Mint and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mint and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

A bit of a play on a recipe with this one.  A superfood dessert which tastes like a creamy ice cream, but is dairy free and packed full of highly nutritious ingredients.  Excellent for when you need that sweet fix after a meal, or just at anytime of the day, but don’t want to load up on sugar.

It should really be known as Banana and Spirulina Ice Cream, but it tastes like such a wonderful mint and choc chip I don’t think many would guess!

Ingredients

  • 4 frozen bananas, as ripe as possible
  • 2-3 drops pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. spirulina
  • Handful raw cacao chips

Ripe bananas are better for you to eat than unripe bananas because the starches are fully developed into sugars, which make the fruit easier to digest.

Spirulina is a highly nutritious blue-green algae, high in protein and amino acids, including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA). It is rich in minerals, vitamins, beneficial pigments and antioxidants, and is the richest beta carotene food, with a full spectrum of 10 mixed carotenoids. It is also rich in chlorophyll, fatty and nucleic acids and lipids.

Method

  1. Peel very ripe bananas, slice and freeze them in a freezer bag.
  2. Using a food processor, blend the frozen bananas along with the peppermint extract and spirulina.
  3. When it’s looking like breadcrumbs, empty into a large mixing bowl and with a wooden spoon, start stirring and mixing. This starts the break down the edges for the frozen crumbs and before you know it, forms a smooth, ‘soft-serve’ ice cream.
  4. Add the raw cacao chips and mix in, then serve straight away.

If you’re making the ice cream ahead of time, then place the ice cream into a tupperware and freeze until needed.  It will need about 5 or so minutes to thaw a little before serving again.

You can find Spirulina and Raw Cacao Chips at Holland and Barrett.

Sweet Potato and Date Brownies

It’s Healthy Eating Week, which has inspired Bethan, our newest member of the team, to try a slightly different bake.  A healthy chocolate brownie, perhaps not the most obvious choice!

The past few weeks has led to a lot of research into wellbeing foods, eating less sugar and the latest cooks to grab the nations eye, Deliciousy Ella, Hemsley & Hemsley, and Madeleine Shaw are but a few.  I found this recipe on Twitter (from Deliciously Ella), where else would you go to now for the latest recipes(?!) and decided to give it a go with a little tweak.  Very simple and quick to put together, it has a wonderful squidgy soft centre, like the best brownies and is rather tasty.  It lacks the sugar high and intensity of a traditional brownie, it has no added sugar, but is packed full of vitamins and antioxidants in the sweet potato.  So a sweet treat that is good for you, why not try!

Ingredients

  • 500g of peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 100g plain flour
  • 20 dates (stoned)
  • 100g dark chocolate (use one that is 85%)
  • 3tbsps maple syrup

Method

  • preheat the oven to 180°C and line a square baking dish with greaseproof paper.
  • place the prepared sweet potato into a steamer for about 20 minutes, until the potato is really soft.  If you don’t have a steamer you can pop a colander over a pan of simmering water, the sweet potato in the colander, with a lid on top, to get the same effect.
  • whizz the dark chocolate in a food processor until it is has formed a chocolate ‘dust’, then pop to one side in a mixing bowl.
  • place the dates into the food processor (no need to wipe clean from the chocolate) and add the soft, slightly falling apart steamed sweet potato.  Whizz up to form a rather creamy puree.
  • Combine this puree with the dark chocolate in the mixing bowl, along with the flour, ground almonds and maple syrup.
  • place the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and dry.
  • allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before eating, the brownies need this time to stick together properly it seems.  Then cut up into squares and enjoy!

I found that the brownies lasted for a fair few days in a cake tin and look even more appetising with a dusting of raw cacao on top.