The other night after dinner my daughter asked me if we could make a dessert. It had been a glorious day of sunshine and warmth and a family bike ride so it seemed appropriate to make some ice cream. I don't know about your home but ice cream is always a hit in our home. Not just with the kids!
Now when there is a dairy sensitivity tossed into the mix it makes things a little more complicated. Over the years, I have cultivated this love of making vegan ice creams. I dream of owning a vegan ice cream shop or truck or cart someday. Can you imagine those creepy ice cream trucks (or at least the ones here in the city are awful creepy looking) replaced with vibrant colors and fun music, and the best part....vegan ice cream. Wow. To me that would be a little slice of heaven.
Well until that truck makes its way into my budget or into my town I am left coming up with creative dairy free desserts for my kiddos in my own kitchen. The other night I decided to play with creating vegan banana splits. My girls were so excited to help create a new dessert and by the way they ate it with hardly taking a breathe between bites, I'd say they were pretty darn good.
Banana Split (Dairy-free style)
Step 1) I made this delicious ice cream that I previously posted on the blog. I used strawberries because it's what I have left of the freezer from last summer. Cherries, peaches, or raspberries would be quite fabulous as well.
Step 2) I cut a banana in half. (I gave each of my girls half of a banana cut in half because my little one tends to get a bit constipated with to much banana). I think next time we make these I will caramelize the bananas in the toaster oven, simply for the sake of something different.
Step3) I melted some coconut oil in the toaster oven. Coconut oil is hard at room temperature (or at least until summer hits and the temperature in our house soars). Once the oil liquified I added some cocoa powder and sweetener and stirred until it was well combined. I substituted carob powder for the girls, I mean it was after dinner and close to bed time...I've learned my lesson the hard way about how the caffeine in chocolate affects my girls. For the sweetener I used raw honey, which makes it not truly vegan so if you don't use honey other options might be agave, pure maple syrup, or a less refined granulated sugar. More to come at a later post on sweeteners....
The really neat thing about using coconut oil is that when it cools it becomes hard. I don't know about you, but one of my favorite ice cream toppings as a kid was that Hard Shell Chocolate stuff. I loved it. The above simple recipe creates an easy, 3 ingredient, hard shell chocolate topping. YUM!
Step 4) I built my banana split. I scooped some strawberry ice cream in between the banana halves. I drizzled the chocolate/carb sauce on the ice cream. I topped it with some shredded coconut and carb chips. Viola'.
Step 5). Our family of 4 savored and enjoyed every single, delicious bite!