Vegan Espresso Fudgesicles

Ok, it’s really hot.  I can’t even stand to be outside unless there is a giant body of water available for me to immerse myself in.  When it’s this hot, I am all about finding recipes that require no cooking so I don’t have to make my house an inferno by turning on the oven.  My mom was coming over this week for dinner to celebrate her birthday and there was no way I was going to turn on the oven to bake a cake.  I found a recipe for espresso fudgesicles, that also happened to be vegan, and I felt like I’d pretty much hit the jackpot.   The only thing I had to do was track down those popsicle molds I bought a few years ago to make my picky little eater delicious and healthy yogurt/fruit popsicles (she, of course, thought they were gross, so the molds ended up in a drawer and my kids love playing with them and leaving them on the floor for me to step on).   Shockingly, I found all but one of the molds and I was all set to start on my journey to popsicle deliciousness.

These little gems did not disappoint.  Rarely do I find a healthy version of a classic that lives up to the original, but these were amazing.  Rich and creamy like the fudgesicles I remembered as a kid with a more grown up taste from the bittersweet chocolate and espresso.

Start with bittersweet chocolate, some ground up espresso powder and coconut milk.  Melt together over a double boiler until the chocolate is nearly melted.  Then stir in a pinch of salt and vanilla extract.

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At this point,  you will want to let the mixture cool for a few minutes and then pour the mixture through a strainer to strain out the espresso grounds.  My husband actually likes the added crunch from the grounds so I skipped this step.  Next, pour the mixture into your molds.

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This step is key…you will want to freeze the popsicles overnight.  I tried to freeze them for 6 hours before dinner and we ended up eating them out of the molds with spoons.   I tried again in the morning and the popsicles came out much easier.    Just run the molds under warm water for a few seconds and pop them out.   Share them with your friends or eat them all yourself because they are just that good.

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Vegan Espresso Fudgesicles

Ingredients:

6 oz bittersweet chocolate (you could use milk chocolate if you are making these for kids, but they won’t be vegan anymore)

1 14 oz can coconut milk

1 tbsp ground espresso (coarsely ground if you want to strain it out, finely ground if you want to keep it in.  You can also leave this out if you aren’t a fan of the mocha flavor.)

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Directions:

Melt chocolate, espresso and coconut milk in a double boiler until the chocolate is almost melted.  Add the vanilla and salt and allow the mixture to cool and the espresso to steep for 10 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a strainer if desired and then pour into popsicle molds.   Freeze the popsicles overnight and then enjoy!

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Caramelized Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

My children are obsessed with ice cream…I mean OBSESSED.  They would eat it three times a day if I let them.  My husband blames this slight “problem” on me and between you and me, he’s probably right.  I saw this recipe on Roost Blog and jumped at the chance to potentially fool my children with an ice cream made out of bananas, very little sugar and protein-packed peanut butter.

Let’s be honest….calling this ice cream is a bit of a misnomer.  My husband compared it more to a frozen cookie dough consistency.  It is rich and decadent and best enjoyed in small portions.

You want to start with very ripe bananas.  The riper the better.  Mine were not as ripe as they should have been, but I was just working with what I had.  Slice the bananas and then toss them in a mixture of honey (or agave for the vegan) and melted coconut oil.  Spread them out over a piece of parchment paper and roast at 350 for about 30 minutes.

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After 30 minutes, the bananas will be caramelized and fragrant (reminded me of banana bread).

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While the bananas are still warm, pour the bananas and all of their juices into a glass bowl and add 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter.  Blend the mixture together with an emersion blender until very smooth.

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Pour the mixture into a container and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.

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At this point your ice cream is technically done, but I felt it was absolutely crucial to add some dairy free mini chocolate chips.   You can skip this step if you are aren’t a chocolate lover (do those even exist?) and just keep the ice cream in the freezer for another several hours.  If you choose to add the the chips, take the ice cream out of the freezer after about 20 minutes or when the ice cream is just cool enough not to melt all the chips.  Gently fold in about 1/2 cup chocolate chips.  Return to the freezer for several more hours.

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Use an ice cream scoop that has been dipped in warm water to scoop the ice cream and enjoy!

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Caramelized Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:

8 very ripe bananas

6 tbsp honey

3 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the bananas and put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Mix the honey and melted coconut oil and pour over the bananas.  Toss gently to coat.  Roast the bananas for 30 minutes until fragrant and caramelized.  Pour the warm bananas in a bowl and add 1/2 cup peanut butter.  Blend with an emersion blender until very smooth.  Place in the freezer for at least three hours or overnight and stir in the chocolate chips after 20 minutes if desired.