chocolate banana raspberry nice cream

I'm going to write a quick post here, because I'm in grad school and #busy. However, I can't help but share this lovely, healthy treat with you all. This is a super simple chocolate ice cream creation where blended frozen bananas are the leading ladies. This is similar to the blackberry version of 'nice cream' I wrote about earlier this year, however after a little tweaking and testing various configurations ( I'm embarrassed to say there was an attempt with baileys liquor) this is so far my absolute favorite.

chocolate banana raspberry nice cream
chocolate banana raspberry nice cream

chocolate banana raspberry nice cream

ingredients
2 ripe bananas that have been frozen for 4+ hours  
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup almond milk (or regular)

*optional toppings
frozen raspberries
coconut flakes

instructions

Note: I used my nutribullet (this post is not sponsored by them because well, I'm #smalltime). But I do highly recommend this device in the kitchen. I use it for smoothies, pesto, soups, and blended cocktails!)

1. Freeze your overripe bananas right when they are getting brown and spotty on the outside, using them at this stage will really sweeten the deal.
2.Peel and cut the bananas into small pieces and put into a tupperware or wrap in parchment paper and put into a ziplock bag. Freeze for at least four hours. 
3.After freezing, separate the banana pieces as much as you can before blending with the almond milk, if the blender stalls, add a little more milk, or let the bananas thaw slightly.

Next, add the cocoa powder and peanut butter. This is by far the best right away, but you totally can stick it back into the freezer for later, just let it thaw for 5-10mins before digging in!

ginger spice ice cream sandwiches

I can't believe such perfect cookies for ice cream sandwiches came out of my oven. These are super soft and chewy which makes them an ideal ice cream sandwich partner and the sugar coating gives them a nice crunch. I am a sucker for spiced treats in the fall, so I really went for it with the ginger and cinnamon here, but feel free to use at your own discretion. You can freeze these and whip them out at dinner parties for oohs and ahhs.  The cookies are very simple and the ice cream only has two ingredients: bananas and cinnamon. 

soft ginger ice cream cookie sandwiches

put down the phone

All I ask is that when you eat these, please put away all your distractions. Turn off the TV, computer, and phone. Just take the time to only concentrate on this amazing cookie sandwich when you eat it. No one is so busy that they can't take 5 minutes to enjoy a treat, and only do that. I promise it will taste better if you take this advice. Just try it.

This recipe in concept was very heavily inspired by the wonderful folks at the minimalist baker who did an all vegan/gluten free version, and my bible: the cookiepedia by stacy adimando.  

ginger spice ice cream sandwiches

Makes: 4 Dozen Cookies
(or more if you make them tiny like me) 

cookies:
2 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 sugar (I like the course in the raw!) plus extra for rolling (it will change your life)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark molasses

ice cream:
5 ripe frozen bananas
4 tablespoons of cinnamon

note: you can swap in store bought ice cream. I ensure you these will still taste good! But really, try making banana ice cream, it is good.

instructions:

ice cream
If you are going to make your own banana ice cream, start now. Use bananas that are very ripe because they will taste a whole lot sweeter. Peel and cut the bananas into small pieces and put into a tupperware or wrap in parchment paper, or put into a ziplock bag. Freeze for at least four hours or overnight. After freezing, separate the pieces as much as you can before blending, if the blender stalls, add a little water or milk, or let the bananas thaw slightly. Then add your cinnamon (or get creative). Next put the banana ice cream back into the freezer until hard (probably 2-3 hours depending on your freezer). 

fall spice cookies
Combine all the dry ingredients into a medium bowl and set aside. Cream the sugars and butter together, this works best with a mixer, but by hand will work as well. Add the vanilla and egg and mix well, then add the molasses and mix until combined.  Cover the dough for 15-20 mins in the fridge.  Preheat the oven to 325F. Pour some extra raw sugar into a small bowl, I also added a pinch of sea salt to this mix. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch -1 inch balls and then roll them around in the sugar/salt mix. Bake for 8-10mins at 325 (don't overcook so they stay soft). 

Assemble the cookies by freezing the cookies for about 15min-20min or until completely cold and hard. Let the ice cream soften just slightly. Then scoop and assemble! 
 

 

brussel sprout mini galettes w/balsamic caramelized leeks

These mini galettes are a flavor battleground between balsamic caramelized leeks, mushrooms, crunchy roasted beets, and tangy blue cheese.  Of course I added in an obscene amount of rosemary because its fresh, growing abundantly around Portland and smells so freaking good in my hands, kitchen, and galette.  

brussel mini galette

what kind of hungry are you?

In my own experience eating well is not about militantly avoiding certain foods. It is about respecting your true biological hunger. It's about taking the time for yourself, when you eat to really ask, how hungry am I? 

Getting in touch with your true physical hunger is probably both the hardest, and the most transformative part of mindful eating. Jan Chozen Bays argues there are actually seven different types of hunger. In her book “Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food”:  eye hunger, nose hunger, mouth hunger, stomach hunger, mind hunger, cellular hunger, and heart hunger.  

If you just read all seven of those types of hunger, and you are like me, you might be thinking:  wow I have not paid nearly enough attention, and what the heck is eye hunger. I encourage you to check out her book, she gives great advice about how to really listen to your body and your emotions to achieve a very nuanced awareness of what is motivating you to eat. But, in the meantime while you wait for your Amazon prime delivery, I'll explain the short version of why this is important.

 Most people have a desire to eat and therefore think, "I am hungry" which is not always true. You could be nervous, excited, bored, enticed by a smell or picture, but when you actually take a moment to become aware of your physical signs of hunger, you may discover that you are not hungry at all or even really full. In order to eat the types of food and quantity that your body truly needs, paying attention to your hunger before you eat is paramount.

You can start thinking more deeply about your hunger with this zinger of a mini brussell galette. I guarantee you that you'll enjoy it more if you bite in when you're body actually needs fuel!

Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
3⁄4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces butter, very cold
1⁄2 cup ice cold water

Filling
3 small leeks
6-8 mushrooms
4 cups brussel sprouts (diced into 1/4 wedges)
1/2 cup of blue cheese
2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar  
1-2 springs fresh rosemary
salt
basil to garnish

1. Make the galette crust by first combining the flour and salt. (Pro-tip: keeping the flour and bowl very cold can help with the crust end-result). Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal - work as quickly as you can so that the butter does not warm up. Add the ice water and form the dough gently until it comes together - DON'T OVERMIX (#1 pasty rule) Wrap the dough ball in plastic and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes (or you can be like me and make multiple batches to freeze up to three months)

2. Preheat the oven to 375. Bake the brussel sprouts w/a little coconut oil for about 15-20 mins until they brown on top.  In the meantime dice the leeks into small disks and the slice the mushrooms into similar sized pieces. Saute the leeks in coconut oil and balsamic on medium heat for about 5 mins until soft, then add in the mushrooms and a few pinches of salt.  Saute from about 10 min longer, drain excess liquid (you don't want your galette to get watery!) Then add in the blue cheese to your leek/mushroom mix. 

3. To make the pastry, cut the dough into 6-8 equal pieces and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. I have these fun pastry pans, but you can make a galette right on a baking sheet as well. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled baking surface or parchment paper. Add in the leeks mixture, then the brussel sprout and top with the fresh rosemary. Bake for about 20-30min until the crust is turning golden brown. 

Optional: Use a pizza stone, this helps the galette crust stay firm and crispy on the bottom.