Love is in the air.
In my case it’s the germ-filled, recycled air circulated around my office at subzero temperatures akin to the Antarctic, designed to help us cope with what is really a delightful Australian summer day. *temple massage* I love my job, I love my job….Valentine’s Day is upon us and the mercury is happily sitting in the high 30s, so what better way to show your partner some love than with a heart-shaped ice-cream treat! But in true JL Fit Nutrition style – a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, raw vegan
ice-cream sandwich. It’s actually delicious, I swear.
Plus its super easy to make, so even those of us with the ability to burn water (or in my husband’s
case a boiled egg..) can make this impressive looking dessert with minimal fuss. No ice-cream
machine or baking needed, just a food processor and a freezer. The base is made from almonds,
dates and raw cacao powder and the “ice-cream” itself is banana, vanilla and coconut cream – THAT’S IT. See, I told you it was both easy and delicious!
I’ve discussed the benefits of raw cacao powder many times before – think of it as healthy chocolate powder – and it’s the perfect nutritious choice for a romantic event like Valentine’s day. Bananas are a fantastic source of magnesium and potassium, which help ease muscle cramps and maintain our intracellular fluid balance. They are also rich in fibre, to help stabilise blood sugar and regulate bowel movements (just what a romantic dinner needs, amiright?). You will need to freeze the bananas overnight (I usually have a stockpile of them for smoothies, nice-creams and cakes) and then freeze them for 4-6 hours again to set properly so make sure you start this recipe the night before.
You can jazz up the sandwiches with whatever toppings you like, I’ve gone with a salted caramel
chocolate drizzle (Loving Earth brand – if you haven’t tried it yet you haven’t really lived), a
pistachio/cacao nib crust and pomegranate powder (just freeze dried pomegranate seeds blitzed
into a powder) but really the possibilities are endless. Add fresh berries or toasted coconut to the
ice-cream base, or add cacao powder for a double-chocolate hit. Switch up the nuts in the cookie
base for a different flavor or use buckwheat instead of almonds for an interesting crunch. Whichever way you want to do it - JUST DO IT.
Happy (early) Valentine’s Day!
Raw Nicecream Sandwiches
1 cup dried dates
1½ cups almonds
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 frozen banana (the riper it is the more the banana flavour will come through – use your own
judgement as to how you’d like them to taste)
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
200ml coconut cream
1) Cover dates in boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes.
2) Process drained dates, almonds, cacao powder and a pinch of salt into a sticky dough, adding some of the date soaking liquid if the mixture is too dry.
3) Press half the dough into heart-shaped moulds or the base of a 9x13in brownie pan and set aside, reserving the remaining dough in an airtight container.
4) Use a food processor to blend bananas, vanilla and coconut cream (plus any add-ins your using) then pour over base. Freeze overnight or until set.
5) Spread remaining dough over icecream and press in nuts and cacao nibs if using. Place back in the freezer to set, approximately 3-4 hours.
6) Serve drizzled with chocolate or serves with fresh berries (or ideally both).
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