well-informed peeps and already know all about frozen banana ice cream. Indeed I must have read about it somewhere in every blog, food magazine and recipe website on a near weekly basis for the past few years – freeze bananas, whip em up and hey presto – ice cream! This concept seemed to drift across the front of my eyes, slowing down for a few seconds as it passed across my thought process and then disappearing again as I no doubt scoffed and unconsciously dismissed the notion as a sad attempt to find an alternative to ice-cream.

Image result for frozen banana ice cream

I make no bones about this – I like ice cream. A lot. So much so that I have an aversion to ice-cream that simply does not come up to scratch. In other words, I am an ice-cream snob. I will reject anything that fails on texture, flavour or which is too airy, too rich (yes it is most definitely possible) or screams of synthetic flavours (vanilla essence, I’m looking at you)

Satisfying me with vegan alternatives is, you see, a tough task.

Avocado Based Ice-Cream… Big Liars

Avocado based ice-cream does not do it for me and after getting all excited about the release of an Irish avocado based ice-cream in a certain national supermarket in recent months and forking out 7 euro (reckless spending of moolah on my part!)… I was grossly disappointed. Never again people.

A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones – taught me otherwise

Banana ice-cream, however, has won me over, heart and soul. Creamy, rich, delicious.

I mentioned in my last post that I recently got my hands on Anna Jones’ cookbook A Modern Way to Cook and contained therein is a recipe for banana ice-cream. I had a go, I polished off the bowl and I am now a committed banana ice-cream fiend.

Image result for frozen banana ice cream

Get your frozen banana pieces (chop em up before you freeze them) and chuck em in a blender with a few dried dates, a splash of vanilla essence (not too much or you’ll end up with an overpowering forced vanilla flavour….or use a vanilla pod if you have it) and a dash of cinnamon – whip it up and boom, you’re away with the ice-cream fairies. Don’t have to be too exact with the amounts – it’s whatever balance suits your tastes best.

An even better addition is a teaspoon of coconut cream if you have some around, it adds a beautiful creamy, rich texture to the ice-cream.

The candied pecans are the perfect accompaniment but you don’t have to if you don’t like pecans or are just too impatient to be messing about with nuts and frying pans. They are very quick to rustle up though and are absolutely worth it if you ask me.

For Your Nuts.. 

Toss 20 grams of roughly chopped (not too small, mind you) pecans into a pan over a medium heat and toast for a few minutes until you can get that lovely roasted nut smell. Shake them about and don’t be letting them catch. Burnt nuts are a tragic thing.

Add 1 tsp of maple or golden syrup (because this is Ireland and maple syrup is a challenge to locate…) and let it cook for a minute. Remove to a sheet of baking parchment and let cool.

Image result for candied pecans

Endless Possibilities…

Chocolate chips, peanut butter, dessicated coconut, a splash of rum…. the possibilities are endless for what you could chuck into the blender to change up the recipe according to your mood or taste preferences. Have fun people, there’s always more bananas…

Health Benefits

Apart from taste and sheer foodie enjoyment, this ice-cream is also a perfect food for runners – it’s basically just banana and dates whizzed up – so all carbs, low in fat and easily digestible. Great energy food. AND it’s a great way to use up ageing bananas and using up leftovers. So no look – you’re saving the environment, keeping your running energy levels in good nick, looking after your health AND it tastes yum. What more can I say?

I said that this ice-cream was worthy of its own blog post and I mean it. It’s bloody good and so easy – so you’ve no excuse not to give it a go. I spent years ignoring media telling me to make ice-cream out of bananas and now I can only rue those lost banana ice-cream eating years.

My wisdom to you.

Image result for banana
From the most simple things can come the tastiest, most unctuous, tongue slapping, lip smacking, take-me-away-to-a-dessert-island desserts. Nuf said.

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