Cherries + dark chocolate is always a winning pair!
Here I have continued my love of banana based ice creams and have added the duo to make this vegan Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve ice cream. The inspiration comes from one of Ben & Jerry’s top selling ice creams ‘Cherry Garcia’. Here I have veganized it using simple ingredients that come together making a quick and easy soft serve to enjoy during the coming summer months.
Gather some of the season’s cherries, freeze some bananas and get your chocolate ready…all in the name of good health and a tasty treat that you will enjoy time and time again. Eating healthy and cruelty free is as delicious as can be!
Dark chocolate can happily be a part of your healthy diet as long as it’s enjoyed in moderation. I usually have a small chunk every night with a dollop of almond butter as my dessert.
Benefits of dark chocolate
Dark chocolate contains powerful anti-oxidants which may help to control blood sugar levels by helping the body use its insulin more efficiently. This in turn may help with reducing the risk of diabetes. It also can help improve and lower cholesterol. The flavanols in dark chocolate that may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and slow the onset of dementia. These same flavanols may protect your skin from UV damage. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, can improve your mood, and reduce your stress. These are just some of the benefits associated with dark chocolate.
It’s best to consume chocolate that is 70% cocoa and above or pure raw chocolate, as it will have the most benefits. And to the men out there, it has been found that men benefit most from eating dark chocolate in moderation. So enjoy your dark chocolate without feeling guilty. For more information: Web MD…Dark Chocolate For Health Benefits, Huffington Post: Chocolate Benefits & Men Benefit Most From Eating Dark Chocolate
And then there are cherries, the real star of the recipe!
Benefits of cherries
Cherries, known as a ‘super fruit’, are one of the few food sources that contain melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycle. These little red beauties are also packed with antioxidants called anthocyanin’s which aid in the reduction of heart disease and cancer. This same anti-oxidant can help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis and gout.
They are a perfect post work-out snack for those looking to reduce pain and joint soreness, like runners and heavy training athletes. Cherries are abundant in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, fiber and contain 19 times more beta carotene than strawberries and blueberries. They are perfect for any healthy lifestyle. For further reading take a look at these: Huffington Post: Cherries For Health & Seven Benefits of CherriesPrint
BANANA CHERRY GARCIA SOFT SERVE
A delicious mix of cherries and chocolate chunks blended with bananas. A no-churn ice cream, ready in minutes!
- 2 frozen bananas, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and frozen (divided)
- splash of unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
- scant 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (70% +), cacao nibs or raw chocolate chips
Place banana chunks, 1 cup cherries and splash of milk into blender/food processor and blend until just combined. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times or add another splash of milk to help the mixture move. Add in chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup cherries, pulse until just combined. Serve immediately topped with shaved dark chocolate, cacao nibs or raw chocolate chips.
You can also freeze and serve this for later. Place ice cream into a sealed container and freeze for at least six hours. Let set at room temp for a few minutes, scoop and serve.
Serves 2 generously.
It helps to freeze your serving dish beforehand if possible. Will keep your soft serve chilled a bit longer.
If you don’t want any chocolate chunks try adding 1 heaping teaspoon of raw or dark cocoa powder instead. Adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract never hurts either. It adds another flavor level.