It’s been a little quiet on the blog recently but with good reason because I disappeared off on holiday for a couple of weeks with the men in my life to spend some quality time together in Tenerife. We were all in dire need of sunshine, pool time and family time and I’m pleased to say all three were achieved.
Will pulled it out the bag again and found us a fabulous villa to stay in which had everything you could desire. Since having Seb, we’ve always ventured down the villa route for our holidays. To us, it just makes sense to have the ability to put Seb down for his lunchtime nap whilst we catch some sunrays in the garden or in Will’s case disappear off to the golf course. And yes we miss going out for delicious 3 course dinners but I’d much rather have a leisurely dinner at home then get stressed trying to entertain Seb in a restaurant when he’s overtired and staying out past his bedtime.
I can understand a lot of people might not like to cook dinner each evening on holiday, but to me it’s not a chore and I’d even say I miss it when I don’t get to. As long as I get out for some brunches and lunches then I’m happy enough.
Little was achieved on holiday beyond a lot of chill out time at the villa.
The early mornings were spent entertaining Seb whilst the sun came up (which is very late in Tenerife compared to the UK at this time of year), followed by a gym session for me at a local fitness center I found just a few minutes walk away. It could be said that I can sniff out a gym no matter where we are and Will can spot a golf course a mile off.
Late morning was a trip to the local park, beach or out door soft play park before hanging out in the garden till lunchtime. Lunch took place al fresco for Seb in the sunshine and I think he lapped up having some space to run around in.
Whilst Seb took a lunchtime nap, I sunbathed and Will golfed or hit the range. This was the nearest he was going to get to feeling like a professional golfer! The afternoons were a chilled out affair in the garden, swimming in the pool or playing some football before dinner and nipping out for a tub of ice cream or I’d make some homemade banana ice cream.
I’ve been making banana ice cream a lot for Seb as it takes minutes to whip up and you can add all sort of extras to make it even more nutritious. The simple version contains just three ingredients; frozen banana, whole milk and natural yoghurt, blend and serve. You can sub in crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt or add whatever extras you like in terms of fruit or nut butters. It’s pretty flexible really. What I would say is that if you refreeze it after blending it, you’ll find that it freezes very hard, so I just make enough for what I know will get eaten then.
On arriving home, I was still in ice-cream making mode so whipped up some dairy-free caramelised banana and dark choc chunk ice cream. A little more fancy than what we’d been consuming on holiday, but really not overly difficult to make – admittedly an ice cream machine is pretty essential though to really make a smooth creamy soft scoop ice cream.
The caramelisation of the banana makes it rich and indulgent and I found using coconut milk makes it much like a custard based ice cream. As it was Easter weekend I couldn’t help but add in the dark chocolate chunks and it really took the ice cream to the next level.
Sweet caramel bananas against bitter dark chocolate, it just works.
Dairy-free Caramelised Banana and Dark Choc Chunk Ice Cream
3 medium ripe banana sliced into 2cm pieces
70g coconut sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp corn starch
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice
100g dark chocolate, melted
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.
Bake your bananas in the oven for 20-30 minutes in a non-sticking baking tray sprinkled with the coconut sugar and coconut oil. Give them a toss half way through to make sure they are well coated and get an even caramelisation.
Once baked and a lovely golden brown, scrape all your bananas and syrup out the pan and place in a blender or food processor.
On a low heat, place your coconut milk, granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Keep stirring so that you don’t get clumps of cornstarch and continue to heat until all the cornstarch has completely dissolved and your mixture has thickened. This will take about 5-10 minutes to do. You are looking for a thick, creamy consistency.
Add your vanilla extract and lemon juice once you have this consistency and mix through before pouring the creamy mixture in with your bananas in the blender.
Blend your mixture until you have a smooth consistency.
Chill the mixture in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before placing in your ice cream machine as per your machines instructions. Your mixture may have become a bit thicker on chilling in the fridge, feel free to whisk it a little before pouring into the ice cream machine. The coconut milk does make it thicker than regular dairy ice cream.
On the last few minutes of churning when the mixture is almost firm, add in your melted chocolate.
Transfer to a freezer container and place in the freezer to firm up.
Leave out to soften a little before serving and add extra chunks of chocolate should you wish!