Banana splits never get old. Overnight oats never get old. Why not marry the two and have an all-American dessert for breakfast?
These Banana Split Overnight Oats are quite the breakfast treat. They’re perfect to tuck into on a wintry and couch-ridded Saturday morning, while you’re encased in a blanket cocoon with a tea nearby. That’s if you reside in Melbourne, of course. If you’re anywhere else in the world remotely sunny/not utterly miserable, you might even be able to enjoy your oats outside…
Banana Split Overnight Oats
1/2 cup rolled oats (organic if possible)
2 tsp chia seeds
1/3- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I use coconut-rice milk), or a combination of water & milk
1/4 cup natural full-fat yoghurt (five:am organics do the best organic yoghurts EVER!)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 heaped tsp shredded coconut
sweetener, to taste (stevia for sugar-free, or rice malt syrup/pure maple syrup)
Granola is just one of those foods that makes me salivate. Thewarm flavours, the sweetness, the wonderful texture and, of course, that irresistible crunch. It just gets me every time.
I think I was in year 7 when my mum first brought home the newest addition to the Kellogg’s breakfast cereal range, Crunchy Nut Clusters. Those peanut and ‘honey’ (sugar, molasses and vegetable oil) coated cornflakes teamed with deliciously crunchy clusters of oats, puffed wheat and coconut (and yep, more sugar, molasses and vegetable oil) became not only my brekkie bowl filler, but also my mid-morning, afternoon and pre-bedtime snack by the handful. I had every right to go through four boxes of this golden blessedness a week because Crunchy Nut Clusters were clearly less sugary than the Froot Loops and Frosty Flakes many of my friends still ate, and they were made with healthy ingredients like corn, oats, honey and nuts. I was so on my way to getting healthy and losing all my puppy fat quickly, all while eating something so damn tasty. YEAH!
Much to my horror, the so-called puppy fat not only stuck around, but started to soar. Thankfully, I slowly grew older and wiser. I learned that just because something is manufactured from a vegetable, that does not necessarily make it healthy (but what do you mean vegetable oil and High Fructose Corn Syrup aren’t good for you?!) and I began reading labels (why doesn’t the front of the box mention anything about the cereal being covered in sugar, molasses and oil as well as honey?!)
It took a while, but I started to become aware of marketing gimmicks and misleading advertising. After a year, my beloved Crunchy Nut Clusters were replaced by Sultana Bran Crunch after a year. Ah, the ignorance. Still, it was a move in the right direction, and at least I wasn’t eating Honey Joys disguised as a breakfast cereal anymore.
For those of you who are more or less like me, buying packaged granola poses two main problems:
Mainstream granola brands packed with different forms of sugar, preservatives and other additives and provide little to no nutritional value.
They’re very rarely fructose-friendly: pre-packaged granola always contains either loads of honey, dried fruit or both, which makes them indigestible for my fellow fructose malabsorbers. Even the ‘healthier’ granola alternatives available at health food stores are made with with high-fructose sweeteners like agave and dried fruit.
I’ve been avoiding pre-packaged granola and toasted muesli for several years now. The thought of sweet, crunchy clusters of puffed grain heaven still excites me, but I’ve never come across one that’s healthy enough to eat regularly. And so, I’m more of an egg gal these days.
The other week, however, my love for granola was reignited. I was in the cereal aisle of Coles, looking at Carman’s muesli for my sister when I saw them. Carman’s Crunchy Clusters with Honey Roasted Nuts. I was immediately taken back to my mornings in early high school when I’d eat two bowls of candied greatness and drink the leftover pool of sweet milk afterward. My salivary glands started going mental as I viewed the large oaty clumps and golden roasted nuts through the heart-shaped plastic window on the box. I threw the box into my trolley without giving it a second thought or reading any labels. My sister just had to try it. Not me, my sister. I was getting it for my sister.
I ripped open the box the second I got home and started shovelling handfuls of the stuff into my mouth as if it were popcorn. Everything about the granola was lip-smacking. The wording on the box was spot on: I absolutely did “adore these crunchy muesli clusters with almonds, hazelnuts and pecans, buzzing with trickles of honey and a hint of vanilla!” The granola was also “fruit free, Low GI, high in fibre and full of wholegrain goodness”. It all sounded too good to be true. I soon realised it was, but it was all too late. After my snacking straight from the box for three days, the box was empty. I don’t think my sister ever got to touch it. I read the label more closely just before I threw the box into the recycling. I was shocked.
