Posts tagged cashews
Maple pecan ice cream

Up until now I hadn’t tried my hand at ice creams…or any form of frozen desserts. But all that may be about to change…! I already have few ideas up my sleeve and a few tests underway. So first up ice cream!

This last week summer has been in full swing (I hope I haven’t just jinxed it) and I could no longer ignore the urges for some ice cream. There is something about ice cream that really is the epitome of summer, and it also makes you feel 10 years old again!

I debated long and hard about the flavour choice and the ingredients to form the base of this ice cream. I had thought about going for a traditional vanilla, but then had second thoughts that maybe such a ‘simple’ flavour may be deceivingly difficult to pull off. Bearing in mind I had never tasted vegan ice cream…neither shop bought or home-made, and also I don’t have an ice cream maker.

So, I settled on a banana and cashew combo for the base, to create a really creamy ice cream with a subtle hint of banana rather than a full on banana flavour. Through my extensive research into homemade vegan ice creams I came across a recommendation to add raisins to achieve a really buttery texture, hence why they’ve also been added here, also for the additional natural sweetness.

The maple syrup and pecans provide the dominant intensity of flavour. The key is to blend everything really well to achieve the full on creamy effect that these ingredients offer. I kept the pecans chunkier for extra texture. I froze the ice cream in ice cube trays, to pop out and blend again just prior to serving, this achieves the creamiest consistency without the need for an ice cream maker. The ice cube trays are also great for making mini servings to melt over pancakes or desserts, or insert a toothpick for a mini frozen lolly!

I served mine on bed of chocolate shavings over my newly created ‘speediest sponge ever’….recipe to come shortly!

Recipe: Maple pecan ice cream

Makes approx. 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup cashew butter
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup soy milk (or other alternative milk)
  • ½ cup pecans (or walnuts although they are more bitter)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

In a food processor add the banana, nut butter, tahini and raisins and blend to form a paste. Add all remaining ingredients and blend together to break up the pecans into smallish pieces. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze

For best results re-blend the frozen chunks briefly and re-freeze to desired consistency to serve.

Alternatively, freeze in one container and remove from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving to slightly soften- note resultant ice cream may not be as creamy as above method.

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Chocolate banana sponge pudding

What do you get if you cross a mug cake with chocolate cashew custard?

…This dish of indulgence!

Can you believe that this rich, smooth, chocolatey dessert full of globs of choc chip sponge cake is actually healthy?

…well now is the time to start believing.

You may remember my love for the super simple choco-banana cashew custard, and so I couldn’t resist taking it that little bit further and adding another level of fun.

This is another recipe where the ingredients and method would appear much more complicated that in reality. To give you a quick summary… you make an ‘oversized’ mug cake in the microwave (total 5 mins) then blend up some cashews and add in the other custard ingredients (total 5 mins). Cut the cake into cubes and pile into an oven dish then pour the custard over the top (total 5 mins). Bake in the oven for about 15 mins…see, super simple! I prepped the dish ready and then baked it whilst we ate first course, perfectly timed for dessert.

I say this dessert is healthy, but I warn you now it is also very filling. I definitely overestimated the portion sizes!! I made this dessert for my family after Sunday lunch last weekend, there were four of us and although we managed to polish it off between us, I would definitely suggest that this makes a dessert more suitable for 6 of even 8. But hey, I’m not stopping you from hogging it (I wouldn’t blame you!) I’m simply warning you that it will fill ya right up! This would easily store in the fridge for a day or two.

My inspiration for this pud originally came from vegan bread pudding recipes I’d come across but just didn’t jump out at me enough. I also wanted a gluten free spin on things if I could…so the result was a cakey-saucy combo. Another level of comforting pudding indulgence that most certainly ticked all the boxes, knocking bread pudding to the floor! Note that although I have used spelt flour here (it’s what I had to hand at the time) you could easily opt for a GF combo along the lines of this recipe.

Recipe: Chocolate banana pudding cake

Serves 6

Ingredients- choc chunk cake

  • Makes one 7” round cake pan (thin layer) or approx. 4 cupcakes
  • ½ cup white spelt (or sub GF mix)
  • 3tbs agave syrup and a few grains of stevia!
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Approx. ¼ cup soy milk
  • 1 small banana- mashed well
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Handful of chocolate chunks

Method

Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and then add wet ingredients. Mix together well adding the chocolate chunks last.

Spoon the batter into a smallish approx. 7” round or square cake pan, or cupcake trays.

Either cook the cake for approx. 2 ½ mins in the microwave (use a sillicone cake pan) or oven bake for approx. 15-20 mins until cooked through and slightly golden.

Once cooked, allow to cool for a couple of minutes before cutting into rough 2cm cubes. Pile the cubes into a small (approx. 7”) but deep oven dish.

Note: I used the microwave method as I was using the cake as a base for a chocolate pudding. The microwave gives a slightly chewier texture which worked well for my needs but oven baking would be superior for serving as a regular cake.

Ingredients- choc cashew custard

Makes 4 small bowls

  • 250 g cashews (soaked in water for min. 4 hours, then drained) *
  • 220g water for blending
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tbs agave syrup (more to taste)
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • Extra agave to taste as necessary
  • Rapadura/coconut sugar for glaze

Method

Drain cashews and discard the soaking water. Blend cashews with remaining cream ingredients in a powerful blender for approx.1 minute until smooth.  *note: if you have a very powerful blender such as a Thermomix or Vitamix, you could blend the cashews without soaking first as I did..

Add the cocoa powder and banana and blend for another 30 seconds until thick and smooth. Add a little more agave if you prefer a sweeter custard.

Pour the chocolate custard mixture over the cake cubes in the oven dish, ensuring a full coverage.

Sprinkle a little rapadura or coconut sugar over the top before placing in a pre-heated oven at 200C for approx. 15 mins until the surface browns and the sauce fully heats through.

Serve immediately.

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Spiced Coconut Roasted Cashews

Three meals a day… it's not for me, I function best on the ‘little and often’ philosophy, always needing a good snack to hand. Often it’s a good old bowl of oats, or some veg sticks and hummus, or sometimes I just crave the sweet kick of these babies!

Today I fancied a savoury snack, a few little nibbles to pick at, and what better than nuts. 

Not any old nuts, these are my coconut roasted spiced nuts… oh yeah! 

What- coconut?  Don’t worry, they don’t taste of coconut, this is simple the ‘oily’ medium I’ve used to help the spices stick to the cashews and as a bonus the coconut flesh in the butter gives a delightful (haven’t said that word in a while!) crumbly powdery coating to the nuts. Coconut is a ‘superfood’ and so it’s a pretty healthy snack too! I’ve used coconut butter over coconut oil as it has more body and I also really wanted to achieve that slightly ‘powdery’ coating which you wouldn’t get to the same degree with regular oil containing no flesh. You can make your own coconut butter here.

So simple to make and endlessly variable, I made three flavours as I just couldn’t decide…..

Recipe: Spiced coconut roast cashews

Makes one smallish bowl.

Ingredients

  • 100g plain cashews (organic if possible)
  • 1tsp melted coconut butter
  • Spices to taste- see below
  • Option 1- ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Option 2- garlic puree or granulesand ground mixed Italian herbs
  • Option 3- Tabasco chipotle sauce (a few drops!), paprika and cayenne pepper
  • (as a rough guide use a total of 1 tsp of combined spices per 100g of cashews)

Method

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and swirl with a spoon or hands until well coated. Lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven at 180C for approx. 8-10 mins until beginning to go golden. Keep a close eye on these and they have a tendency to go from ‘done’ to ‘overdone’ very quickly!


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