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.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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LainaMay 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm
How big are your serving sizes?
I love using frozen bananas for “ice cream.” I will have to try this one with the frozen cherries and chocolate. It sounds yummy.
LainaMay 4, 2012 at 9:43 am
My question….how big are the serving sizes for this recipe? I’m curious if it’s a cup, a half cup, or what for the calories listed? I always see calories per serving but never how big the serving size is supposed to be for those calories. I’m just curious.
Susan VoisinMay 4, 2012 at 9:47 am
Laina, it came out to just over 1 cup per serving.
Gabby @ the veggie nookMay 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm
Looks amazing. Need to buy me some frozen cherries clearly. Will have to try with raspberries for now 🙂
SarahMay 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm
We have an ice cream maker and this looks like a recipe that would work well in that. Ever tried it that way? In any case, looks delicious!
wendy (healthy girl's kitchen)May 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm
You are a girl after my own heart Susan. If it is possible to love someone that I have never met before, it would be you. 🙂
BrendaMay 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm
Could I make this in my Vita-Mix then freeze in an ice-cream maker or would the ingredients need to change?
Susan VoisinMay 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm
Brenda, I’m afraid I’ve never used an ice cream maker, so I can’t offer any guidance on it. I can’t see how it would hurt it, though.
AmyLuMay 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm
Susan, This is one of my all-time favorite foods. Check it out with walnut butter, almond butter, hemp seeds on top, and arugula as the greens!
moonwatcherMay 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm
Susan, this looks yummy, even with the spinach. 🙂 I will try when cherry season comes around. (mine will be carob though). Thanks!
laurenMay 3, 2012 at 3:22 pm
This looks awesome! And all I have to do is buy some cherries. My kind of recipe 🙂
SomerMay 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm
Ahhhh. Cherries and Chocolate are my favorite combo! You are brave walking right by that Ice cream case, I keep buying those “So Delicious Coconut Fudge Bars” the ingredient list is short and at 70 or 80 calories, it’s an excellent treat. However, this looks even better…and cheaper!
PixieMay 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm
There are ways of sneaking in greens! lol Check out what I did (and now my fussy eater willingly watches me put the spinach in his chocolate strawberry smoothie…but he about gags watching me slurp my green ones.) http://cheerfullyvegan.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/green-and-not-so-green-smoothies/
LauraMay 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm
Oh my…I want to make and then eat this right now! What a healthy and scrumptious homemade ice cream and I love your addition of spinach and chia seeds to the recipe!
Healthy Living ValMay 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm
Raw spinach always leaves a weird feeling on my teeth… which is fine after a salad but combine with the frozen element might be odd, so I might try this with kale or arugula!
Marilou GaronMay 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm
Susan, how do you grind your chia seeds? I’ve ground them before in my coffee grinder, and I found them to be quite bitter that way. Maybe it’s my grinding method?… I suppose you add the chia seeds to thicken the ice cream? Thanks in advance!
Susan VoisinMay 3, 2012 at 9:04 pm
I just grind them in the blender and I haven’t noticed any bitterness, but if that’s a problem, you can always put them in unground. The blending will grind them well enough.
lynnMay 4, 2012 at 7:15 am
I am wondering if there are any pod replacements for the banana? I know I am unusal in my dislike of bananas
Susan VoisinMay 4, 2012 at 7:24 am
You can just use more cherries instead of the banana or substitute another fruit. Mango and pineapple taste good, though if you want a purely cherry taste, stick to them.
EmilyJune 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm
Thanks for this no banana recommendation! I’m allergic to them and always have a tough time making vegan smoothies and such nice and creamy. Do you have any tricks for helping with that?
KathleenMay 5, 2012 at 5:58 am
If you use frozen kale, specifically blue curled kale from Whole foods, no difference in noticed between raw spinach and kale.
Karen GMay 5, 2012 at 11:56 am
Susan, this is very much like my favourite breakfast:
1 c low fat soy milk (for the protein and Ca)
1/2 – 1 banana
1 serving Vega Choco-lotta smoothie mix
1 firm packed c baby spinach
1 1/2 c frozen blueberries or raspberries
A bit heavy on the fruit, but it is heavenly.
