Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream [VEGAN]

So, apparently, it might reach 100 in NYC this weekend.

Until a few years ago, I was this really, in hindsight, stubborn person. I didn’t want to use an A/C for the mere fact that I didn’t want my utilities to skyrocket from June – September. ConEd already has me in enough of a vice grip! Props to my old roommate Emily (my first out of two roommates named Emily!) that sold me her old A/C for $20 about three years ago. If there are two things I love on a hot summer day, it’s that antiquated yet lovely box of coolness, and this ice cream.

Who knew throwing a few old bananas in the freezer and blending them could whip up a dessert so similar to a good soft serve ice cream? I used to roll my eyes at food bloggers gushing love about their “nice cream”. Eh. I’ll give them their due credit. They’re right. It’s fantastic! It’s also incredibly versatile. I felt like going the peanut butter route, and I had no regrets! (Plus, I had to use up the rest of my 1/8th empty jar of The Bee’s Knees, soooo…)

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This is about as simple and guiltless as a good dessert can get. Well, unless you’re allergic to peanuts. Then perhaps you may want to switch to almond butter or consider my Strawberry Granita instead. Haaa. Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered! No one wants to use their EpiPen post-dessert.

 

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Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream [VEGAN]
(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 2 small frozen bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen
– 1 tablespoon peanut (or other nut) butter, slightly melted

Before We Get Started…

– ALWAYS PEEL YOUR BANANAS BEFORE FREEZING. About nine times out of ten, I forget. My photos are indicative of that.

– Melt your nut butter in the microwave in 15 second spurts to get a smoother, runnier consistency that’s good for swirling.

Directions:

1.) Remove bananas from freezer and add to blender or food processor; blend until smooth.

2.) Pout into bowl and swirl in nut butter. Eat immediately or return to freezer to allow to set. Top with whatever your heart desires! (I love to glob on more peanut butter, myself.)

Banana Oat Bread

I have a true love / hate relationship with bananas. As an extremely picky eater through my childhood, I did not eat bananas regularly until I was 23. The reasoning? The little dark seeds in the middle. I know. That’s beyond reason. I’m even embarrassed to admit it. (Tales of my absurdly picky childhood eating habits may be visited, occasionally, at future juncture…)

sliced-bananas

Those scary dark seeds! (Photo courtesy of To Live & Diet in L.A. This is a great visual of more former torture. Haaa.) 

I gained my love of bananas in an odd way: In June 2008, I had a minor surgery. No big deal, just the removal of a benign football-sized tumor in my spleen. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ While I was holed up in a hospital bed for a few days, I was attached to a potassium drip…and it was one of the most painful experiences of my entire life. The solution is acidic. Imagining an incessant burning in your arm for four hours straight for four consecutive days. I was told I had low potassium levels, which was why I was being infused daily. I then decided that banana consumption was a much better option. I could not eat enough of them after my discharge! I was convinced they were my cure to all life’s ills. (Well, at least for that part of my life.)

A beautiful mess.

Growing up, however, I loved banana bread. Chunks of the fruit nor those black seeds were visible; out of sight, out of mind, I suppose. (Refer to the last sentence of my first paragraph. If my parents are reading this now, I’m sure they’re laughing hysterically.)  I found myself making it constantly, but as I’ve grown older and wiser about my eating habits, I look back on many of the recipes I had used and cringe a little. I find a typical recipe calls for a stick of butter, a cup of sugar, one to two cups of white flour, and sometimes added oils. Though I wouldn’t call my version the epitome of a healthy breakfast, I make it less of a guilty nosh with reduced sugar, plain Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and oats. I’ve tinkered with this recipe a lot over the few months…and dammit, I think I finally nailed it! WOOHOO!

Banana Oat Bread

Banana Oat Bread
(Serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:

– 3 ripe bananas
– 2 eggs, room temperature
– 1 & 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
– 1 cup rolled oats
– 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Before We Get Started…

– All-purpose flour can be used in place of white whole wheat flour, or a mix can be created with 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.

– I prefer brown sugar to white sugar in my bread, but white sugar can easily be substituted. I prefer Domino’s Pourable Brown Sugar for ease of mixing.

– I prefer to use a 9″ x 9″ pan to make my bread. Though it may not turn into a loaf in the tradition sense with this method, it works just fine. I find the denseness and texture do not differentiate between either two pans.

Directions: 

1.) Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease baking pan and set aside.

2.) In plastic bowl, smash peeled bananas with a fork until desired consistency. Add yogurt, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix until combined.

3.) In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chia seeds. Mix until combined.

4.) Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and gently fold / mix until combined.

5.) Add batter to greased pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center. Upon completion, remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 15 – 20 minutes on top of cooling rack. If using bread pan, gently remove from pan and place on cooling rack. If using 9″ x 9″ pan, slice into squares after initial cooling time; bread can be left in pan, if desired.

Banana Oat Bread