Carman’s is usually one of the more wholesome and cleaner cereal brands available at supermarkets. They usually sweeten their products with a little honey instead of sugar, and while this makes their products unsuitable for most FructMal sufferers, at least it’s better than nearly all other cereal boxes for most people. This is why I was shocked when I read the Carman’s Crunchy Clusters ingredients list. After the oats and nuts, raw sugar comes in as the third ingredient, making it even more predominant than supposed primary ingredients like puffed rice and pepitas! And that’s before the honey is added. That’s a lot of added sugar! I did some quick calculations and became aware that I’d consumed just shy of 70g of added sugar over a few days from the granola alone. That’s nearly EIGHTEEN teaspoons of added sugar, which equates to almost NINE teaspoons of pure fructose! No bloody wonder why it tasted so good. I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Carman’s would rightfully argue that you’re not supposed to eat the entire box over just a few sittings, hence their “serves 11” guideline. I would argue that if you make something taste that freaking awesome, you’re asking people to eat the entire box over a single sitting.
Healthy or not, I’d gotten a taste for granola again. I tried so hard to forget about it, but we all know that telling ourselves not to crave something usually leads us to craving it all the more. The human psyche is a treacherous beast. To crush my cravings once and for all, I came up with this scrumptious granola recipe, and I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. My Toasted Almond, Coconut and Chocolate Granola has all that wonderful crunch, so much full-bodied flavour and just the right amount of fructose-friendly sweetness. If Coco Pops and Crunchy Nut Clusters decided to have a lovechild and it were born healthy, this would be it.
Toasted Almond, Coconut and Chocolate Granola
Serves 12 (1/2 cup servings)
Dietary Information: wheat free, vegan-friendly, refined sugar free, dairy free, fructose-friendly, low FODMAP. Contains gluten (Oats – see notes for GF alternative) and nuts.
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded/flaked coconut
1 cup puffed brown rice or rice crisps (I use 1/2 cup of each for varied textures)
1 cup activated plain buckinis (activated buckwheat. I used Loving Earth brand)
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup of your favourite raw nuts, roughly chopped (I use a combination of almonds, walnuts, pecans and macadamias)
1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional – If you’re not a fan of cacao nibs, don’t use them because their flavour can be quite dominating)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
15-20 drops liquid stevia, or to taste
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
Preheat oven to 150*C and grease a large baking tray with a little coconut oil.
In a large bowl, combine all “muesli mixture” ingredients, except the shredded coconut.
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the maple syrup, cacao and cinnamon and stir until all combined. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. Add the vanilla and salt and stir until the liquid is fully incorporated. Sweeten further with stevia to taste, if needed.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry muesli mixture and stir gently until all dry ingredients are evenly coated. There should be enough ‘wet’ mixture to completely cover the muesli.
Spread mixture evenly over the greased tray. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, then remove and stir. Add the dried coconut and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. The granola will continue to crisp up after you take it out of the oven, so don’t worry if it’s still a little wet or soft.
Allow to cool completely before transferring to air-tight containers or large glass jars. The granola will remain fresh for 1-2 weeks if stored in a cool place, away from sunlight.
Notes and serving suggestions:
For an indulgent weekend treat or breakfast entertaining, serve with cinnamon-grilled banana, organic full-fat or coconut yoghurt, fresh berries and a large drizzle of chocolate ‘sauce’, as pictured. To make the grilled banana, simply cut a large ripe banana length-ways, sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon and place under an oven grill. Grill until the natural sugars in the banana start to caramelise and bubble. Remove immediately and serve while still hot. To make the ‘sauce’, combine 1 tsp natural smooth peanut butter, 1 tsp raw cacao powder, 1 tsp melted coconut oil and a few drops of liquid stevia.
Use the granola to make a layered Chia Pudding Parfait, another quick, easy and effective breakfast entertaining idea.
For a nourishing breakfast, serve with organic full fat or coconut yoghurt, your choice of milk (I love Pure Harvest’s coconut-rice milk) and fresh strawberries.
Serve on top of healthy banana ‘ice cream’ (frozen banana blended with a little natural peanut butter) for a great post-workout meal or snack.
Portion into little snap-lock bags for a super tasty and nourishing trail mix to nibble on between meals and satisfy late-arvo chocolate cravings.
For a gluten-free version, simply replace the oats with 1 cup extra puffed brown rice or rice crisps, 1/2 cup extra shredded coconut and 1/2 cup extra plain buckinis.
