This vegan blueberry banana soft serve combines coconut milk, wild blueberries, and bananas for a creamy, dreamy soft-serve like ice cream.
This month’s Recipe ReDux Challenge was to have a little cookbook fun: “Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 201, 16, 216 – or any combination of the number ‘2016.’”
While I have dozens of cookbooks, it’s often a new one, a favorite one, and an old classic that are closest at hand. After flipping through a few, I quickly found a recipe that caught my eye on page 201 in my newest cookbook: Run Fast, Eat Slow by super runners Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky.
I have to just say that I LOVE this cookbook. It’s filled with a wonderful variety of wholesome recipes and also includes sensible nutrition advice for common running-related ailments. I wish there had been a resource like this back when I was in high school! It was the early 1990’s and the focus for runners (and really all girls) was on being thin and eating low-fat foods. I remember thinking that if I was thinner I would be faster…of course, instead of being faster I ended up with iron-deficiency anemia and amenorrhea. I’m so glad the focus for runners…and hopefully most young women…has shifted away from being thin to being strong, healthy, and properly fueling with a variety of whole foods.
So, what was the recipe that caught my eye? Mango-Raspberry-Basil Frozen Yogurt! It may sound more summery than wintery, but if you’re like me you enjoy frozen treats all year round!
Since I had to change the recipe to make it my own, I decided to make it with two of my favorite ingredients that I always have on hand: frozen wild blueberries and bananas. Wild blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, manganese, and fiber. And good old bananas are packed with heart-healthy potassium, gut-friendly fiber, and even vitamin C.
I initially made the recipe using protein-rich Greek yogurt, but I also had this can of coconut milk sitting in my refrigerator that really wanted to be put into action. So, I made both but decided to feature the vegan version on my site.
After deciding on my base, it was time for some add-ins: Parsley and chia seeds. Wait parsley? In a dessert? Yes! You won’t even taste it! And here’s why you should include it: parsley is a nutritional powerhouse and is especially great to eat this time of year because of its natural anti-viral and antibacterial properties. (Read more about parsley and other immune-boosting foods here.)
And while I love adding chia seeds to my smoothies, I wouldn’t have thought to put these super seeds in ice cream if it wasn’t for Shalane and Elyse’s recipe. Chia seeds add fiber, calcium, iron, and other nutrients.This vegan blueberry banana soft serve is a creamy, dreamy wholesome treat! Click To Tweet
This recipe is simple to make, but you will need a high-speed blender or powerful food processor. In addition, there are some steps to complete the day before making (or earlier):
- Break ripe peeled bananas into quarters and place in a zip-lock bag and freeze.
- Place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator.
While I love the way this vegan blueberry banana soft serve turned out, here are some changes I might make next time:
- Blend bananas and blueberries first and then add just enough coconut milk to make it creamy
- Reduce maple syrup by half (the bananas add a lot of sweetness)
- Add a pinch of salt
- Try it with mint leaves (or maybe mint and parsley!)
Now it’s your turn! Go ahead and save this recipe–it’s definitely a fun one to play around with and no cooking skills are required! Your kids will love it and it makes a perfect addition to your healthy eating line-up for the New Year!
- 1 cup chilled coconut milk*
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 2 frozen medium bananas (peel and break into smaller pieces before freezing)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves (packed; about 15-20 full leaves)
- *Chilling the coconut milk will help separate the solid coconut fat from the liquid. To make creamy ice cream, use mostly solid fat. Scoop the solids into the measuring tool and then add enough of the liquid part to make 1 cup.
- Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor. Process until just smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
- Serve immediately, or, if too soft, transfer to a glass storage container and chill for 30 minutes before scooping into bowls. Enjoy!
Chopped, toasted nuts