Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bananas Foster with Cashew Peanut Butter Ice Cream

This dessert, it's bananas!  B-A-N-A-N-A-S! Okay dorky moment over. I made this dessert a couple of weeks ago, and I've been meaning to post it! It's really good, and not hard to do at all.
For those who have ever made homemade ice cream the "regular" way... meaning dairy, white sugar, etc, you know that it can be a long process of making custard on the stove and so forth, making it so much more appealing to just go to the store and buy ice cream.  Well, vegan ice cream is so quick and easy to make it's just silly to make any other kind of ice cream, or buy a $6 pint, in my opinion! All you really need is a good blender and an electric ice cream maker and you are in business.

For this dessert, I adapted a recipe that I learned when I was studying for my Natural Chef certificate. It's a super easy cashew based ice cream that can be taken in any direction one might like... Strawberry, Chocolate, Coconut, Green Tea, or even some fancy concoction using Berries and reduced Balsalmic Vinegar. In this particular case, I took it in a peanutty direction, laced with a coconut milk background. Yum.

I topped the ice cream with a quick saute similar to a Bananas Foster. Simply put, I sauteed banana slices in Earth Balance, unrefined brown sugar, and a tiny splash of vanilla. The Earth Balance and the brown sugar combine to make a delicious caramel sauce. If you are into a rum flavor you can also add a splash of rum as in the traditional bananas foster recipe. Personally I am not into the flavor of rum, so I omitted that element. The dessert is topped with candied peanuts to elevate the subtle peanut flavor in the ice cream.

Bananas Foster with Cashew Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Serves 4 (with leftover ice cream)

For the  Ice Cream:
2 cups cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup peanut butter (I have also used PB2 powder as a lower calorie option)

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend well- approximately three minutes until very smooth. Transfer mixture to the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Pour the mixture into the cannister of the ice cream maker, and process according to the machine's manufacturer's instructions. Once the mixture has been processed into ice cream  you can serve immediately or freeze to serve later. If you do serve later, allow the ice cream to sit out for 15 minutes to soften up prior to serving.

For the Bananas:
3 tablespoons Earth Balance
3 tablespoons Brown Sugar ( I use an unrefined version)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 bananas, sliced

Add  Earth Balance, brown sugar, and vanilla to your saute pan over medium heat, and whisk until combined. Add in banana slices, and let cook without disturbing the slices too much, as you don't want them to break apart. Make sure you at least flip all the slices to get them coated in the caramel mixture. Cook approximately 3-5 minutes until slices are softened and caramel coated, then remove from heat.

Put 2-3 scoops of ice cream in each of four serving bowls. Divide the bananas foster and sauce evenly among the four bowls. Top with candied peanuts, or regular peanuts and serve immediately.

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