Chocolate chunk peanut butter soft serve
I haven't used my ice cream maker once this summer. Considering I couldn't put it away last summer, it's a bit startling to think that thing has sat untouched, in our entryway closet, for an entire year. Part of it has to do with the fact that our freezer has been filled with bags of frozen fruit and broccoli (leaving little room for the bowl that requires a 24 hour freeze) (thanks Costco and unsightly/half-price farmers market peaches), but mostly it's because I discovered a way to make delicious banana soft serve that tastes less like you're eating a bowl of frozen bananas and more like you're eating a bowl of creamy, delicious ice cream.
You might be thinking WAIT A MINUTE I'VE SEEN THIS RECIPE BEFORE. A long time ago. Back when I posted only one photo and a handful of words. Which I should probably revert to doing because I talk too much but.. I digress. I know this recipe has been around for ages. The frozen banana trick. But I'm here to tell you that if you've been making banana soft serve with one ingredient and one ingredient only: you're doing it wrong. Unless, of course, you enjoy the goopy texture and very obvious banana flavor. Then keep doing your one ingredient thing. But if you want to take it to the next level, you're going to need to add three more ingredients to that soft serve. Four if you like chocolate.
So first we're going to start with ice cubes because I've found that ice is the only ingredient capable of cutting the overly dense texture that results when you try to blend frozen bananas into a creamy treat. When ice is added to the equation, it not only produces a light and airy end product, but also helps to reduce the overwhelming banana flavor. The next ingredient is peanut flour (not to be confused with peanut meal) (also goes by the name powdered peanut butter) and is what remains after peanuts have had a majority of the oil pressed out of them. I know what you're thinking: EWW. And EWW is right if you're actually using it to make a low-fat version of peanut butter. But when added to smoothies or, in this case, soft serve, peanut flour is a pretty badass ingredient. It adds just enough stability to the base of the soft serve to keep it from turning into a soupy mess, and it also lends a subtle peanut butter flavor without adding the pasty peanut butter texture. And the last ingredient? Almondmilk. But not just any almondmilk. Unsweetened vanilla almondmilk. Try this recipe with unsweetened almondmilk then with the unsweetened vanilla variety and you'll understand why the latter is superior. Or you can just take my word for it.
And since I know there are at least a few of you who shudder at the thought of people putting frozen bananas in a blender and trying to pass the end result off as ice cream (I live with one of them), might I recommend the salted double chocolate ice cream? And if you're feeling extra fancy, you can use the aforementioned recipe to make a salted chocolate pretzel ice cream cake. Then invite me over because there's no way I'm going to make something that involved when I can have lazy lady soft serve at the drop of a dime.
PS - It's time to ditch Almond Breeze (because false advertising isn't cool) and come to the luxurious side of almondmilk. You know you wanna. It's delicious.
PPS - There are a few photos (below) of what our main living area looks like when I'm shooting because REAL LIFE, YO. I took a break from the shoot then walked back in and had a good laugh because WHAT HAVE I BECOME?
PPPS - Now I'm just getting annoying but HI. Wedding cake post coming SOON.
Notes: A scale isn't absolutely necessary, but I wanted to provide the weight measurements (for accuracy) due to the fact that banana and ice cube sizes vary. If you're wondering about the ice cubes, we use these trays - which make much smaller cubes than standard ice cube trays. If you're working with normal size ice cubes and find yourself without a scale, you can use 2-3 ice cubes, instead. If you don't have peanut flour (or powdered peanut butter), feel free to replace it with real deal peanut butter or omit it all together. While I prefer to use Califia's unsweetened vanilla almondmilk, the chocolate coconut blend makes a delicious soft serve, as well. For a caffeinated option, use Califia's double espresso cold brew (but add a tablespoon of cacao powder to counteract the added sweetness). And if you're feeling it, replace the dark chocolate with a couple of crunchy dark chocolate peanut butter cups.
This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. All opinions are my own (and I think Califia rules).
CHOCOLATE CHUNK PEANUT BUTTER SOFT SERVE
6 (75g) square 1" ice cubes (see notes above)
1 1/2 (180g) medium ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter
1/2-2/3 cup Califia Farms unsweetened vanilla almondmilk
1/2 ounce good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Add all ingredients, except for the dark chocolate, to the base of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Blend on high for 30-45 seconds, using a tamper or scraping down the sides, as needed. I prefer the consistency of this soft serve when made with 1/2 cup of almondmilk, but if you don't have a high powered blender, you may need to use a bit more (possibly up to 3/4 cup). Once the mixture is smooth, stir in the chocolate chunks then transfer to bowl and enjoy, preferably with a healthy sprinkle of chopped peanuts on top.
If your soft serve comes out a bit too soft, transfer it to the freezer for about an hour before consuming.
Yield: One big ass serving