Friday, 22 June 2012

Banana Icecream -vegan, added sugar and fat free

The little dark flecks are just part of the banana

If I told you I had made a deliciously "creamy" vegan icecream  with no fat, no kind of sugar or added sweetener, and it had just one ingredient, you'd be forgiven for not believing me. I had read about this years ago in a cookbook and finally decided to try it out as a way of using up some perfectly ripe bananas that looked too spotty for the kids' liking. Well, it's true! The one ingredient, banana, surpasses any concoction I could ever come up with and really needs nothing else. Here's how to make this guilt- free treat:
  • Take 1 1/2 -2 bananas for each person, peel and break into quarters.
  • Put into a bag and freeze them until solid. (Mine were hanging around in there for a couple of days before I got the chance to make the icecream.)
  • When you want the icecream, remove from the freezer and let soften a little at room temperature- 30 minutes or so in a UK Summer; probably a much shorter time in warmer climates. Don't let them defrost; just get a little softer so as to be kind to your blender.
  • Put the banana pieces into a powerful blender or food processor and whizz until the banana looks smooth and creamy. Once the lumps break up you will have a perfect- textured icecream that is smooth and soft without being runny.
  • Decorate with chopped nuts, rose or geranium petals, etc; or what about one of the grain and fat-free mango coconut cookies from here for a tropical experience?
I'm afraid I don't know if you can return the icecream to the freezer and still retain its soft texture- I ate all of it before I could do that particular experiment... :)

So do you have any recipes with only one ingredient? Or one main ingredient? Please use the comments to tell me...

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Amazing Almonds Event: the roundup

Amazing Almonds!
Sorry this roundup is a little late, but I was waiting for some links to appear...well I kept the event open for a bit longer than hoping to get more entries, and I did get a couple, so here goes:

Thanks to Anisha of Flavours for her entries :) Sprouted almond milk is an amazing food and well worth the effort of making.

Almond frangipane fingers

Sprouted almond milk

Ginger spiced almond milk

Monday, 18 June 2012

Strawberry Lemon Gateau for Fathers' Day- vegan

Freeze-dried strawberry sprinkles give this gateau a luscious look

This one has just one layer, but you could make another cake  and sandwich them together with more custard and strawberries; great for a Summer party

Yesterday was Fathers' Day in the UK, and the kids had bought the pressies, so I made the cake.  I wasn't sure what to make as he had been asking for something with caramel and chocolate the night before, then custard that morning. When I went to my local Waitrose I found a punnet of lovely English strawberries reduced by 25% so they became the inspiration for this gateau. I couldn't think of how to make vegan whipped cream, so I settled for custard instead. I'm glad to say my dear husband really liked the cake despite there being no chocolate involved. He is such a dedicated Dad and husband, always there for whoever needs him; always expressing his love for us in so many ways- he truly deserved his special day!

400g self-raising flour
200g demerara sugar (you could grind it finer for an even fluffier cake of you want; I didn't have time)
4 tsps baking powder
400ml soya milk
150ml ricebran oil
2 tabs lemon juice
1 tsp natural lemon essence
300-400g fresh ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
freeze-dried strawberry pieces for sprinkling
2 tabs custard powder, 2 tabs sugar and 1 pint soya milk for the topping
  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Measure out the soya milk, oil, lemon essence and lemon juice in another container.
  • Add the wet mix to the dry ,mix, beating well for about a minute- you should see air pockets starting to form in the mixture; this is the baking powder getting to work to make the cake spongy and light..
  • Put the cake batter in a prepared 8-10" silicone mould or cake tin and bake for 20-25 mins in an oven preheated to 180C until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges clean. Cool on a rack.
  • Meanwhile, make the custard using a pint of soya milk, as directed on the container. (I used the hob method, but you can also make it in a microwave.) Make sure it's nice and thick before you remove it from the heat.
  • Transfer the finished custard to a bowl to cool down. Whisk with a balloon whisk from time to time as it cools to prevent lumps forming.
  • When the cake and the custard are both cold, put the cake on a board or plate and spread the custard evenly over the top with a spatula. Just before serving, lay the halved strawberries on top of the custard and finish with generous sprinkles of freeze-dried strawberry pieces.