humorous and heartfelt stories ~ healthy recipes made without gluten, dairy, or eggs ~ ideas for living well


My youngest son Will has an endearing little habit of filling his pockets with the many "treasures" he encounters in his daily adventures. I don't always understand the value he sees in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks can one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one is beautiful and important. His habit got me thinking about how life is just like that on a larger scale; we gather up the precious bits of our many experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you will find a little something among the stories and ideas here that you'd like to keep in your own pocket. Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Go Bananas! Chocolate Almond "Ice Cream" Sandwiches (gluten-free, vegan)

Having both boys home all day with me during the summer months means that I hear the phrase, "What should I have for a snack?" more times than I can count.  I'm glad that during the non-school  months I don't have to worry about snacks being nut free, as it gives us many more options to choose from when the munchies strike.  Today I decided to try something a little different than the usual:  I altered the recipe for banana oat bundles (which I bake all the time) to turn them into chocolate almond butter cookies, which I then used as the top and bottom of a healthy "ice cream" sandwich made with banana soft-serve.  Preparing these yummy treats was very simple, and the boys and I all loved them!

Go Bananas! Chocolate Almond "Ice Cream" Sandwiches


For the cookies:

1 1/4 cups + 1/4 cup certified pure gluten-free oats
1 cup blanched almond flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup natural almond butter
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 squares of a dark chocolate bar, finely chopped 

Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

Grind 1/4 cup of the gluten-free oats (a Magic Bullet works really well for this), and combine the ground oats in a large bowl along with the remaining 1 1/4 cups of whole oats, plus the almond flour, cocoa powder, sea salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. 

Place the bananas, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor and process at high speed until the mixture is smooth. 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well combined.  Fold in the finely chopped dark chocolate.

Drop dough by the spoonful onto the prepared baking sheet, and press the top of each mound flat with a fork.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool completely.  (This recipe makes 18 cookies.)

For the filling:

Break a frozen banana into chunks and drop the pieces into the bowl of a food processor.  Process on high speed, stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, until the bananas become the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.

*Note:  If your soft-serve ends up being too soft, put it in the freezer for awhile before assembling your "ice cream" sandwiches, or the filling will ooze all over the place about half a second after you put the top cookie on.  I learned this the hard way; my first attempts at photographing this creation were quite disastrous!  You want the banana filling to be somewhat firm.

To make the sandwiches:

Assemble your delicious little "ice cream" sandwiches by flipping one cookie upside down, gently spreading a spoonful of the soft-serve over the centre of it, and then placing a second cookie right side up on top.  Yum!

If you're not in the mood for making "ice cream" or you don't have any frozen bananas ready and simply can't wait, these cookies are scrumptious all by themselves, too!  I have a feeling this will be a frequently requested snack around here over the remaining weeks of summer holidays....





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