My mother, may she rest in peace, could eat a kilogram of ice cream in record speed. Think inhale! Any flavor – didn’t matter. As long as it was ice cream. She was the easiest date to please, claimed my father, OBM. Just take her to an ice cream parlor and keep ordering. Also, the best date, or so he said, because she never argued with him or demanded anything. Her mouth was otherwise occupied. If it wasn’t ice cream, it was chocolate. In fact, she agreed to be introduced to him for two kilos of chocolates that a girlfriend promised her. The girlfriend’s cousin was my dad’s classmate, who, in turn got the promised two kilos from – you got it! – my dad. Every year at their wedding anniversary, I heard how my dad bought my mom for two kilos of chocolate. She had been sixteen, tiny and slender, and he seventeen, tall and handsome, and the rest was history.
I have always loved chocolate but disliked ice cream which was something my mother could never understand. To get me, a four – five year old, into an ice cream parlor where she could enjoy herself, she had to guarantee that they would have for me “a double” – chocolate ice cream with chocolate topping. Since you couldn’t guarantee anything in those times (it was like playing the three-shell swindle – here you have it, here you don’t!), I had to put my little foot down and stipulate the conditions: if they don’t have it, we don’t stay. We go across the street and raid the chocolates store. Little did I understand that I was depriving my poor mom of her treat!
To make up for that memory and to do something nice for my husband who also loves ice cream, I created this double chocolate, non-dairy, no added sugar, gluten-free, very healthy and totally scrumptious banana – dates – mint ice cream.
Just like there are no bad kids, there are no bad bananas. When your bananas start going overripe, throw them in the freezer. Wrap them separately and collect them because there is a multitude of recipes where you can put them to good use, but they all require different number of bananas. I had four of them collected, so I sort of adjusted everything to that. I always have pitted Medjool dates on hand, and if you don’t stop me, they won’t live long enough to be used for anything but sneaking and snacking. We also need unsweetened cocoa powder and just a little of soy or coconut milk. You can try almond or rice milk, but I doubt you’ll get the same consistency and flavor.
I use sugar free chocolate chips or, sometimes, carob chips and fresh frozen mint. I also grind some walnuts into powder, to thicken it and to imbue it with a nice nutty flavor. You might want to replace walnuts with ground almonds or coconut flakes.
Before you do anything, unwrap your bananas and let them defrost a bit. First you have to grind walnuts into powder, then add dates and mint and process them together. Meanwhile, your bananas are ready to play, so you add them to the food processor bowl, as well as soy or coconut milk and cocoa powder. Pulse until you get really smooth creamy consistency, and don’t forget to scrape the sides of the bowl.
So I was all ready to divide it into individual portions, but I had to taste it, of course! I tasted. And tasted. And tasted… That was a very filling, nutritious lunch, beautiful people! I did have enough left for six portions, though.
I have these old demitasse cups that we hardly ever take out, so I put them to good use. I portioned out my ice cream, topped it with chocolate chips, and put it into the freezer. Of course when the little munchkin grandkids come to visit, I use small paper cups they can hold in their grubby little paws, squeeze up and lick rather than bother with a spoon. Note: lolly-pop molds are not a bad idea, but when the little ones are around, it’s a lost cause!
- 4 overripe frozen bananas
- 15 dates, preferably Medjool
- 1 cup walnuts, ground
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup soy or coconut milk
- 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- Sugar free chocolate or carob chips for garnishing
- Partially defrost bananas.
- Grind walnuts into fine powder.
- Add dates and mint, pulse together until dates are fully processed.
- Add milk substitute and cocoa powder. Pulse until very smooth consistency.
- Portion out into separate cups or small bowls, garnish with chocolate or carob chips.
- Freeze for at least two hours before serving.