Holy moly does it feel so good to finally sit down and write this post! As many of you know from previous posts and Instagram, I’ve been a little busy this week between starting a new job on Tuesday and entering my last fall semester on Thursday. It has definitely been a change in routine, considering I had my entire summer off from both school and work. None the less, I’m figuring out the best way to keep things going on here, as well as keeping up with a jam-packed 18 hour semester!
While there are a million other things that are much more stressful than the first week of classes, I couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed and slightly stressed during this past week. I suppose change or just figuring out a new routine will do that to ya, no matter how prepared you are. For me, stress means cravings and I am totally not afraid to indulge when life gets crazy! It might not be the best way to deal with it, but hey – in the end, what really matters most? So ice cream it is!
Well, before you get too comfortable with the thought of Ben & Jerry’s in my freezer, I will admit – this is more like “nice” cream instead of ice cream. The base of this recipe consists of frozen bananas; a really healthy substitute to heavy cream and sugar. From past protein smoothie experience, I’ve found that frozen fruit, especially bananas, gives such a creamy and thick texture to smoothies. And after seeing a million different “nice cream” recipes, I knew my findings were no coincidence.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve either had pints of Halo Top socked up, or a variety of my nice cream recipes in the freezer. I love dessert, and I love a cold dessert in the dead of summer, so finding something healthy, cost efficient, and satisfying has been my mission. The only time we buy Halo Top is when we have a coupon, which happens to be just about every time we go to Target or Giant Eagle. It’s like they know I buy it all the time or something! But even that can get a bit pricy, not to mention having to make a special trip when you run out. Point being, making your own ice cream from frozen bananas just might be the cheapest and healthiest, yet most rewarding dessert you can make for yourself!
I love adding a few scoops of protein powder to our base for some added protein. However, this step is completely optional and if you decide not to add it, you will likely need less liquids (water or almond milk). With that in mind, all other ingredients are optional as well. I was really really craving mint chip + pistachio so I decided to go ahead with both! I loved how this recipe turned out and I hope you love it as well!
Mint Chip & Pistachio Ice Cream Bars
What You Will Need
- 3-4 frozen bananas
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1 dark chocolate bar (over 70% cocoa)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 tbsp. mint extract
Optional: pistachio crumbles and chocolate toppings
To begin, add the frozen bananas to a food processor and pulse beads or “pearls” start to form. Add in 1/4 cup pistachios, 1 scoop of protein powder, 1/4 cup of water, and blend on medium for 30-45 seconds.
Once the ice cream and pistachios are combined, add in 3/4 of the dark chocolate bar and 1/2 tbsp. mint extract. Blend on low or pulse enough just to break the chocolate bar up, still leaving chunks.
Pour the mixture into a parchment lined loaf pan or bowl, add any additional topping and freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Once frozen, pick the parchment out of the loaf pan and cut the ice cream into bars or cubes. Serve and enjoy!
*To make slicing effortless, run a largish and very sharp knife under hot water for a few seconds!