I'm excited to participate in my first ever Recipe Redux challenge! I applied over a year ago and all the spots were full, but they kept their word and let me know when I spot opened up, which just so happened to be right after we moved to China! Thankfully I had about a month to get settled into our new apartment and to figure out the markets before today's post.
Here's the challenge for this month!
Fantastic Freezer Meals:
Share your tips and tricks for making one – or more freezer meals. It’s the end of the gardening season for some of us; let’s store away that produce in heat-and-eat-from-the-freezer-meals. Show how convenient healthy freezer breakfast, lunches or dinners can be!
When I found out what the Recipe Redux challenge was for September, I was a little worried. If you open up my freezer, all you'll see are bags full of frozen bananas, nuts and seeds, cubes of tomato paste, and more frozen fruit. I barely ever make "freezer meals" and mainly use my freezer to keep certain foods (like nuts and canned goods) from going bad.
But then I though a little harder and remembered that before we moved to China I would often store my homemade desserts in my freezer. Recipes like my Homemade Vegan Snickers Cups and Raw Almond Joy Bars keep beautifully in the freezer, which is also a bonus because then we can enjoy rich desserts like those for longer amounts of time. And sometimes it's good to have our desserts out of eye sight...especially when my husband has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know!
Some of you may disagree that dessert is a "meal", but when I make desserts with whole food ingredients, then I'm fine with eating dessert for any meal of the day! In fact, the fruit here in China is so abundant and cheap that I've been making banana ice cream quite often for breakfast or lunch. And I'd easily say that these Vegan Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches are healthy enough for breakfast. How could you not agree when the chocolate ice cream is just made from frozen bananas, zucchini, and cacao powder?!
Count me in!
For the cookie part of these Vegan Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches I used one of my favorite energy bite recipes. Oats, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, cacao nibs, and Homemade Vanilla Cashew Butter create a delicious oatmeal cookie flavor. If you haven't made my Homemade Vanilla Cashew Butter I highly recommend it, but you can easily swap out the cashew butter for any nut butter you have on hand!
For the chocolate banana ice cream filling, I just used my Vitamix (you can also use a food processor!) to blend together frozen bananas, cacao powder, and raw zucchini to create a fluffy, soft ice cream. The zucchini sounds like a weird ingredient by it's crucial! Normally banana ice cream can't be frozen once it's made, because it will turn into a rock hard mess. That's why the zucchini is such an important ingredient! It allows the chocolate banana ice cream to be frozen, but also edible right out of the freezer. Hence why these Vegan Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches are perfect for freezer dessert! And just like the Homemade Vanilla Cashew Butter, if you don't like chocolate, feel free to omit the cacao powder and keep the ice cream a plain, banana flavor.
If you try out these Vegan Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches, I'd love to know! Take a pic and tag #theconscientiouseater on Instagram!
More Ice Cream!
Are you an ice cream fanatic like I am? If so, try my No-Churn Vegan Ice Cream (only 3 ingredients!) recipe.
Recipe Redux: Vegan Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches
- 2 cup oats divided
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- ⅓ cup cacao nibs
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ cup Homemade Vanilla Cashew Butter
- ½ cup liquid sweetener maple syrup, agave, honey if not vegan
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
- 4 small bananas peeled, chopped and frozen overnight
- 2 tablespoons heaping cacao powder
- ½ cup peeled zucchini cubes
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper or silicone baking mat and set aside.
- In a food processor or blender, process ¾ cup of oats into flour. Pour the flour into a large bowl and add in the remaining oats, ground flaxseed, cacao nibs and chia seeds. Mix to combine.
- Add in the nut butter and liquid sweetener and mix until a sticky dough forms.
- Using about 1.5 tablespoon amounts of dough at a time, make flat circular cookies by pressing the dough into the bottom of a round 2 inch cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. Press hard so that the cookie is nice and stuck together. Place the completed cookies onto your prepared baking sheet. Repeat this process until you have about 16 cookies. Roll any remaining cookie dough into energy bites that can be stored in the fridge for later! Place the baking sheet into your fridge or freezer while you prepare the banana ice cream.