ShellyMay 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm
This looks yummy! I love the idea of using a frozen banana. Slightly off topic, but do you have any ideas for using frozen persimmons? Trader Joe’s has them and I’d like to make cookies or a cake or something with them. I am just not sure where to begin. Thanks!
JenniferMay 7, 2012 at 5:50 pm
Just wanted to let you know that I made this today and it was delicious! (I actually used spinach instead of kale.) I have made quite a few of your recipes and they have ALL been excellent! 🙂 Thanks so much!!!
LisaMay 9, 2012 at 5:46 am
Could I switch out frozen spinach for the fresh? If so, how much should I add?
Thanks for all your great ideas!
Susan VoisinMay 9, 2012 at 7:38 am
I haven’t tried it with frozen spinach, so I’m not sure how much you can add and not have it affect the flavor. I would start small, with half a cup, and add more if you want to.
Kathleen @ KatsHealthCornerMay 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Oh my gosh, this looks DIVINE! What a great way to get in some greens at the same time as eating dessert! 😀
Richa@HobbyandMoreMay 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm
that looks divine! and theres spinach in it!
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nataliaMay 22, 2012 at 6:03 am
stephanieMay 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm
Looks great! Have you ever tried to make a healthy version of cookie dough dip?
MariaLJune 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm
Great recipe! Yum!
Oooh, Susan! It’s summertime in California! Please buy an ice cream maker! I know you would work healthy vegan wonders with it! Totally easy to use and you can buy a good one for $30 or so. Branch out! Go for it! And share your creations with US, your devoted blog-ees!!!
ColleenJune 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm
Made this tonight; it is delicious!
Sandy HJune 25, 2012 at 11:52 pm
This is my first attempt at researching vegan. I havelost weight and my taste shave changed. Can’t stand grease or sweets and can not eat a lot of dairy anymore
We have veggie garden every year and thought I could get some recipe ideas
Well I have found several of your recipes that sound really good and I am going to make them. Thank you!
Krista EnglishJuly 4, 2012 at 10:30 pm
The chocolate cherry ice cream from Eat to Live is in my ice cream maker as I type this, and haven’t tried with greens yet. I think I made a mistake though and hope this freezes up. I had fresh cherries for the 4th of July and threw it all together WHILE increasing the qty. Shoot! It might not work, but hoping! If it doesn’t freeze up I’ll dump it back in the Vitamix with some frozen banana.
Sarah Christine BoltonJuly 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm
Yum! Can’t wait to try this.
I also use Swiss chard in my veggie smoothies. It gives it a slight taste, but not too overpowering. And how awesome to get a sweet, icy treat with an extra nutritional kick!
Radhika SarohiaOctober 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm
I’m all for adding greens to my smoothies and ices for extra nutrition, I slip a bit of spinach into my blueberry vanilla soy milk smoothie and you can barely notice it’s in there
Jy0tsnaMarch 30, 2013 at 6:37 am
Thank you so much for these delicious recipes. This is the break-in weekend before I start the Live to Eat plan. I’m so excited that I can have something like this. I know this will help me through some rough days where I need to eat some chocolate. Instead of breaking out a chocolate bar, I’ll have this with my organic cacoa powder! It’s nice to know you live close to me also. You understand the cultural issues with eating in the south.
mayaMay 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm
try avocado chocolate mousse
JillMay 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm
Love this, tastes very decedent!
RachelMay 6, 2015 at 5:13 pm
Looks good! Watercress is even less noticeable in sweets, I think, and more nutritious to boot! Expensive though.
Nancy1340May 16, 2019 at 2:58 pm
What is “2 C. loosley packed spinach” really? I can loosely pack 8 leaves or 40 leaves. Why don’t people tell how many ounces/grams something is. Gerrrrr LOL LOL
Susan VoisinMay 16, 2019 at 8:27 pm
1) Because most people don’t have scales. 2) Because it doesn’t really matter. It’s a non-essential ingredient that you can just leave out. 😀