Mint Chocolate Pistachio Blizzard (Dairy-Free & Soy-Free)

This tasty healthy summer treat is dairy-free, soy-free, only five ingredients, and done in five minutes.

(Rachel – The Vegan-Eatin’ Daughter)

This summer my husband is coaching a select summer baseball team with a rigorous schedule. Since he’ll be so busy, I thought it might be fun for me and Jackson to come along with him for a few of his tournaments. We could check out a new town and spend some family time together between games.

As it turns out, the cities he plays in are a little hard up for entertainment. In my internet search of one town, the highlighted “Family Activity” was a trip to Dairy Queen for ice cream. Sorry honey, we’ll just see you in July when you’re schedule let’s up.

I’m not knocking DQ. If you were raised in a small town in Texas, like I was, you probably do have lots of memories at the local Dairy Queen. I can recall several trips as a child, stopping on our way home from ball games. I remember our high school cross country coach always treated us to Blizzards when the season was over. After months of getting up at 5:00 am to run around a cold dark track and spending our Saturdays running through muddy trails, we’d go celebrate. We lined up and one-at-a-time placed our order, then waited eagerly to be handed an upside down cup filled with thick ice cream blended with our favorite mix-ins.

Now that I don’t eat dairy, being treated to a DQ blizzard is a thing of the past, but with Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream,” my days of enjoying delicious cool treats with tasty mix-ins are far from over. In just minutes, frozen bananas blended up in the food processor turn into a thick creamy cold treat, just like soft serve ice cream. I combined two of my favorite ice cream flavors, Mint Chocolate Chip and Pistachio, for this sweet, salty, cool combination.

I wouldn’t recommend flipping your cup upside down, but I would totally recommend sticking a spoon in and chowing down. With banana as the main ingredient and healthy mix ins like pistachios and dark chocolate (antioxidants, hellooo!), it’s practically health food.

This soft serve “ice cream” is simply frozen bananas and pistachios blended together, garnished with a mint chocolate swirl and a cherry on top.

Serves 1


2 bananas ~1 cup (chopped and frozen)*
1/4 cup pistachios, roasted and salted
1 t. sugar
3 squares of a mint dark chocolate bar (I used the Endangered Species brand–it’s vegan & delicious)
2 t. coconut cream (~1 t. non-dairy milk would work too)

Optional Garnishes: chopped pistachios, cherries dipped in the chocolate sauce & cooled, fresh banana slices, sprig of mint


In a food processor, blend bananas until they whip together like soft serve ice cream, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. Add in pistachios and sugar and blend again until pistachios are chopped up.

In a small bowl, combine chocolate and coconut cream. Microwave for 8 second intervals, stirring between, being careful not to let the chocolate burn.

Pour half of the pistachio soft serve into a pretty glass, top with half of the chocolate, then repeat, gently swirling the chocolate at the top. Garnish with chopped pistachios and a cherry on top (optional). Fresh banana slices between the layers of soft serve are good too.

Serve immediately.

Note: This doesn’t re-freeze well.

*Freeze bananas that are ripe, but not overly ripe for this recipe. The ones that are really soft and ripened are great for baking and smoothies, but not for this recipe.

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Coconut & Chocolate Coconut Covered Cherries (Vegan)

Coconut and Chocolate Coconut Covered Cherries

You know those times when you plan to make one thing and then it turns out to be a completely different thing, and the thing you didn’t mean to make is actually better than the thing you tried to make in the first place?

That’s how I discovered these coconut covered cherries. I just wanted a bowl of frozen cherries with a little whipped coconut cream on top, but as the coconut cream covered the frozen fruit, it froze and coated the cherries. Coconut Covered Cherries…yes please! I, of course, had to try a chocolate version too. Who doesn’t love chocolate covered cherries? These frozen delights make a perfect bite-sized treat when you need just a little something sweet.

They are pretty healthy too. There is only 1 teaspoon of sugar in 15 covered cherries. Coconut cream is surprisingly good for you, despite it’s saturated fat content. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut gets converted to energy as soon as your body absorbs it (unlike saturated animal fat which is difficult for the body to metabolize). It also contains lauric acid which is an immunity booster.

When selecting your can of coconut milk, look for a full fat kind with only coconut and water in the ingredients. Other ingredients like guar gum can keep the cream from separating from the water. Refrigerate the coconut milk overnight so the cream will rise to the top. You want it to look like this with the cream at the top and the coconut water at the bottom. Save the water to use in cooking or smoothies.

When cold, the coconut cream rises to the top.

