Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Any way you split it

I really must apologize to my readers who primarily visit this blog for the recipes, as I've been focusing on my personal life lately. My food choices have also been a tad bit boring, so I didn't feel the need to post much about them.

But, sometimes when I'm inspired, you can still find a hidden gem here and there, hence today's post. I've been meaning to show you the "rawified" version of this Parent's Magazine banana split pop for quite some time. Finally, I have a reason to share it.

Everything just came together perfectly. A Hot Raw Chef contest had me thinking about my favorite raw 5 in 5 (as in five ingredients in five minutes) recipe I've been whipping up for years.

As a longtime fan of banana-based n'ice cream, I like to make quick and easy raw banana splits in no time flat. I start with the "banilla" (banana-based vanilla n'ice cream, which is my term for nondairy ice cream), then use it as the base for my strawberry, add some cocoa powder, and voila, I have my chocolate. It would be the perfect recipe for the contest, if only I was brave enough to video tape myself making it.

Anyway, this technique also works for "rawifying" the aforementioned Banana Split Pop. Inside a popsicle mold of classic strawberry puree, strawberry n'ice cream, pineapple topping, "banilla" n'ice cream, chocolate sauce and chocolate n'ice cream, hides a frozen banana on a stick. I also added a cherry on top, nestled within the strawberry puree.

In the midst of "rawifying" the Parent's Magazine recipe, I also thought about the Raw Ice Cream Sandwich Challenge going on right now. The neapolitan ice cream slabs are delicious sandwiched between two traditional ice cream sandwich cookies, but they would be even better with the same banana split toppings within the layers. And, instead of hiding the banana (which is already the base of the n'ice creams), I decided to hide the cherry inside the "banilla" layer.

Here's how I made it:

Banilla N'ice Cream: Blend 1 and a half or 2 frozen bananas sliced, a touch of vanilla and some sea salt (there was always salt involved in making the old crank ice cream method) in a food processor until creamy like soft-serve ice cream. Remove a portion of the n'ice cream and put it in a container in the freezer to set.

Strawberry N'ice Cream: To the remaining "banilla," add a handful of chopped frozen strawberries. Process to resemble strawberry ice cream. Remove another portion and allow to set in the freezer while you make the chocolate n'ice cream.

Chocolate N'ice Cream: To the remaining strawberry n'ice cream, add a spoonful of cocoa powder and some more chopped frozen banana slices, if needed. Process into a creamy chocolate soft serve. Allow to set in the freezer while you prep the toppings.

Strawberry Puree: Blend some frozen strawberries in a small personal blender.

Chopped Frozen Pineapple: Duh, need I say more?

Chocolate Sauce: Either combine your favorite liquid sweetener with cocoa powder or make the "ganache" from this "rawified" cupcake recipe (I had some of this in my freezer already, which was easy to slice like fudge).

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies: See my "rawified" Girl Scout Thin Mint recipe, minus the mint and the chocolate coating. I've been known to form the naked (sans the dip in chocolate) dough into traditional rectangular ice cream sandwich cookie shapes, like I did with this raw "n'ice scream sammie" (yup, you read that right) I posted in the past, but today, I took the slacker route. I had both my kids at home (it's officially summer), plus two more I was babysitting. Therefore, I had to improvise in a pinch.

A raw bar always does the trick. Simply cut it in half lengthwise and press it into the desired shape. Due to my use of this product for this post, I guess I don't qualify for the Raw Ice Cream Sandwich Challenge either. Oh well.

Now, for the assembly. I used parchment-lined rectangular containers I had leftover from when Hayden was eating baby food (although I made most of her baby food from scratch, I have to admit to having a few premade containers of organic baby food on hand for emergencies) to act as ice cream molds (you could also use a large ice cube tray). I set them on their sides, stacking the berry puree, followed by the strawberry n'ice cream, pineapple, banilla n'ice cream, chocolate sauce and chocolate n'ice cream. Then, I placed a frozen cherry half in the center of the banilla before allowing it to set in the freezer.

After an hour or so, I removed the n'ice cream from one of the molds and adhered it to the sandwich cookies with some chocolate sauce. Yum! Hayden couldn't wait to sample it.

What's in the wrapper?

It's a frozen treat!

I can't wait to pick that up.

Mmmm ... is that chocolate in there?

Mommy, help me take a bite.

Yup, that's chocolate.


Here, you try some.

I'd continue with the play by play, but it really got messy after that. She likes to eat the middle first, kinda like her mama. Ha ha :-)

Oops. I gotta cut this post short. It's storming outside. Hope it's sunny tomorrow. Good night.