Saturday, March 15, 2014

dairy-free strawberry banana ice cream with flambeed bananas

Three Ingredients. Three minutes. Strawberry Banana Ice Cream. It's elementary Watson. Do you know why bananas are the best curved fruits on the planet? Well besides the fact that you can bake banana breads and banana cream pies with them, they're also perfect for making creamy, thick, luscious ice cream. Finally a healthy and fun way to get the family to eat their fruits (I've got nothing for those icky vegetables). And for you foreigners and babies who did not understand the title, yes, this is dairy-free. So how do we make a dairyless ice cream? I'm glad you asked. 

Through magic culinary voodoo we're about to turn an ordinary tropical fruit into a cold and creamy dessert. Yup, who knew pureed frozen bananas could make such thick and satisfyingly rich ice cream. I did. Okay, now you do too. This recipe basically calls for only three ingredients. Two of which you probably guessed were strawberries and bananas. And you might be thinking to yourself, this is probably one of those yucky healthy recipes that those vegans came up with on their hippie buses to world peace, but I can assure to you that only half of that is true. Yes this dessert is 100% animal exclusive, but no it taste just like a creamy ice cream or sorbet you get from the store. So follow me to creamy heaven as we make the healthiest, surprisingly tastiest ice cream we've made on this blog to date. 

So like I said before, the only ingredients you're going to need are strawberries and bananas. A little sugar if you think you need it. However, I think the key with all vegan dishes is not so much the ingredients, but the equipment, and for this ice cream all you're going to need is a food processor. 

The first step is to chop up some bananas. If you know your food processor is not the strongest, you might want to cut the bananas into smaller chunks. However a good blender should be able to withstand quartered sections of fruit. If you don't mind sacrificing a large plastic bag, you can put the bananas in one which will make it a lot easier to transfer into the blender once it's frozen. If you're a miser like me, you can just put them in a large bowl. Freeze for at least 6 hours, or even better overnight. If you don't wait long enough you're bananas won't turn into creamy ice cream.

Next are the strawberries. Don't wait until strawberries are expensive to make this recipe. When you see a sale, on any fruit you like, buy a bunch of it and freeze it so you have in-season fruit all year long. It just so happens I still have a lot of strawberries from last week's Roasted Strawberry Tart so I guess ya'll are stuck with that. However, you can make this with any fruit you wanted, blueberries, raspberries, mango, the procedure is still the same. Take four cups of frozen strawberries and some sugar and let that sit on the countertop until most of the water has run out of the fruit. This will take some time, I would say a couple hours but don't rush it. Your bananas still have to freeze anyways. While your bananas are freezing and your strawberries macerating, might as well put your ice cream container into the freezer as well to keep cool. 

Flash forward to tomorrow. I have my dual blade food processor ready on the counter, my frozen ice cream container off camera, and my bananas thawing ever so slightly so I can get them out of the bowl. I need to drain the strawberries, but if you want you can reserve the liquid that the strawberries left behind, reduce it over the stove and use it as a strawberry sauce. Or you can forget to reserve it and pour it all down the drain like some stupid idiot (nice going Aaron). 

Anyways, puree the strawberries until they are smooth, you can leave some chunks if desired. Then add the frozen bananas and watch the magic unfold before your very eyes. Blend it on 5 second intervals scraping down to make sure the bananas get fully blended. Work quickly cause this is ice cream after all. Transfer it to your airtight container and freeze until you're ready to serve. But we're not done yet. 

We need to flambee some bananas. Truth be told this ice cream is not the sweetest. And unless you're using the freshest, ripest, bestest fruit that is available it'll never be as sweet as you would be expecting with a store bought pint. That's why we need something to give it that oomph that still perpetuates the facade that we're eating a dessert, not our fruits. All you need to do is slice some bananas on the bias, this ensures that we get the widest surface area of sugar to banana ratio. I just laid them on a rack over a pan. Sprinkle on some brown sugar. And torch it up. Flambee, which means "flamed" in french, is not only fun to do, but it'll add a necessary textural and flavor component to our ice cream that it is surely lacking. Lastly we plate up. 

I know in the picture I only garnished with a couple of bananas but I was in wrong. Don't misunderstand me, this dish is far beyond delicious, I just think those bananas really tie the bow on this dish. A side of whipped cream if you cared for, plus, mentally photoshop a vibrant red strawberry sauce drizzled over the top. If you're planning on eating the ice cream later on, take it out 10 minutes before to soften. This strawberry banana ice cream truly epitomizes the delicious, classic combination of strawberries and bananas because, well, its only strawberries and bananas. And if you're looking for a healthy delicious way to get the kids to eat their fruits this is the way to do it. Thank you all for reading this weeks shpeal. And as always, 


4 large, ripe bananas
4 cups frozen strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar

for Bruleed Bananas, bananas topped with brown sugar and torched

I just thought there weren't enough bananas on this blog. So I added one more pic.

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