When I was walking home tonight, I looked up at the temperature sign on the SunTrust building in Dupont Circle. Why are there two zeroes after a one? I asked myself. Then I realized that it was 100 degrees outside.
After that low point, I decided to go home and make this vegan banana split smoothie. I had the recipe on tap for tonight anyway, but the heat made me even more excited to make it.
It’s the perfect dessert for a hot, humid summer night: the kind that D.C. does best. And this coconut whipped cream…let me tell you. It’s light and fluffy, and if you have an electric mixer, it comes together in minutes. You can save the leftovers (if you have any) for waffles, smoothies or oatmeal.
I’ve been jamming out to this song lately. It’s good for walking down the sidewalk with the sun beating down on you. Or, you know, whenever.
Vegan Banana Split Smoothie (slightly adapted from Minimalist Baker)
for the smoothie:
2 medium-large bananas, ripe, peeled, sliced and frozen
2 tbsp (6 g) cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1 tbsp (16 g) salted almond butter (if unsalted, add pinch sea salt)
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened almond milk (more depending on preferred thickness)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
optional: 2 pitted dates (for extra sweetness)
1 just ripe banana, peeled and sliced lengthwise
coconut whipped cream
1 tbsp (3 g) shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp (4 g) cacao nibs
for the coconut whipped cream:
1 14-ounce can (414 ml) coconut cream, or full fat coconut milk
1/4 – 3/4 cup (28 – 84g) icing/powdered sugar
optional: 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
for the coconut whipped cream (make in advance):
Chill your coconut cream or coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight, being sure not to shake or tip the can to encourage separation of the cream and liquid.
The next day, chill a large mixing bowl 10 minutes before whipping.
Remove the coconut cream or milk from the fridge without tipping or shaking and remove the lid. Scrape out the top, thickened cream and leave the liquid behind (reserve for use in smoothies).
Note: if your coconut milk didn’t harden, you probably just got a dud can without the right fat content. In that case, you can try to salvage it with a bit of tapioca flour – 1 to 4 Tbsp – during the whipping process. That has worked for me several times.
Place hardened cream in your chilled mixing bowl. Beat for 30 seconds with a mixer until creamy. Then add vanilla (optional) and powdered sugar and mix until creamy and smooth – about 1 minute. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.
Use immediately or refrigerate – it will harden and set in the fridge the longer it’s chilled.
for the smoothie:
Add frozen banana, cacao powder, almond butter, and almond milk to a blender and blend on low until thick and creamy, scraping down sides as needed. You are looking for a soft serve consistency.
Add vanilla extract and dates (optional), and a bit more almond milk and blend once more until thick and creamy and well blended. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more almond butter for nuttiness, vanilla extract for vanilla flavor, salt for flavor balance, or cacao powder for more intense chocolate flavor. Set blender in freezer or refrigerator while preparing serving glasses.
Cut a banana in half lengthwise and peel. Then slice in half lengthwise again (so you have four pieces). Slide banana wedges down into two serving glasses (or 1 large serving glass, as pictured), and press with a spoon to “adhere” to the sides.
Add smoothie and top with desired toppings, such as coconut whipped cream, cherries, shredded coconut, and cacao nibs.
Best when fresh, but can be covered and frozen up to 2 days. Let thaw before enjoying.