Several months ago, in the dead of a New York City winter, I was desperate for a tropical paradise. Not having the funds to hop over to Tahiti nor the time to escape to the Bahamas, I decided to at least give my taste buds a glimpse of summer. This proved to be more difficult than I imagined, as almost nothing tropical is available in February and in a moment of desperation, I rolled a macadamia nut in a piece of dried mango and popped it into my mouth.
What followed was a truly magical escape from the endless days of “wintery mix” weather reports and coats that resemble sleeping bags. And for those few moments, if I closed my eyes, I swear I could feel the sun on my face, my feet submerged in sand, and smell sunscreen on the breeze as it grazed my bare skin. It was heavenly. Sigh.
So, after eating an entire bag of dried mango and half a bag of macadamia nuts in one sitting, I set out to create the ultimate summer treat in the ultimate tropical flavor: Mango-Macadamia ‘Nana Ice Cream.
Now, dairy doesn’t sit well with me and I’m not one for refined sugars either, so I returned to the old food-blogger staple: Nana Ice Cream. For those of you not into the vegan blogosphere, Nana Ice Cream is a frozen ice-cream-like dessert created by pureeing frozen bananas with a whole host of fruits and flavors.
So, after months of development and taste tests (okay, I was just eating a lot of this stuff), I present to you the recipe that will take you to the tropics even if you live in an igloo.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
2 Frozen Bananas (Sliced)
3/4 Cup Frozen Mango
1/2 Cup Macadamia Nuts (Soaked)
1/4-1/2 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
1 Teaspoon Maple Syrup
- Start by soaking your macadamia nuts in filtered water for at least an hour, the longer the better. You want them to be as smooth as possible when ground up.
- After your nuts have been soaked, drain the liquid and grind them up on high in your food processor/high powered blender.
- Once a soft paste has formed, add your frozen banana slices and your frozen mango and turn your food processor on low.
- Slowly add your coconut milk to the mixture while the food processor is still running. Add the coconut milk very slowly until it reaches the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
- Add your maple syrup to the mixture (food processor still running)
- Once everything is fully incorporated and the mixture is the consistency of soft-serve, stop your food processor and pour the ice cream into a freezable container.
- If your ice cream is still a good soft-serve consistency, feel free to dish it out, top with more macadamia nuts (maybe some strawberries!) and dig in! If it’s gone a bit soupy in the blending process, you’ll need to pop in in the freezer for a bit. Don’t worry if you leave it in there too long and it gets solid, just leave it on the counter for 5-10 minutes to thaw before eating.
And there you have it! With a few healthy, wholesome ingredients and the pulse of a food processor, you have a deliciously tropical ice cream alternative. This is a great home-made dessert to satisfy all your summer (and winter) cravings for a cool, melty treat! Feel free to add any other fruit or toppings to the mix and let us know what your signature concoction is!