Spinach often brings two words to mind: Popeye and ugh.
Thinking of Popeye eating spinach makes you think the second. Ugh. Picturing floppy, tasteless spinach from a makes you slightly skeptical of ol’ Popeye’s judgement. Even if it did help him defeat the bad guys.
But what if spinach didn’t have to be gross? What if spinach didn’t have to be a strange, bitter green or a wilted pile of mush that gets snuck to the dog?
Finally, spinach can be delicious. Not just tolerable, but truly tasty. How about spinach so satisfying, you want to lick the bowl clean?
I have it. Enter: Avocado and Spinach Ice Cream.
Who wants to eat spinach ice cream?
Like many of my recipes (check out Best Sweet and Spicy Quinoa Chili and Raw Carrot Cake Bites), I can’t take full credit for this. This spinach ice cream recipe was inspired from a request from my husband, Rob.
Yes, Rob actually asked for spinach ice cream. I’ll tell you why.
He didn’t come up with the idea on his own either. He discovered creamy avocado and spinach ice cream from breakfasts at his work, Quid. They served smoothie-bowl type breakfasts, and one of the bases used avocado and spinach. He was head over heels for it. Rob begged me to recreate it.
I was skeptical. Spinach ice cream? Really? While I love salads, I’m wasn’t sure if I wanted my ice cream to taste like salad (or the other way around). On the other hand, I have a motto: I’ll try (almost) anything once. I trusted Rob and his judgement and was willing to try something new. I began to make plans for avocado and spinach ice cream.
Making spinach ice cream
The time had come for me to make the ice cream. We had both frozen bananas and a frozen avocado in the freezer. I didn’t worry about the spinach because I always have frozen spinach in my freezer as a backup veggie.
I warmed the spinach so everything going into the food processor wouldn’t be frozen. I started out putting the spinach in the food processor. Next was the frozen bananas, frozen and chopped avocado. I gave the blender a some quick pulses to get it going.
The frozen mixture was getting smooth but needed a little help. I added a tablespoon of lemon juice for a little moisture. I coaxed the green ice cream into the whirring blades of the food processor.
In a moment of inspiration, I added a dash of cinnamon. Rob and I both love cinnamon. I also added a dash of turmeric and black pepper for a boost of health benefits. The turmeric brightened the green hue of the monster-colored ice cream.
I stuck the ice cream in the freezer while I cooked the rest of our dinner.
Spinach ice cream: surprisingly delicious or disaster?
The time had come to savor in our green ice cream. A part of me was still skeptical even after making the ice cream. Seriously, spinach ice cream?
We both dug in.
Avocado and spinach ice cream was… surprisingly delicious! Though I adore plain banana ice cream, this ice cream was even more decadent. The fat from the avocado made it even more savory and I couldn’t even taste the spinach. The frozen bananas provided sweetness. The flavor was a perfect combination of avocado and banana.
I couldn’t wait for the next time we could make it.
You’ll notice a white foam in some of the pictures of the ice cream. That was my attempt to make aquafaba meringue. Since I don’t have an electric mixer, it’s difficult to get the stiff peaks of a true meringue.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a tasty addition to the ice cream though.
You can make your own vegan foam for your spinach ice cream by whipping some aquafaba by hand, blender or mixer. I added a packet of Splenda and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon to the foam for a bit of sweetness and flavor.
You can finally stop hating on spinach. It’s no longer a blob of green mush on your plate. You can now enjoy spinach with this guilt-free, indulgent avocado and spinach ice cream. Simple to make and 100% healthy.
Vegan and free of added salt, sugar, oil, gluten, soy, nuts and seeds
Reasons to love this recipe: easy to make, ready in 30 minutes or less, less than 10 ingredients, hidden greens
- 1 c frozen spinach
- 1 medium/large avocado, frozen
- 2 medium/large bananas, frozen
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Dash of black pepper
- Dash of turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Measure out 1 cup of frozen spinach. Cook the spinach in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until it’s cooked and steaming.
Chop the frozen avocado and banana into medium chunks. Then add all ingredients to a food processor, starting with the frozen spinach.
Begin by pulsing the mixture to begin breaking down the frozen fruit. Once the mixture has broken into smaller chunks, begin to process on low. After a minute or two, the mixture should look somewhat smooth. Turn up your dial to process on medium and allow the ice cream to process for another 2-3 minutes.
Your avocado and spinach ice cream is done. Enjoy immediately or store in the freezer until it’s time to serve. Serve within 2 hours.
Con esta receta participo en el Reto de Septiembre 2016 de CdM- Cocineros del Mundo en el apartado dulce