Cream Without the Cow

Scientists believe that mouth feel has something to do with our enjoyment of food. One of the textures we enjoy most is the fatty, “creamy” mouth feel of foods like ice cream, sour cream, cream cheese, etc.

Of course I enjoy a creamy texture, too but I am eating and drinking far fewer dairy products than I used to to avoid saturated fat. Luckily, there are other ways to achieve creaminess without relying on farm animals. Nuts, nut milks, and nut butters with their healthy fat are one notable example as with the ranch dressing recipe I posted recently.  You can also achieve a creamy texture with foods that have no fat at at all. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Banana Soft Serve
  • White Bean Gravy

Banana Soft Serve

I always have bananas in the freezer. I use them as a base for smoothies and they make a pretty awesome milkshake.  I freeze bananas when are really, really ripe.  This makes them extra sweet and I can often save money at the grocery store by buying the reduced price bananas.

I used to slice bananas and lay them out on a cookie sheet to freeze but I have discovered that a whole, frozen banana is fairly easy to slice with a sharp knife so now I just peel and freeze. To keep them from getting brown or freezer burned, put them in a large ziploc, insert a straw, close the zipper as tight as possible around the straw, suck out as much air as possible and close the zipper.

bananscherrie

Here are my bananas along with a bag of frozen cherries; the ingredients in my current favorite milkshake recipe:

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (or more) plant milk of choice – I like almond or cashew

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.  You may need to add a little more milk to get it to blend properly.  Enjoy!

And now for the banana soft serve.  If you don’t mind having an extra gadget or two in the kitchen look for a YoNanas machine.  I saw it at a cooking demonstration and bought one soon after. It turns frozen bananas into soft serve ice cream.  Period.  You can add other frozen fruits and mix in other flavorings but it’s hard to beat the simplicity and pure wholesomeness of a one ingredient frozen treat.

yonanasaction

The machine is available at Amazon and also at Bed, Bath. and Beyond. It’s easy to use and the parts that come in contact with food can be disassembled and cleaned in the dishwasher.

White Bean Gravy

This recipe contains zero fat or flour so it’s great for heart health and for those wanting a gluten free alternative to other gravies.  It couldn’t be easier to make; you just blend a can of beans with some seasonings and spices. I found a basic recipe here at Potato Strong.  To increase the savoriness and depth of flavor I sauteed some onion and garlic slices in a little water until soft and blended them with the other ingredients.  I heated up a small portion of the gravy and served it over a baked potato.

beangravypotato

The next day I took things a step further. I sauteed sliced baby bella mushrooms and seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  After the mushrooms were cooked I added the gravy and 2 cups of chopped kale to the pan and heated everything through until the kale was wilted. The results were so good I may try to sneak this one by my family for Thanksgiving!

mushroomkalepotato

Here’s a note about canned beans.  They can vary greatly in terms of sodium content and that’s why I usually avoid them. Since this recipe uses the liquid from the beans I shopped around to find the lowest sodium option.  This one had only 90mg per serving.

canbeanfront canbeanback

Hope you enjoyed this post.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

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