A million different ingredients. 3 different mixtures to be made. One processor. Go!
Measure all ingredients. Take first lot. Sift these, melt those. Process together. Taste and adjust. Freeze for 2 hours. Clean processor. Process next batch of ingredients. Taste and adjust. Pour onto first frozen layer. Freeze for half an hour. Clean processor. Melt some of this, mash some of that. Process. Taste. Pour over the second frozen layer and freeze. Clean processor and the rest of your bomb-site kitchen.
It’s no secret that I like to make things out of food. In My Ideal World, I’d happily spend entire days floating around the kitchen, cooking, creating, decorating. And eating.
Still, even I can admit that making healthy desserts and clean sweet treats can be pretty bloody arduous and time-consuming. So much so that I often just don’t bother with them unless I’m recipe testing or making something for an occasion. Complicated and meticulously presented desserts, whether healthy or not, take patience, time and an excessive willingness to clean the same gadgets over and over. So, while I love my intricately layered sweet treats in all their pretty glory, sometimes the fuss-free uglies are way more appealing than their photo-worthy counterparts. How do Cadbury describe their Picnic bars again? Deliciously Ugly? Nearly all the best tasting recipes are…
So here’s a recipe that looks like a chocolate bar, smells like a chocolate bar, gives you that sugar fix like a chocolate bar, and, yep, tastes like a chocolate bar. EXCEPT it’ll only take you 5 minutes to make, and while your taste buds are fooled into thinking you’re eating a chocolate bar, your insides with be thanking you for impregnating it with healthful fats, powerful antioxidants, wholegrains, fiber, iron, selenium (helps to reduce the risk of common diseases), manganese (helps the body to synthesize fats and benefits nervous system function), copper (support for brain function), Vitamin-E and a range of Vitamin-B complexes.
Please don’t be afraid to use your imagination with this one. The recipe is super basic, and it would be pretty hard to go wrong. You can experiment with different nut butters and add puffed quinoa or buckinis for texture and crunch. A chocolate ‘ganache’ made of coconut oil (or a little organic butter if you eat dairy), cacao, stevia and a little maple syrup would be scrumptioua on top, too!
Chewy Choc Nutter Bars
Makes 10 bars or 20 bite-sized squares. Dietary info:gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, vegan, fructose-friendly, low FODMAP, refined-sugar free. Contains grains and peanuts.
2.5 cups brown rice crispies (not “puffed brown rice” as they go soggy!)
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup crunchy natural peanut butter
3.5-4 tbs raw cacao powder
4 tbs coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
7 drops liquid stevia
Pinch Himalayan sea salt
Line a square slice tin with baking paper.
In a mixing bowl, combine the puffed brown rice and shredded coconut.
In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, stevia, vanilla, cacao powder and salt.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the dry mixture. Stir gently until the rice puffs and coconut are coated evenly and everything sticks together.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press down firmly, ensuring that the slice is tightly compacted. Set in the freezer for 1 hour. Use a sharp knife to cut slab into desired sizes. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to eat it. I prefer it kept in the freezer as it stays firmer and goes chewier. If kept correctly, I’m assuming that the slice would last weeks in the freezer, though I put emphasis on ‘assuming’ because these things never last more than a few days in my household.
The peanut butter can be substituted with any other textured nut butter: almond, brazil, ABC etc.
Instead of eating as a ‘slice’, you can roll the mixture into ping pong-sized balls and wrap in glad wrap before freezing to make a portioned and guilt free snack, ready to grab when you’re on the go and sugar cravings strike!
I first posted this recipe well over two years ago, and the truth is that I’ve never been totally thrilled with it. It was always just “alright” (seconded by my family), and I’ve been too butt-lazy to improve it. Until last weekend, that is, when I had a sudden craving for sweet potato choccie brownies. As it turns out, all the recipe needed was zero banana to get rid of the too-wet-issue, a little coconut flour (I was too scared to use it a few years ago) to mop up any excess moisture and a bit more cacao. Easy peasy.
Even some of the most culinarily curious people screw up their noses and purse their lips when they hear “sweet potato chocolate brownies”, so I was really nervous when I took the brownies to work for colleagues to try the other day. The nerves quickly subsided when one of my young male colleagues took a bite and excitedly pronounced, “that shit is off its d***!”
Boo yah. Success!
