Brain Thaw PB&J Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Ice cream is known for brain freeze, but these delicious low-glycemic, grain-free, paleo treats filled with vegan ice cream will take your mind closer to Mensa heights. Consisting of brain foods such as avocados, blueberries, and nuts, you could hardly ask for more function in your summer dessert. And since each component is super simple, you also couldn’t ask for a prettier treat with less effort.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Ariane's cheery-hued dessert is a feast for the eyes and stomach. Surprisingly dairy- and grain-free, these ice cream sandwiches provide fiber and antioxidants from the berries, plus creamy richness, protein and healthy monounsaturated fat from the avocado and nut butter. The calorie bill is relatively high -- fortunately, one small serving of these beauties is enough to satisfy!

Note: If your berries are quite sweet to begin with, you could omit the added sweetener in the ice cream recipe and the honey in the jam. Add a bit of fresh lemon or orange juice, or a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract, to the latter for a flavor boost. To decrease the sodium content, look for a reduced sodium and no-salt-added nut/seed butter, or try making your own in a food processor with unsalted nuts/seeds. Minimize some of the fat by choosing 1 cup full fat coconut milk and 1 cup light coconut milk, and add the optional vodka or dissolved gelatin to ensure the "ice cream" remains creamy. Further slash overall calories and fat by cutting it into 12 bars.


By Heather Goesch

Brain Thaw PB&J Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins + freeze time
  • Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

Cookie Cake Crust:

1 ½ cups nut or seed butter (almond, peanut, and sunflower work well)pulp of one large avocado (blended until creamy)
½ cup Swerve sweetener (may use sugar if preferred)
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt

Ice cream:

2 cups coconut milk (may use ½ & ½ if preferred)
pulp of one medium avocado
½ cup Swerve sweetener (may use sugar if preferred)
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups cooked berry puree (see below)
optional to prevent over-freezing: 2 tablespoons vodka or 1 teaspoon gelatin dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

Berry Puree:
2 cups fresh berries (cut into segments if using large strawberries)
1 tablespoon honey (use more if fruit is underripe or you want it more commercial-level sweet)

Instructions

For cookie cake crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until a uniform batter is achieved.
3. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until browned and firm.
4. Let cool thoroughly.

For ice cream:
1. Blend all ingredients except fruit puree until uniformly textured, with no avocado lumps.
2. Stir in ½ batch of fruit puree.
3. Chill until cold, then process in ice cream maker according to maker’s instructions.
4. Once ice cream is finished, gently fold in remaining fruit puree and freeze in a container.

For Berry Puree:
1. Cook over med-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until fruit has partially broken down. Chill until cold.

Sandwich Assembly:

1. Cut cookie-cake crust in half, and place one side face down.
2. Scoop ice cream onto crust, smoothing so layer is even. This may be done after at least 30 minutes of ice cream freezing, or anytime after. If making final product on a different day, thaw ice cream for 10-15 minutes on counter to soften.
3. If using multiple ice creams, freeze bottom layer briefly.
4. After 10-15 minutes of freezing, layer second ice cream flavor.
5. Top with remaining cookie-cake half face up.
6. Cut and eat immediately, or put in freezer for later usage. Keeps well for several weeks once assembled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

For cookie cake crust: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until a uniform batter is achieved. 3. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until browned and firm. 4. Let cool thoroughly. For ice cream: 1. Blend all ingredients except fruit puree until uniformly textured, with no avocado lumps. 2. Stir in ½ batch of fruit puree. 3. Chill until cold, then process in ice cream maker according to maker’s instructions. 4. Once ice cream is finished, gently fold in remaining fruit puree and freeze in a container. For Berry Puree: 1. Cook over med-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until fruit has partially broken down. Chill until cold. Sandwich Assembly: 1. Cut cookie-cake crust in half, and place one side face down. 2. Scoop ice cream onto crust, smoothing so layer is even. This may be done after at least 30 minutes of ice cream freezing, or anytime after. If making final product on a different day, thaw ice cream for 10-15 minutes on counter to soften. 3. If using multiple ice creams, freeze bottom layer briefly. 4. After 10-15 minutes of freezing, layer second ice cream flavor. 5. Top with remaining cookie-cake half face up. 6. Cut and eat immediately, or put in freezer for later usage. Keeps well for several weeks once assembled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 461; Total Fat: 34g; Saturated Fat: 15g; Monounsaturated Fat: 13g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g; Cholesterol: 21mg; Sodium: 583mg; Potassium: 607mg; Carbohydrate: 42g; Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 19g; Protein: 12g

Nutrition Bonus: Vit C: 19%; Iron: 10%

 

Did you know you can add Further Food Collagen to any recipe for an additional protein boost? Learn more here.

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