If you regularly entertain guests at home, you’re likely familiar with the challenge of feeding someone who has a food intolerance or lifestyle that eschews dairy, eggs, gluten and/or sugar. One course you now have covered: dessert. “This ice cream checks all the boxes, no matter what the restriction!” writes nutritionist Sarah Britton of this creamy banana almond soft-serve featured in her recently released cookbook, Naturally Nourished (Clarkson Potter, 2017). Within its colorful pages, she shows how to make wholesome meals using pantry staples and affordable produce—without the need for fancy equipment. Britton’s 80 recipes are loosely seasonal, but many, including this one, can be made year-round.
Blended from a base of frozen ripe bananas and almond butter, the soft-serve whips up not only fluffy, but tasty too. The fruit is ready to use when its skin sports brown spots, advises Britton, and if buying butter off the shelf, make sure it contains only nuts/seeds and salt. For added texture and flavor, toss in toasted and chopped almonds, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, cacao nibs, coconut chips, or even puffed grains like buckwheat and millet. “It’s also delicious with a sprinkling of chopped dark chocolate over the top!” adds the author.
Batches store well in the freezer and keep for up to two months, provided the ice cream’s surface is well covered and not exposed to air: “A layer of plastic wrap is perfect,” Britton notes. Simply whiz the ice cream briefly in a food processor just before serving to achieve that dreamy soft-serve consistency. Spa owners can even offer small dollops of the dessert in mini cups for a sweet post-service treat!
Brilliant Banana Almond Soft-Serve Recipe
Yields 1 to 2 servings
2 ripe bananas
1 to 2 Tbsp. almond butter (or preferred nut/ seed butter)
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract Pinch of fine sea salt
Peel bananas and break into small chunks. Place in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag for at least eight hours. Remove from freezer and let thaw just slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Combine in a food processor with almond butter, vanilla and salt. Purée until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
– by Marina Kay