This recipe calls for mashed sweet potato, but please don’t be mistaken: I learnt the hard way that not all sweet-taty-is created equal, especially when it’s going into a brownie. The first time I attempted these brownies circa 2013, I couldn’t be bothered waiting for the potato to roast, so I boiled the bejeezuz out of it until it was mashable. The flavour of the brownies was great, but the texture was more sad, soggy cake than fudgey brownie, and the only people who enjoy soggy cake are trifle fans. I am not a trifle fan.
Moral of that little ramble? ROAST YOUR SWEET POTATO!!!
Now, as content as I am with this recipe, please don’t expect these brownies to resemble your mum’s best chocolate brownie recipe too closely. After all, it’s the combination of brown sugar, butter and processed flour that gives brownies their characteristic chewy outer crust and fudgey centre, so if you remind yourself that this recipe is a wholesome and far healthier version, I’m sure you’ll love it.
Fudgey Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies
Gluten free, grain free, Paleo, low fructose.
Contains egg and a small amount of FODMAPs (almond meal & coconut flour)
Makes 16 squares, or 8 bars (let’s be honest – you’ll eat two squares at a time anyway).
3 tbs dark choc chips (optional – they add a little refined sugar)
Preheat the oven to 200*C. Wash and dry the sweet potato. Prick all over with a knife, place on a lined baking tray lined and roast until very tender, approximately one hour. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 185*C.
Cut a slit down the length of the sweet potato and scoop out 370g of flesh (try to not get any skin). In a large bowl, mash the sweet potato until no large lumps are left. Set aside to cool for half an hour.
Line a 20cm square cake tin with baking paper. In a bowl, combine the eggs, oil, maple syrup, nut butter and vanilla and whisk until fully combined. Add to the mashed sweet potato and whisk vigorously until the mixture is as lump-free as possible.
In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except the choc chips, if using).
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, folding gently until fully combined.
Pour the batter into prepared tin and smooth the top over with the back of your spoon. Scatter over the choc chips, if using.
Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, but not totally dry as you want the brownies to be fudgey.
Allow to stand for 15 minutes before removing from the tray and cutting into desired portions.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days.
I’m currently feeling a little under the weather due to some chronic sleep deprivation, and my creative cap has been MIA lately, so it’s a short and oh-so-sweet little hello from me today.
These dandy little creations were verrrrrrrry popular. So popular, in fact, that I only scored half of one myself. Not okay.
The quantities in the recipe make about 8 small tarts (or 7 if you can’t stop eating the ingredients like me), but it could easily be doubled. I used quite small quantities as I made the recipe up along the way and wasn’t sure whether it would be a success or not. I’m quickly learning that it’s pretty hard to stuff raw sweets up. They’re practically infallible – if the flavours and textures work well together while you’re putting them together, chances are that the end product will be a success. Baked treats, on the other hand, are far more volatile (even more so when you’re a gluten-free baker). Will it rise? Will it be too sweet? Will it lose too much sweetness? Will it be fluffy? Will it hold form? Will it curdle? You could be licking the Muffin Batter of The Gods from the bowl one minute, convinced that you’re onto something great, then you’ve got 12 tragic little muffins in the bin 20 minutes later, not even worthy of the dog bowl. Ovens are dangerous, and lately I just haven’t had the energy to deal with the anxiety that Oven Time brings…
Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Tarts Makes 8 small tarts
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup dried coconut
1 tbs LSA (linseed, sunflower & almond meal)
2.5 tbs raw cacao powder
3 tbs melted coconut oil
2 tsp pure maple syrup (for a strictly raw version, sub in a raw sweetener of choice)
3 drops liquid stevia
1/4 ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
2 tbs raw cacao powder (or more, depending on how deep you want the flavour to be)
2 tsp pure maple syrup (for a strictly raw version, sub in a raw sweetener of choice)
2 drops liquid stevia (or more, to taste)
1 ripe banana, plus a little maple syrup
Line 8 disposable aluminium foil tartlet cases with small squares of glad wrap. I did this to ensure they wouldn’t stick.
Process all Tart Shell ingredients in a high-speed processor until it all comes together like a dough. Taste and adjust flavours if needed.
Divide the mixture into portions and carefully mould each portion into the foil cases with your fingers to create a little ‘cup’. Place on a tray and allow to set in the freezer for 15 minutes.
To make the custard filling, process all ingredients until a thick and smooth custard-like consistency forms. Taste and adjust sweetness/cacao to suit your preferences.
