Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Tequila-Soaked Raisins

by Julie

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Tequila-Soaked Raisins
+ {Recipes for the Week of September 3}

As the end of August quickly approached and passed this last week, I noted that I had let a whole summer (read: a summer in Tucson!) go by without once making the notorious treat of summer: ice cream. Sure, I could have taken a moment of pause to reflect on the reason behind this phenomenon: How is that even possible? But, to be honest, I just shrugged and moved on.

You see, given a choice, I could live without ice cream. If I’m told to choose between ice cream and a smoothie, I’ll take the smoothie any day. The idea of having a bowl of ice cream for dessert has long lost its appeal for me. (I’m sorry–I realize that by now I may be in very deep water with some readers out there.) If, on the off-hand, I do have a few scoopfuls, the chances that I’ll either be up all night or having some really weird dreams from the sugar is pretty much a given.

So imagine my sheer joy when, a couple weeks ago, Eric and I were invited over to share a meal with some new friends and I learned that the delicious ice-cream-like dessert they had just placed in front of me was nothing more then bananas mixed with peanut butter, frozen, then served with a topping of alcohol-soaked raisins.

To be fair, I thought afterward, there were many things about that evening that could have just made me partial to the dessert. There was the fact that these friends had spent a good amount of time researching, then executing for the first time, an entire meal that was completely free of meat, dairy, and gluten. There was the wine with dinner, my first indulgence since the infamous Month of Mono. There was the five-foot candle holder placed at the head of the table, which I enjoyed without shame. There was the beautiful presentation of green curry and white rice. There was the record player and the 25-pound cat who, by the end of the evening, I’d managed to get into my lap. And there was the 4 1/2 hours spent just sitting around a table, getting to know each other while sharing a singular meal. All this, and then the dessert. Who wouldn’t be partial?

So before we left that evening, I knew I was going to have to test the dessert again in a more objective environment. The long and short of it: I did, and I wasn’t disappointed. I made my own version (below) and Eric and I had it after lunch one day with another friend. The best part about this dessert? Because it only consists of banana and peanut butter (no added sugar necessary!), I added it to my smoothies in the morning and blended it with my usual concoction of spinach, kale, and berries. I’ll say no more.

Happy end of summer, everyone.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Tequila-Soaked Raisins

Ingredients
1/4 cup raisins
tequila, enough to cover raisins in a small bowl
3 large bananas, peeled
6 tablespoons natural, organic peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional

To make
First, pour your raisins into a small bowl and cover with tequila. (Our friends used rum–this, perhaps, is the more traditional alcohol of choice when it comes to raisins; maybe mine is the southwestern twist on the classic…who knows?) Let your raisins soak up the alcohol for 1-2 hours. (Or, if you’re like me and leave them to soak overnight, oh well!)

Next, combine your peanut butter, bananas, and vanilla (if applicable) and blend thoroughly with a food processor. Your mixture should be thick and smooth.

Using a spatula, scrape out mixture into a glass or freezer-safe container and freeze for at least an hour. When ready, you should have a really nice frozen dessert, one you can scoop out into little dishes and top with raisins and the leftover alcohol. Serve immediately.

Recipes for the Week of September 3

Monday, September 3: Coconut Corn Salad (from 101 Cookbooks)

*I plan to add avocado to my salad and serve it over a bed of spinach or baby arugula.

Ingredients
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 ears of corn, shucked
fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cupbig coconut flakes, well toasted
1 cup sliced almonds, well toasted

3 tablespoons chopped red onions
big squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice

Tuesday, September 4: Warm Vegetable Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette (from Vegetarian Times)

Ingredients
Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salad
1 3/4 cups mushroom broth or low-sodium veggie broth
3/4 cup brown rice
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed
1/4 pound baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1/4 pound asparagus, trimmed, or 1 small zucchini, cut in 3/8-inch rounds
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
8-10 small romaine lettuce leaves, torn in pieces

Wednesday, September 5: Watermelon Gazpacho with Lime (from Gluten-Free Goddess)

Ingredients
1 ice cold 3-pound ripe watermelon
1 large cucumber, skinned, seeded
2 large celery stalks
1 small head romaine lettuce, trimmed, cut up
2 medium, dense, heirloom tomatoes, seeded, chopped
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
juice from 1-2 limes, according to taste
2 tablespoons white balsamic or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, basil, mint or parsley
sea salt, to taste

Thursday, September 6: Split Pea, Fennel, and Spinach Soup (from Vegetarian Times)

Ingredients

2 cups chopped fennel (1 bulb or 
5 fennel stalks, fronds removed)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine, divided
15 ounces dried green split peas
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, divided
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
5 ounces baby spinach leaves

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