Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Chunk Chocolate “Nice” Cream {vegan, no sugar added}

As a parent of young kids, I inevitably eat way more ice cream in the summer than I otherwise would. If I don’t order one for myself, I end up eating at least a few bites from the monstrous “single” scoop cones that – these days – are roughly the size of my kiddos’ heads. Lily’s go-to ice cream flavor is purple cow: a Massachusetts specialty featuring black raspberry ice cream with dark and white chocolate chunks; whereas Jack pretty much always orders chocolate ice cream. A few years back I posted a recipe for Purple Cow Frozen Yogurt, so I thought I’d concoct a healthy chocolate ice cream recipe this time around.

Banana ice cream – affectionately referred to in the blog community as “nice” cream – has been around for a while and is simply frozen bananas pureed into soft serve consistency. There are endless possibilities for flavor additions, but (not surprisingly) I went with peanut butter and chocolate for this one. Bananas, unsweetened cocoa powder, and unsweetened peanut butter are the ONLY ingredients   needed for this recipe… but I promise you it tastes like there’s cream and sugar in there.

John said if this doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, he doesn’t know what will, Lily said I should sell it, and Jack asked why there was peanut butter in his chocolate ice cream (HA!). I say try it, and you will undoubtedly love it!

 

Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Chunk Chocolate “Nice” Cream {vegan, no sugar added}

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (5 servings)

  • 5 overripe (brown skinned) bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen overnight in an airtight container
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened smooth peanut butter, well-stirred and preferably refrigerated, divided use
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

Place the frozen banana slices in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. This will take some time (about 3-5 minutes)

Add in 1/2 cup peanut butter and cocoa powder and process until fully combined and smooth.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and spoon in half of the nice cream; spread into an even layer.

Dollop half of the remaining 1/4 cup peanut butter over the nice cream using a teaspoon measuring spoon.

Spread the remaining nice cream over the peanut butter chunks.

Repeat step 4 with remaining peanut butter.

Place in the freezer until scoopable, about 1-2 hours.

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One-Bowl Whole Wheat Banana Flax Muffins

The kids and I spent three weeks at my parent’s house this summer, (before meeting up again with John for a week in the Outer Banks with his family), and my mom’s banana muffins were a HUGE hit. I think she made at least one batch each week that we were down there, that’s how much everyone loved them. I obviously had to get the recipe from her, and – as promised on my Facebook page – here it is!

I almost always use whole wheat pastry flour when making baked goods in order to achieve the perfect balance of hearty nutrition and soft texture, but these muffins use regular 100% whole wheat flour without sacrificing the end result; the muffins still turn out fluffy and light.

Maple syrup is the only sweetener, and the muffins get an added dose of fiber and protein from ground flaxseed.

Need yet another incentive to make these muffins?! They require only one bowl, (well, a food processor bowl), so prep and cleanup are quick and easy.

My mom freezes the muffins in a ziplock bag as soon as they’ve cooled off from the oven, and I think that it’s a vital step to take if you want the muffins to maintain their light texture. Just toss one (or a couple) in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds and you’ll be rewarded with just-baked flavor and texture.

These one-bowl whole wheat banana flax muffins are the perfect antidote to busy school day and workday mornings, when there’s no time to whip up a filling and nutritious sit-down breakfast. They also make a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack.

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One-Bowl Whole Wheat Banana Flax Muffins

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (12 muffins)

  • 1/2 cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, preferably organic
  • 2 large, or 3 medium-sized, ripe bananas
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (you could also use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners or lightly coat with oil.

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the oil, maple syrup, and eggs; process until smooth.

Add in the bananas and process; you can process until the mixture is perfectly smooth, or you can leave a few small chunks of banana throughout the batter.

Add in the flour, ground flaxseed, baking soda, and salt; pulse a few times, then remove the lid of the food processor and stir the batter until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, evenly divide the batter amongst the prepared muffin cups. The cups will be filled almost to the top.

Bake at 375°F for 22-25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.

Let cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack; let cool completely.

Store cooled muffins in an airtight container in the freezer. To heat, microwave for 30-45 seconds.

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