Remove tart shells from the freezer. Remove the tarts from the foil cases by carefully lifting and peeling away the plastic wrap.
Spoon custard mixture into chilled tart shells. Freeze until 10 minutes before serving.
To serve, allow the tarts to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes first, then top with slices of maple-grilled banana.
To make the maple-grilled banana, slice a ripe (but firm) banana, brush lightly with a little pure maple syrup and place under the grill until the banana starts to brown, bubble and caramelise (about 3 minutes).
To make a strictly raw version of this recipe, simply replace the maple syrup with a raw sweetener, and top the tarts with fresh banana instead of grilled.
Now, everyone on the face of the earth is familiar with the amazingness of Reese’s Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, right? Well, apparently I’ve been living under a rock for the past 21 years. I only became aware of their existence once recipes of their healthy take-offs went viral and infested my social networking (and Google) feeds. In the online health-nut community (I refuse to call us ‘Clean Eaters’ – that term makes even me cringe, and I am one), healthy versions of Reese’s ingenious creation have become all the rage. Simple, quick, fuss-free, no-bake and healthy, they make a perfect little sweet treat. And while I’ve since made them numerous times, I’ve found little reason to post my own recipe because let’s face it, they’re everywhere. It would be like posting a recipe pretending that I invented the raw-universally celebrated Raw Chocolate Mousse (avocado, cacao & sweetener). Not much new or exciting there. So, last night I decided to put a little spin on the famous chocolate-peanut butter marriage. But how could I make it my own?
Everyone loves chocolate. Everyone loves peanut butter (my cat and boyfriend are the only exceptions I know)…
…and everyone loves cookies. Even my cat.
With that little Lightbulb Moment, my Raw Chocolate Cookie & Peanut Butter Fudge Cups were born. Not only are they deliciously more-ish and sure to quell any sweet cravings, they’re also loaded with super nourishing properties like antioxidants, natural anti-depressants (tryptophan), anti-inflammatory powers, metabolism and energy boosters, essential fats, proteins, fibre, vitamin E, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, folate, iron, zinc and magnesium, just to name a few!
Now, I have used a little maple syrup for the sole purposes of nutritional benefit (not to mention unbeatable taste). To avoid getting into any trouble here, I must highlight the fact that maple syrup is not actually considered a raw food. Sorry. Making pure maple syrup involves boiling down the sap from maple trees, a process which is extremely lengthy, delicate and involved (hence the high cost of pure maple syrup compared to maple flavoured syrup — not so good for you!) The health benefits of pure maple syrup, however, surpass that of any raw sweetener by a mile, and its relative fructose content is much lower. So, if your diet is absolutely raw, just substitute the maple for a raw sweetener. If you don’t follow a raw lifestyle, then I’d encourage you to opt for pure certified organic maple syrup over ANY ‘raw’ sweetener like agave, for example, which has a whopping fructose content ranging anywhere from 70-90%! Agave might possess other health benefits, but its incredibly high fructose percentage is enough for me to stay clear of it, whether I have fructose malabsorption or not.
These little babies are great served with a mid morning cuppa, as a post workout snack (new research shows that almonds are one of the top natural post-workout fuels), or as a lovely little low carb and guilt-free dessert. Or any time of day that you’re having a chocolate/cookie/peanut butter craving, really…
Raw Chocolate Cookie & Peanut Butter Fudge Cups Makes 10 cups
Ingredients: Raw Chocolate Cookie
2 cups almond meal
4-6 tbs raw cacao powder (according to taste)
8 tbs coconut oil, melted
4 tbs pure organic maple syrup
6 drops liquid stevia, or to taste
Peanut Butter Fudge Filling
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3 tsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp pure organic maple syrup
2 drops liquid stevia, or to taste
Pinch Himalayan pink sea salt, to taste
6 tbs raw cacao butter, melted
2-4 tbs raw cacao powder, or to taste
2-3 drops liquid stevia, or to taste
Completely combine all Chocolate Cookie ingredients in a bowl. Firmly press half the mixture into 10 silicone cup cake moulds. Freeze for 10 mins.
In the meantime, combine all Peanut Butter Fudge Filling ingredients. Remove cups from freezer and smooth peanut butter mixture on top of the first cookie layer. Freeze for 20-30 mins.
Press the remaining chocolate cookie mixture into the cups, on top of the peanut butter filling. Freeze for 10 mins.
Combine Chocolate Topping ingredients, remove cups from freezer and cover evenly with the chocolate. Set in the freezer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts before serving if you wish. Only remove from the freezer 10 mins before serving. They will melt and lose shape rapidly, otherwise.
