“Rescued” Banana Ice Cream
One thing I legit maybe talk about too much is sustainability. But also, can you talk about it too much? If the environmental issues of the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that climate change is real, and we all need to make some changes.
Part of the reason I don’t eat meat is because of sustainability, but I also try to live a more sustainable, less-waste life in other ways, too.
One way that I try to do this is by using as much of ingredients as I possibly can. If we were talking animals/meat, this would be called “nose to tail” cooking, where you show respect to the animal by making use of as much as you can, and wasting as little as possible.
When it comes to vegetables, you can apply these same techniques. For example, you might buy carrots or beets, and, instead of throwing the stalks and leaves into the compost, you can actually make something out of them. Beet greens are delicious in a salad or thrown into your soups. You can make a great pesto with the carrot tops. Almost any kind of vegetable you’re not using, like onion skins, I save in a ziploc bag in the freezer, and when it’s full, I make a bit pot of vegetable stock that then flavours soups, stews, risottos, pastas….
It always makes me a bit nuts when I see photos of huge dumpsters full of food behind grocery stores or restaurants. It’s not just about the waste, though that’s bad enough, it’s also about the fact that we live in a city with a huge homeless population, and that food could go to help feed families in need.
So I was really stoked to learn about a local Vancouver charity called Food Stash that does exactly that–they rescue food that’s about to be thrown away and they distribute it to the people that really need it the most.
Recently, they’ve teamed up with SPUD.ca, the local grocery delivery company. Food Stash rescues fruit that’s maybe seen better days, and then SPUD sells it on their website. The advantage here is that this “ugly” (if you wanna call it that) fruit is a great deal, as it’s sold cheaper than the “good” stuff.
And while it might not be the kind of produce that you’d necessarily grab to munch on for breakfast or a snack, it’s still plenty good for putting into recipes.
Here are some ideas for using up “rescued” fruit, or produce that’s perhaps past it’s “best before” date:
I take my bananas and peel them, then I cut them into chunks and freeze them on a parchment- or silpat-lined cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, I pop them into a ziploc bag, and then I use those frozen bananas in:
Apples can be made into:
- Apple Butter
- Apple Crisp/crumble
- Apple Pie (YES)
- I like to add a few to my curries for sweetness
- Slice them thin and add them to grilled cheeses
Okay, let’s talk Banana Ice Cream. So this is a pretty simple and pretty popular recipe that you’ll see many variations of on the interwebs. But here’s the thing: I’ve never made it. Ever.
I know, that’s crazy, right? How is it that plant-forward blogger has never tried this version of ice cream before?
Legit–and I’m somewhat ashamed to admit this–I’m a snob. I own an ice cream maker, so I only want to make traditional ice cream. I kind of always thought this easier, “lite” version of ice cream was too easy.
But here’s the thing: it’s really good! It’s not too banana-y, and you can really customize the recipe to your own tastes. So, yeah. Do as I say, not as I do. *facepalm*
"Rescued" Banana Ice Cream
- Blender or food processor
- 3 bananas (ripe or over ripe)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp nut butter
- splash vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (optional, for sweetness)
- Peel your bananas and then cut them into chunks and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least an hour to freeze.
- Remove from the freezer and add to your blender or food processor.
- Add the rest of the ingredients.
- Blend. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times, but stick with it, and eventually you will be rewarded with a creamy ice cream.
- Taste and see if it's sweet enough (it depends on how ripe your bananas are--riper bananas are sweeter, less ripe ones are less sweet) and if you feel like it needs a bit more sweetness, add a little maple syrup and blend again.
- Eat immediately, or scrape into a covered container and store in the freezer.