- In your food processor or a high speed blender, make your chocolate banana ice cream by processing the frozen bananas, cacao and raw zucchini together until a smooth soft serve ice cream forms. Pour the ice cream into a bowl and place the bowl in the freezer for about 1 hour (stirring every 10 minutes!) to allow it to harden a little. Once the ice cream is hard enough to work with, remove the baking sheet of cookies from the fridge and quickly scoop about ¼ cup amounts of ice cream onto the top of one cookie and press a another cookie layer on top to create an ice cream sandwich. Do this until you get 8 Vegan Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches.
- Place the cookie sandwiches back in the freezer on the baking tray to harden. Once nice and solidified, you can wrap the sandwiches individually in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag.
- Enjoy them straight out of the freezer!
This looks amazing! But zucchini tears up my gut. 🙁 Do you have any suggestions for a replacement?
Faith VanderMolen says
Just omit the zucchini! I actually want to update this old recipe to not include the zucchini. It'll taste better that way:)
I love this! I can't wait to try this one out! Thanks for sharing it!
I hope they work out for you Kimberly!! Let me know how it goes:)
I just tried this recipe and it is amazing!
I do have a question though... the zucchini since it was raw was a little ruff on my stomach. I'm wondering if I cook them or something will that help and will it still have the creaminess?
Thank you! And it was delicious!
Yay!! So glad you liked them Ally! Sorry that the zucchini hurt your stomach though:( I think cooking the zucchini would make the ice cream too watery though, as zucchini lets out a lot of water when cooked. You could possibly cook the zucchini then ring it out?? Sorry I can't really give you a definite answer!
Liv @ Healthy Liv says
Mmmm these look so yummy! Adding zucchini to keep the ice cream on the softer side is brilliant, especially if you can't taste it. Congrats on being part of the Recipe Redux crew- I think it's such a fun idea!
Thanks Liv! It's so nice to find a way to store banana ice cream for later...whenever the craving hits:)
Amy @ Happy Healthy RD says
Wow! You just blew my mind with the zucchini ice cream idea and the energy bite for the cookie part of the sandwich is genius. Can't wait to try this!
I'm so glad you like this recipe Amy!! Let me know if you like them!!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
So happy you used zucchini in that chocolate wonderful ice cream 😉
Oh good!! It's a super important ingredient too, so I'm glad you like it!
What a creative recipe! I hope you are enjoying your adventures in China!
Thanks Elizabeth! We are...so far:)
Jenny D says
Oh my! I wish I had some of these in my freezer right now! I can't wait to make them, they sound amaaazing :-).
Jenny D says
I was just reading the recipe closer and noticed the zucchini -what a wild idea (in a good way!). Does it add anything in particular to the ice cream - flavor or consistency?
I'm glad you asked Jenny!! I explained it a little in the body of my post, but the zucchini is actually a super important ingredient! You can't taste it, but it keeps the banana ice cream from freezing rock hard. This way you can eat them right out of the freezer!
I hope you can give them a try soon Jenny!!
Emily @ Sinful Nutrition says
Welcome to the Redux crew! Ice cream sandwiches made with cookies are exponentially better. So creative!
Why thank ya!! And I completely agree:)
Alyssa @ Renaissancerunnergirl says
Ooh, loving how these look! I'll have to try making them with peanut butter to sub for the tree nut ingredients. Perfect for while I am holding on to summer.
Thanks Alyssa! And peanut butter would be awesome! Hope you like them:)
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner says
I love banana ice cream! Yum how creative. Thanks so much for linking up with us for meatless Monday today
Thanks Deborah! Love Meatless Mondays so thanks for hosting!
Tina Muir says
Oooohh yum Faith! Sound delicious, I have never actually made ice cream sandwiches, and especially not vegan ones, but this is awesome you were able to create them, and I bet they taste damn good!
Thanks Tina! I don't think I had ever made ice cream sandwiches until these ones either! They did turn out amazing and I love that I can eat them at any time of day:)