One day last week, my best gal pal was coming over for one of our habitual Afternoon Tea dates. Being the 21-going-on-75ers that we unashamedly are (bar the weekend, of course, when tea is replaced with vodka), my best friends and I always relish in the rare delight of lazing around in our moccasins for a few hours while chatting frantically about anything and everything (often forgetting to breathe), getting stuck into dark chocolate and, of course, drinking copious amounts of tea. Green, Chai, English Breakfast, French Earl Grey, Peppermint…
Incidentally, I had the whole day off, which naturally means a day of recipe invention, experimentation and converting my kitchen into an A-grade bomb site. With the extra time on my hands, I decided to jazz our tea date up a little.In the true tradition of all bona fide afternoon teas, one fundamental element was called for: sweets. And what do I love even more than sweets? HEALTHIFIED SWEETS!
So, I got to work on a littlefeast: raw vegan Coconut Cream and Strawberry Slice , strawberries dipped in homemade raw vegan almond chocolate and –lo and behold– THE BEST healthy choc-banana smoothie EVER! I decided to be all outrageous and skip the tea (many cups of China Jasmine were consumed post-fiesta, of course), and what a decision it was.
This delightful concoction is definitely more of a thick shake than a smoothie. It has all the naughty tastes and textures of a thick shake, but is 100% healthy AND, what’s more, it’s sugar free! As much as I adore healthy smoothies, it can’t be denied that they taste just that – healthy. Which is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a given that a wholesome smoothie packed with spinach and berries won’t titillate your taste buds quite like a thick shake made from ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce will.
THIS ‘smoothie’, however, is guaranteed to titillate your taste buds. When I was younger, a McDonald’s choccie thick shake was always my chosen 6-Nugget Happy Meal accompaniment, and no, it wasn’t my dessert because a shake is “just a drink!”. I’d have a large Chocolate Sundae, too. I kid you not, the first gulp of my Choc-Banana Thick Shake took my straight back to my enchanted childhood. It was magnificent.
This thick shake is so incredibly creamy, chocolatey, sweet and, as one can expect, thick. So wonderfully thick, in fact, that the thin straw I served it with was quickly ditched for a spoon. I definitely recommend a thick straw if you’re planning on drinking this liquefied chocolate velvet. The secret to such a smooth, creamy and thick result? Frozen bananas.
To add to the indulgence factor, I whipped up some choc-almond fudge to drizzle around the edges of the glasses. I then used the leftovers to coat strawberries with before rolling them in crushed pistachios and shredded coconut…
Choc-Banana Thick Shake with Chocolate Fudge Sauce Serves 2 (or one fat me)
3 frozen bananas (I peel and chop fresh bananas into halves and store them in a container in the freezer, so I always have them ready to go)
2-3 tbs raw cacao powder, or to taste (I use Loving Earth brand)
1 tbs almond butter
2/3 cup milk of choice (cow’s milk or vegan nut milk such as almond or cashew for vegans or lactose-free)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 drops liquid stevia, or to taste (if you’re not too concerned about keeping it sugar-free, a tablespoon or two of pure maple would also be delicious)
Choc-Almond Fudge (optional):
3 tbs raw cacao butter buttons, melted (I use Eco brand. If you don’t have any, you could use coconut oil but it won’t have that creamy, real chocolate effect)
1-2 raw cacao powder, or to taste
1/2 tbs almond butter
Splash of vanilla extract
Splash of pure maple syrup (can leave out to make it strictly sugar-free)
liquid stevia, to taste
If you’re making the chocolate fudge, combine the relevant ingredients with the melted cacao butter. Stir vigorously until fully combined. You can either drizzle the chocolate around the edges of your serving glasses before you pour the drink in as I did, or top your shake with it. Because it sets like real chocolate, you will need to move quickly with it. If it starts to harden, simply melt it down again slightly.
To make the thick shake, add all ingredients to a high-powered blender or processor and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Pour into servings glasses and enjoy immediately.
If you have leftover chocolate, dip strawberries into it and then roll them in crushed pistachios and shredded coconut. YUM! Or, you could just eat it by the spoonful…
If you only want enough to serve one person, there might not be enough ingredients for the blender to work properly. I’d suggest still making enough for two servings, and store the remainder in the fridge for ‘later’. By later, I mean immediately after your first glass, before you realise how full you are.