Pic: (Clockwise from the top: baobab, chocolate (cacao) & acai berry ice-cream
Can you make healthy ice-cream in under 5 mins? YES! All you need is a frozen sliced banana & a strong blender*. You get a suprising creamy texture from blended frozen banana which is as decadent as conventional ice-cream. (And you don’t need to stir the mix repeatedly either!). This is also a great way of using up ripe bananas in your fruit bowl.
*NB: some fellow foodies have contacted me about how powerful their blender needs to be. The one I use is my (twenty-five pounds!) Andrew James Powerful 700 Watt DC Motor Hand Blender. If you are making large quantities though, I have an Enpee professional blender which is very powerful & much cheaper than the very beautiful Vitamix professional blender. (I love the red one!).
This ice-cream is not only healthy, sugar-free & low in calories, but fat-free & dairy-free & hence suitable for vegans & the health conscious. You only need two ingredients & 5 minutes.
Sounds too good to be true? I have taken lots of photos to prove how simple it is! Just before I show you how it’s done, here’s some background about the superfood powders…
Baobab powder is made from the ground pulp of ‘the tree of life’ a tree native to Africa.
Ground baobab has a delicious tangy citrus flavour, is packed with vitamin C, fibre & anti-oxidants, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc & vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, B7; nutrients to give you an energy boost, support the immune system & reduce fatigue.
Cacao or raw chocolate is packed with over 1,500 chemicals which promote good health. Wow! It is a great food to incorporate in your diet for two reasons. Firstly, it one of the richest anti-oxidant foods in the world (10 times more than blueberries!). Secondly, it contains minerals, especially magnesium & calcium, both of which are important in cardiovascular health. (The deep colour of cacao is due to this high concentration of protective antioxidant plant pigments!).
Cacao powder is a convenient form for this raw chocolate to be incorporated into recipes, from smoothies, to ice-cream to cakes.
What’s acai berry powder?
Acai berries are dark purple blueberry looking fellows grown in the Amazon. They are one of the healthiest berries you can eat.
Acai berries are full of anti-oxidants, so protect against free radicals, important for a healthy cardiovascular system. They also reduce blood cholestrol levels, promote healthy skin & deliver an energy burst. Acai berries are also rich in vitamin C & ellagic acid, an immune-system-boosting combination reputed to help protect against cancer.
Ground into a powder, acai berry powder can be easily mixed into smoothies, yoghurt, breakfast bowls & ice-cream. This powder tastes of berries with the depth of chocolate. YUM!
Preparation time: 5 mins (assuming you have frozen peeled banana slices)
Baobab ice-cream: 1 large frozen banana, 1.5 tbsp baobab powder
Cacao ice-cream: 1 large frozen banana, 1.5tbsp cacao powder
Acai berry ice-cream: 1 large frozen banana, 1.5tbsp acai berry powder
Freeze your banana. Here are some tips:
Ripe bananas are best.
Peel & slice the banana before freezing them (otherwise it is hard to unpeel & slice).
Put the slices in a freezer bag so that they do not overlap too much, to minimise clumps of frozen banana for the blender blades to deal with. See pic. (I re-use the freezer bag for the next frozen banana to minimise waste!)
To make the ice cream:
Simply whizz the superfood powder of choice with the frozen banana.
Initially the mixture looks unpromising; chunks of banana covered in powder, but keep going. First it will first transform into a breadcrummy-like mixture, then these little ‘breadcrumbs’ start to stick together. Then, like magic, a whizz or 2 later, you get creamy thick ice-cream! Enjoy!
Baobab ice cream (follow the photo story!)
Cacao ice cream (follow the photo story!)
Acai berry ice cream
(I’ve tried to capture the creamy texture & how stiff the ice-cream is-in the first photo, the spoon is actually standing upright in the ice cream!) .
You can use fresh fruit instead of superfruit powder. In which case, use 3/4 cup of fresh fruit.
If you wanted it sweeter, you can add a tiny bit of honey, but I find the sweetness from the bananas (especially if ripe), is more than enough.
Don’t forget you can find my favourite recipes in my FREE eBook here.