desserts

5 Fruity Desserts… Even Better than Ice Cream!

 

About now, we all need a truly delicious treat to help strengthen our resolve to eat healthy. Everyone will love at least one of these, so please share!

All recipes are:

  • Fruit & vegetable based, with small amounts of seeds & nuts
  • Minimally processed
    • Free from refined sugars & concentrated sweeteners (natural or otherwise)
    • Paleo friendly
  • Gluten-free

 

Chocolate Banana Soft Serve

Prep Time: 5 minutes if hazelnuts are pre-soaked. Yield: 2 servings.

Pureed frozen banana desserts are so easy and delicious! The hazelnuts and cocoa powder aren’t necessary, but they make it super-rich.

1 fresh (or thawed) banana

4 frozen bananas

2 T. hazelnuts, soaked for at least 2 hours (or macadamia nut cream, instructions below)

2 T. premium cocoa powder (such as Trader Joe’s Cocoa Powder)

Place the fresh, then the frozen bananas, hazelnuts and cocoa powder in a Vitamix or other high-speed blender. Blend, while constantly pressing down with a tamper, for 30 seconds. Open the blender and scrape the sides. Replace the lid and blend again while constantly pressing down with a tamper until the mixture forms mounds, approximately 30 seconds more. Spoon into bowls.

Top with chopped hazelnuts, sliced bananas and flax, chia or hemp seeds.

Ice “Cream” and Fruit Parfait: To make a parfait, omit the cocoa powder and layer the banana soft serve with and fresh, sliced strawberries, bananas and blueberries in parfait cups.

 

Dark Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl

Prep Time: 10 minutes. Yield: 2 servings.

This is one of our favorite late-evening snacks. The mixture of fresh or dried cherries, Medjool dates, and frozen dark sweet cherries make this particularly sweet.

1 c. fresh pitted cherries*

4 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked

16 oz. frozen dark sweet pitted cherries

2 T. premium cocoa powder (such as Trader Joe’s Cocoa Powder)

1/4 t. premium vanilla

Dash of Himalayan salt (such as Sherpa Pink)

*If fresh cherries are unavailable puree 3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk and ¼ c. dried cherries (such as Trader Joe’s Unsweetened, Unsulfured Dried Bing Cherries) with the Medjool dates.

Place the fresh cherries (or almond milk and dried cherries) and soaked dates in a Vitamix or other high-speed blender and purée for approx. 1 minute. Add the frozen cherries, macadamia nut cream, cocoa powder and salt. Pressing down with the tamper, purée until the mixture forms a thick smoothie consistency (approx. 1 minute). Transfer to bowls and top with sliced banana, fresh halved cherries, a sprinkling of flax and chia seeds or cocoa powder.

 

Very Berry Sorbet (Kids’ Favorite)

Prep Time: 5 minutes. Yield: 2 servings.

So simple, so good! Grapes make this sorbet super sweet.

1-1/2 c. grapes, de-stemmed

12 oz. bag (approx. 2 c.) frozen mixed berry mix

½ t. orange zest

Place the ingredients in the order list in a Vitamix or other high-speed blender. Blend, while constantly pressing down with a tamper, for 30 seconds. Open the blender and scrape the sides. Replace the lid and blend again while constantly pressing down with a tamper until the mixture forms mounds, approximately 30 seconds more. Scoop into bowls with an ice cream scooper.

 

Strawberry Ice “Cream”

Prep Time: 10 minutes if dried figs are pre-soaked. Yield: 4 servings.

This isn’t as rich as strawberry ice cream, but you won’t feel overstuffed after eating it.

3/4 c. dried figs, coarsely chopped, soaked for at least a 2 hours, then drained

1 c. fresh whole strawberries, greens removed

½ c. macadamia nut cream (instructions below)

12 oz. (approx. 2 c.) frozen strawberries

Dash of Himalayan salt (such as Sherpa Pink)

Place the figs, fresh strawberries and macadamia nut cream in a Vitamix or other high-speed blender and blend until smooth (approx. 30 seconds). Add the frozen strawberries and salt and blend, while constantly pressing down with a tamper, for 30 seconds. Open the blender and scrape the sides. Replace the lid and blend again while constantly pressing down with a tamper until the mixture forms mounds, approximately 30 seconds more. Scoop into bowls with an ice cream scooper.  

 

Mango Ice “Cream”

Prep Time: 5 minutes. Yield: 2 servings.

Frozen mangoes are paired with figs for a fruitier sweetness.

1 fresh (or thawed) mango

16 oz. (approx. 2 c.) frozen mangoes

¼ c. dried figs, soaked for at least a few hours

2 T. macadamia nut cream (instructions below)

Place the fresh, then the frozen mangoes and macadamia nut cream in a Vitamix or other high-speed blender. Blend, while constantly pressing down with a tamper, for 30 seconds. Open the blender and scrape the sides. Replace the lid and blend again while constantly pressing down with a tamper until the mixture forms mounds, approximately 30 seconds more. Scoop into bowls with an ice cream scooper.

 

Macadamia Nut Cream (for Chocolate Banana Soft Serve and Strawberry & Mango Ice “Creams.”)

Prep Time: 10 minutes if nuts have been soaked overnight. Yield: About 1 cup.

Macadamia Nut Cream adds a rich creaminess to fruit-based desserts. It will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.

1 ½ c. raw, unsalted macadamia nuts

¼-½ c. water

Soak 1 ½ c. macadamia nuts in enough water to cover nuts overnight. Purée in a Vitamix or other high-speed blender, gradually adding just enough water to form a thick cream. This may take up to 7 minutes. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl several times.

 

Tip: Serve pureed fruit desserts and smoothies every week, and you’ll never throw away rotten berries or bananas again. When bananas, berries and other fruits are about to go bad, just place them in a glass or plastic container and freeze them. Berries will last for months, bananas for about 3 days.

 

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