Maple Walnut Cashew Banana Ice Cream Sundae Recipe - Vegan, Gluten-Free
The Granny to Granny Challenge
In the comments section of a hub for a recipe for a luscious Ice Cream Cheese Cake Parfait, I was raving and drooling over the lovely confection presented by Hubpages writer, ecogranny, "but," I wailed, "I am a vegan so I will not actually be able to eat this." Ecogranny challenged me to come up with a vegan version of her recipe. Over the couple of weeks since the challenge, my food-obsessed mind kept returning to the ice cream bliss. I knew that I could make a rather complicated vegan cream cheese mixture to replicate some of the qualities of Neuchatel, and I have been known to put together two or three (or six) passably delicious vegan cheese cakes. However, the process is fairly lengthy and the mood to spend all that time did not overtake me.
Today I had a brainstorm. Instead of the vegan copy of ecogranny's lovely dairy parfait sundae, I would put together another sort of vegan sundae-- one that would be quicker and easier and use fewer than 7 ingredients. (I know that readers appreciate). So was born the idea for a Maple Walnut Sundae using blender-whipped-up cashew-banana ice cream.
I have no ice cream maker, but my method works out quite well to produce creamy, delicious vegan ice cream. A high speed blender (like Vitamix or Blendex) is useful, but as my veggie-foodie mentor, Wyona Hertwig taught me, any blender will do, you just have to lengthen the process somewhat without the Vitamix. If you have an ice-cream maker yourself, well, you just go ahead and follow the instructions on it and please let me know how that turns out!
- 3-4 ripe organic bananas
- 1 can - 400 ml - organic coconut milk (not Lite)
- 200 g (about 7-8 oz) organic raw whole cashews (or pieces)
- 30 g (2 teaspoons) organic vanilla extract
- maple syrup
- small handful of organic walnuts, toasted
- chocolate chips or carob chips (gluten-free) (optional)
- fresh or frozen black cherry (totally optional)
The Night Before:
- Peel and break 4 bananas into chunks. Put into a zip lock bag and freeze overnight (minimum of 4 hours)
The Day of the Making:
- Get all your ingredients together.
- Open the can of coconut milk and pour it into the Blender over the Cashews. Work your tamper if you have a Vitamix to get it all creamy smooth.
- Add in the vanilla extract and 2 of the frozen bananas (chunks to equal 2 bananas). Return the rest of the bananas to the freezer.
- Pulse or work small batches if you do not have a Vitamix or similar high speed blender. Do whatever is needed, short of adding any extra liquid, to get this smooth and creamy.
- Pour in a shot of maple syrup-- not more than 1/4 C.
- You can add in a tiny handful of coconut shreds if you wish-- if you like coconut ice cream (most of us do!) Whirl up.
- Pour or spoon into a 6-cup muffin tin or ice-cube tray(s). I use a silicone muffin tray but know that not everyone has one of those-- yet. Use what you have available.
- Put muffin tray or ice cube tray into the freezer for about 4+ hours until solidly frozen.
- Spread walnuts on pizza tray on aluminum foil (dull side up) and put in 350F / 180C oven for about 15 minutes to toast (don't let them burn-- different ovens heat at different rates)
- Put walnuts aside to cool.
Making the Sundae
- Pop 2 or more of the frozen hockey pucks that are the ice cream base into the blender carafe
- Add in 1 or more of the frozen bananas and cream up together, using Vitamix tamper or doing in small batches with less powerful blenders.
- When done, you can use the 'ice cream' instantly, or you can put it in a cake pan back into the freezer for that gourmet look (where you scrape your scoop down the length of the ice cream-- you know, all the jazzy recipe sites do that)
- When making up the sundae, use individual cups or dishes and let people put on how many walnuts, banana slices, they might want.
- Pour over a bit of maple syrup and / or chocolate /carob syrup (I just melt and stir up a small handful of chips over hot water and pour over the ice cream at the last minute before eating)
- Put a cherry on top!
I Scream You Scream We All Scream For Ice Cream
The Evolution of Ice Cream
My father and mother grew up in the tail-end of the Great Depression. My mother's parents operated a general store in a small prairie town and were in a position to eat reasonably well during a time when people across North America were starving. My father's parents farmed and his mother was something nigh to a master gardener and a student of "home economics," so even if crops all around them were failing, apparently they also ate reasonably well. But the one thing that neither one of them could ever get enough of as a celebratory treat was ice cream.
My father told me a story (a few times) of how his father would gather boys from the surrounding farms together for a day of stone-picking, and weeding, both extremely arduous tasks. They would work hard and then... Grandpa would take them all to town in his truck for ice cream! This was one of my dear father's fondest stories in his last days of recalling his childhood memories. I know that it is probably irrational, but I feel a little retrospective guilt that my grandfather bought a full day's hard labour for an ice-cream cone. My Dad, however, looked back on the experience with joy, so I am choosing to reframe this as the boys of the day were under-employed and needed an opportunity to learn some farm skills. They volunteered their services for a day's work and as a reward, were taken to town for delicious ice cream!
So, I grew up in the 50s/60s with parents who adored ice cream treats. Massive Banana Splits, drumsticks, cones, you name it! I do believe we always had a brick of ice cream at the ready, or it was rapidly acquired. My parents spoke so lovingly of ice cream. To my ear I always heard "eyeSH cream."
My Dad got to indulge his general love for dairy products when he became a milk delivery man for a couple of years as a young husband and father. I heard many more stories from that part of his life than from his much longer and more esteemed role as a leader in another career capacity.
In 1970 I married a young man who grew up living just behind one of the largest dairies in the city of Vancouver. Throughout his childhood a fleet of delivery vehicles revved their engines and started out at 4:00 a.m. within yards of his bedroom window. But apart from what had to have been at least some degree of sleep disturbance, he mostly recalls going over to the Palm Dairy store for an ice cream cone a few times a week!
In 1975 our younger child was diagnosed with a dairy allergy that created an ongoing number of health issues whenever he ingested any dairy products. It was not a stretch for us, his parents, to realize that we, too, were likely allergic.
Our dairy-sensitive son, in his late 40's, continues to avoid milk and its ilk. My husband and I no longer eat dairy and do not have dairy or other-than-plant-based foods in our home.
Vegan-- and now, gluten-free-- food preparation can be a little more challenging if you want to produce something that has flavour and mouth-appeal close to the original non-vegan, wheat-containing foods. Helpfully, there continue to be an increasing number of vegans and gluten-sensitives sharing wonderful recipes, many of them on Hubpages! As well, the food industry seems to have burgeoned forth to meet the demand-- if you can not find local supplies for just about any possible vegan and gluten-free food, you can certainly track down those recipe ingredients online. Making vegan and gluten-free ice cream, for example, can be as complex and gourmet a process as you choose, or as simple as whirling up a frozen banana in your blender! Enjoy the process-- creating something you have never tried before is more than half the fun of arriving at the final taste delight!