Life is just a bowl of cherries;
Don’t make it serious;
Life’s too mysterious.
You work, you save, you worry so,
But you can’t take your dough when you go, go, go.
So keep repeating it’s the berries;
The strongest oak must fall.
The sweet things in life
To you were just loaned,
So how can you lose what you’ve never owned?
Life is just a bowl of cherries,
So live and laugh at it all.

Coconut Covered Cherries

Coconut & Chocolate Coconut Covered Cherries

Makes ~15 Cherries


Frozen Cherries
2 T. cream from full fat coconut milk that has been refrigerated over night (see above for explanation)
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. vanilla extract
1 t. cocoa powder (omit for plain version)
Parchment or wax paper

Only Five Ingredients!


In a bowl, mix coconut cream, sugar, vanilla and cocoa powder (for chocolate version) until the sugar dissolves.

Coconut & Chocolate Coconut Cream Ready for Dipping

This stuff is seriously delicious as is. It will be hard to keep little (and big) fingers out of it!

Dip the frozen cherries into the cream and place on a parchment or wax lined pan. If the cream isn’t sticking well, pat the cherries dry with a paper towel. Place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes until the cream is completely frozen. Transfer to air tight zip top bag or container. Enjoy straight from the freezer.

Other variations: Try different fruits or flavors like maple cinnamon coconut covered bananas. Or try rolling in sprinkles or shredded coconut. Let me know if you come up with a tasty variation!

The chocolate ones reminded me of chocolate cherry ice cream.

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Marinated Portobello Burger

Marinated Portobello Burgers

When I was about 12, I went on a ski trip with my family. While hanging out at the base, some older teens hollered out to me and my brothers “Hey, you want some shrooms?”

I giggled and naively said, “Those guys must be on drugs or something. Why would they think we want some mushrooms while we are skiing?”

My big brothers busted out laughing.

I didn’t know how right I had been until they finally stopped laughing to explain to me what the “shrooms” those dudes spoke of were.

Lucky for me, I didn’t like mushrooms and would have turned down the offer even if my big brothers hadn’t been there to fill me in.

Nowadays, I might be in trouble if someone hollers out and offers me some shrooms, though.

It turns out after more than 25 years of hating mushrooms, I’ve discovered I actually love a good shroom!

The first time I ordered a Portobello Burger was shortly after going vegan. It was the only thing on the menu I could eat, so I figured I’d give it a try. It was thick, chewy, flavorless and spongy. I stayed away from portobellos after that and eased my way into the land of shrooms with baby bellas sauteed in evoo and garlic.

Recently we were at the new plant-based cafe in Dallas, VSPot, and I decided to try their marinated portobello burger. Some people at the neighboring table were raving about it, so I thought I’d give the portobello one more go. It was so succulent it almost melted in my mouth. The mushroom was cooked down really thin so you would never have guessed you were biting into a thick spongy portobello cap.

Tonight I made my own portobello burger and I have to say, it was awesome. The flavors are quite different than the one we had at the VSpot and I didn’t manage to get it quite as thin, but it will definitely hold me over until our next visit!

Wanna shroom?

Marinated Portobello Burger

Serves 4


4 Portobello Mushrooms, stems removed and gently wiped clean with a damp sponge
4 Buns (I used Whole Grain Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls from our store’s bakery)
1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup of Braggs Aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Topping suggestions: sauteed spinach, caramelized red onions, roasted red peppers

Mix the marinade in a bowl. Pour into a gallon sized zip top bag and add the portobello caps. Shake it up to cover the mushrooms and place in the refrigerator. I let mine marinate for about 5 hours, but I think you could go as little as an hour if you’re short on time or as long as 8-10 if you want to marinate them while you’re at work.

Heat a skillet on medium heat with evoo covering the bottom. Put the mushroom caps in 1-2 at a time bottoms down and with a spatula or the bottom of a sauce pan, gently hold the mushrooms down. Don’t apply too much pressure at first or you’ll tear the edges. Turn the mushrooms over and continue applying gentle pressure. Repeat turning back and forth every few minutes for about 10 minutes until the mushroom cap is only a few centimeters thick.

I ate mine on ciabatta rolls that I smeared with Vegenaise (vegan mayo) mixed with minced garlic and toasted on a lightly oiled saute pan (this gives the bread a nice crunch), topped with sauteed spinach and garlic and caramelized red onions. I thought I was going to need a protein like some beans to add to this, but I was plenty full after one mushroom burger and a side of sauteed yellow squash and zucchini.

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