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Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips

Vegan Banana Ice Cream Recipe

ideas for using up black bananas

Want to know my secret vegan banana ice-cream recipe? Let me share with you one of my very favourite recipes. And the good news is that you don’t need an ice-cream maker to make this ice-cream!

Last year I shared a really easy way to use up black bananas with these delicious three-ingredient cookies.  I’ve been keen to find more easy ways to use up black bananas. Then earlier this year came across easy one ingredient vegan banana ice cream on the Kitchn blog.  I had to give it a go – not only is it vegan, gluten-free, and a healthy ice cream alternative – but it sounded too good to be true that you could make delicious ice cream from just a banana!

bananas

To make your one ingredient ice-cream simply place a frozen banana in a blender or food processor. Give it a whizz for a minute or two until smooth and creamy.  That’s all there is to it!

I had some bananas that I’d saved from going rotten in the freezer, so I fished out my food processor.  My partner was very very skeptical about blending up frozen bananas to get ice cream, thinking we’d just get a soggy mess.  But after just two minutes of blending, the bananas were done, and it didn’t look like the soggy mess he’d anticipated.  Armed with spoons, we tucked in and I’ll admit we were pleasantly surprised that the texture of it is just like ice cream.  No joke!

vegan banana ice-cream recipe

Vegan banana ice cream on the left, with some variations on it (recipes below)

But Does It Taste Like Ice-Cream?

Now, no whatever anyone says on the internet, the taste is not exactly like ice-cream.  Instead, it tastes like a healthy vegan banana ice cream, without anything bad for you in it.  Which is no bad thing if you’re looking for a healthy treat.  But as for trying to convince yourself that it tastes just like full-fat sugar-laden ice cream?  I’m afraid that’s not going to happen.  Even my toddler could tell the difference!  But accepting it for what it is as a healthy dessert?  It’s delicious!

After extensive taste testing I’ve naturally got some tips for making one ingredient vegan banana ice cream!

My Top Vegan Banana Ice Cream Tips

5 from 1 vote
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Vegan Banana Ice-Cream Tips

Ingredients

  • One frozen banana

Instructions

  1. Black bananas work best because a lot of the starch has been converted to natural fruit sugars. If you’ve got any going off in your fruit bowl simply peel them and pop them whole in a tub in the freezer until you’re in the mood for ice cream.
  2. One banana = one serving
  3. Remove your banana from the freezer about 15-20 minutes before you start making the ice-cream unless you have a really powerful food processor.
  4. It takes up to two minutes to fully blend your banana.
  5. Serve immediately after blending.
  6. As you’ve already partially defrosted your banana I wouldn’t recommend refreezing your ice-cream.
vegan banana ice-cream ideas

Vegan Banana Ice Cream Variations

I’ve also been trying out some variations on the original recipe – I think you’ll love them!  

Berry Banana

My favourite variation is berry banana ice cream. Just remove a large handful of frozen berries from the freezer and leave them again for 15-20 minutes prior to blending.  Blend your banana and berries together until you’ve got a smooth consistency again.

banana ice-cream ideas

Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Another favourite is the less healthy but still vegan peanut butter, dark chocolate, and banana ice cream.  Simply add a teaspoon (or more if you like it extra nutty) of peanut butter to the blender along with your banana, and off you go!  Slice up a square of dark chocolate into small slithers and sprinkle over the top for a decadent treat!

I am sure there are heaps of other vegan (or non-vegan) variations on this, so do share in the comments below what you come up with!

vegan banana ice-cream recipe

ps: the ice creams were completely impossible to photograph!  They start to melt so quickly after blending. Then my daughter woke up from her nap earlier than expected and was demanding ice-cream whilst trying to get these shots!  Though you might appreciate these behind-the-scenes look into food blogging!

Food & Drink, Spring

Wild Nettle Pesto Recipe & Nettle Picking Tips

wild nettle pesto
wild nettle pesto

Looking to make wild nettle pesto? Try my delicious recipe that you can whizz up in minutes.

We have a patch of wild nettles in our garden that we keep for the ladybirds. However this year I’ve decided to share the patch with the ladybirds by making wild nettle pesto.  It’s ok to share at this time of year – ladybirds tend to lay their eggs from June to July. And you really don’t want to be picking nettles after the end of May for health reasons anyway (more on that later).

Wild nettle pesto is really delicious stirred into pasta, drizzled on omelettes, spread on sandwiches or pizzas, or incorporated into other recipes.  It’s also super quick and easy to make – it takes less than 15 minutes to whip up.  It tastes not too dissimilar to spinach pesto. And don’t worry, nettles lose their sting after being cooked, so there’s no chance of being stung!  

wild-nettle-pesto-recipe-

Nettle Picking Tips

If you don’t have a patch of nettles in your garden then it’s really easy to forage for wild nettles for this pesto recipe. Nettles are so ubiquitous in any woods or wild ground.  

There are a couple of plants that look like nettles, such as the False Nettle and Horse Balm. Therefore do make sure you’re not in any doubt about what you’re picking.  I found a handy guide to identifying nettles that you might find useful if you’re not 100% sure.  I felt quite confident as we’ve had our patch of nettles for over four years now, and I’ve been stung a few times on them whilst gardening!

To make sure you don’t get stung whilst harvesting your nettles for the pesto wear long sleeves and gloves.

To pick the nettles, arm yourself with a pair of scissors and a container.   Then cut the young leaves at the top of the stem off. You don’t want the bitter-tasting big old leaves and thick stems.  Give the leaves a shake before you put them in your container to remove any insects that might be on the leaves. And lastly, try not to pick beside paths where dogs might have widdled on them!

Wild nettle pesto is definitely a spring-time delicacy. Make sure you pick your nettles before they flower as flowering nettles can upset your urinary tract if consumed.  Depending on where you are you should be ok until late May.

foraged nettles

Wild Nettle Pesto Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Delicious Wild Nettle Pesto Recipe

This delicious wild nettle pesto recipe is a great traditional pesto alternative made from foraged nettles. With a taste not too dissimilar to spinach, it’s great in pasta, or on pizzas or toasted sandwiches.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • One colander full of freshly picked nettles
  • 45 g of pine nuts
  • 45 g of vegetarian hard cheese grated (I used Twineham Grange hard cheese which is Vegetarian Society approved. If you’re not vegetarian then any hard cheese, such as parmesan or grana padano can be used)
  • 4 raw cloves of garlic
  • 140 ml of olive oil
  • 10 ml of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of chilli flakes or more or less depending on your taste

Instructions

  1. Wash your nettles, and bring a large pot of salted water (just a pinch) to boil. When the water is boiling add your nettles to the pot and boil for two minutes.
  2. Remove your nettles from the pot and place in a bowl of cold water.
  3. Toast your pine nuts in a dry pan (no oil) until golden brown.
  4. Add the nuts to your food processor, and add your cloves of garlic, grated hard cheese, salt, pepper and lemon juice (and chilli flakes if you’re using them). Pulse for a minute or two until you have a grainy texture.
  5. Remove your nettles from the cold water and squeeze out as much water as you can. I placed my nettles in an old tea towel, twisted it up, and wrung it out to remove the excess water, but you can do it by hand as the nettles don’t sting after boiling.
  6. Add your nettles to the food processor, and pulse the mixture for a minute until it’s green and grainy.
  7. Whilst your food processor is still running slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the pesto is quite gloopy. You may ending up using more or less olive oil than 140 ml depending on what your prefered consistency is.
  8. Transfer the pesto to a sterilised jar and store in the fridge for up to one week. Use as you would any pesto.
foraged recipe

Enjoy!