Monday, March 3, 2014

Blender Bender - Chilled Avocado Lime Soup / Healthy Banana Ice Cream

Confession: I am obsessed with my new, high-powered Vitamix blender. It's seriously the kitchen tool I've been dreaming of for years. It's awesome, as in where have you been all my life awesome. While I promise not to turn Neurotic Kitchen into an all-blender recipe blog, I must indulge my urge to show you just a few of my favorite fast and friendly recipes. A side dish and dessert in under five minutes? It's all possible with the right appliance. 

Chilled Avocado & Lime Soup Served With Pork Chops with Latin Flavors, Photo: NK

We'll start with a bright, lime spiked Chilled Avocado Soup and finish with a super healthy solution to your nightly dessert craving - Banana Ice Cream. Both of today's recipes do not require an uber-powerful blender or food processor. Just your average countertop appliance will do. Let's roll:

Chilled Avocado & Lime Soup/Sopa Fria de Aguacate 
Adapted from 
Serves 3-4

1 large, very ripe Avocado, pitted and roughly chopped 
2 large JalapeƱos, pitted and sliced in half (2 will be medium spicy, use less to taste)
1/2 a Sweet Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
1/2 Cup Half & Half 
1 small vine ripened Tomato, roughly chopped 
2 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/4 Cup Lime Juice
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of Salt, depending on your taste 
Black Pepper  

Combine all ingredients together in blender or food processor. If you are using a Vitamix or other high powered blender, you only need to blend for 30-45 seconds, or until smooth. Blending any longer will end up whipping the mixture into more of a cream texture. Chill well and enjoy!

Blender Magic: Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Soft Serve, Photo: NK

Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Soft Serve Ice Cream
1 large or 2 small servings

2 Large Bananas, cut into chunks and frozen solid
2 Tablespoon regular or Vegan Chocolate Chips - we prefer bittersweet
1 Tablespoon Almond Milk, Dairy Milk, or Cream

In a high powered blender or food processor, blend the Bananas, Almond Milk, and 1 tablespoon of the chocolate chips until smooth. (For Vitamix blenders, use the high setting and be sure to employ the tamping instrument if needed to press the mixture down in between blending - blend in 30 second increments until processed - should take about 1.5 minutes). Top with remaining chips and serve immediately! Feel free to get creative with mix-ins. Hint: A Thin Mint or two mixed in is never a bad idea! 

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