Warmer weather has arrived, bringing with it my craving for ice cream, which seems to go into remission over the winter but comes back with a vengeance when the temp goes over 80. I don’t own an ice cream maker, and I when I get near the vegan ice cream section of the grocery store, I look the other way, so when the craving for a decadent frozen treat hits, I have only one recourse: Pull out the frozen fruit and get to blending!
My daughter E says I’ve become “too weird” lately because I’ve been putting greens into my frozen desserts. I like the idea of getting a little extra nutrition in my daily dose of decadence, but I leave the spinach out when E’s partaking because she says she doesn’t believe in blended vegetables. (My rejoinder, “I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny, but you still get a basket of candy every year,” doesn’t impress her.) Honestly, if she would just give it a try, she would never notice the spinach in this chocolate-cherry treat. Kale is another story, though, and something I recommend only to hard-core veterans of blended greens.
I make this using my beloved Vitamix, though a food processor will work with a lot of starting and stopping and scraping down the sides. I’m not sure how well a food processor will handle spinach, however, so you might be wise to stick to all fruit in the processor or your Ice Cream may actually be Ice Green.
Chocolate-Cherry Ice Dream
- 2 cups raw spinach leaves , loosely packed (optional)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon ground chia seed
- 1 frozen banana , cut into several pieces
- 2 cups frozen , pitted unsweetened cherries
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- sweetener of choice , to taste (I used a little stevia)
- Place ingredients into high-speed blender in the order listed (a food processor may work if you omit the spinach). Begin blending on low and gradually increase the speed until you’re on the highest setting. If your blender has a tamper, use it to push the fruit into the blades. (This will be loud, so don’t worry if it sounds like a jackhammer fighting with a chain saw.) Blend until smooth but don’t over-blend or the friction will melt your Ice Dream. If that happens, call it a smoothie and use a straw.
This soft-serve dessert tastes best made fresh, but if you have to, you can freeze any leftovers. Allow to thaw slightly before stirring and serving (a few seconds in the microwave will speed this up.) I don’t recommend dividing the recipe in half or doubling it because it becomes difficult to blend.
Nutritional information uses unsweetened plain soy milk that contains 45 calories and 2.25 grams of fat per half cup; other non-dairy milks may have more or less of all nutrients.
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