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!
- 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 heaping tablespoons 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!
*You can use any nut butter you have on hand!
Amazon Basics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mat - Pack of 2
Healthworks Cacao/Cocoa Nibs Raw Organic
Healthworks Cacao Powder
Healthworks Raw Chia Seeds
Hamilton Beach Food Processor
Vitamix 5200 Blender Professional-Grade, Self-Cleaning 64 oz Container, Black - 001372
Plant Biased: 90+ Easy Plant Based Recipes and Essentials Guide for Beginner's by Faith VanderMolen
Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1 cookie sandwich
Amount Per Serving Calories 396Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 0mgSodium 13mgCarbohydrates 41gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 9gSugar 15gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 7g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate provided by Nutrionix and should be used for informational purposes only.