Today is National Banana Split Day!
You might be thinking “banana splits are in no way healthy; why are they taunting me with a chocolate-drenched, whipped cream-topped, ice cream sundae?”
Well, Kayla and I were so excited about a day of recognition for banana splits that we knew we had to make our own healthy version of the classic dessert! By substituting the ice cream, sugary sauces, and whipped cream with healthy alternatives, we could enjoy National Banana Split Day without eating high-calorie, fattening foods we would regret later.
Here’s how we made our healthy banana split:
We made our ice cream with frozen bananas. We froze three medium-sized bananas last night, and today we threw them in the blender. The fruit was very frozen, so we added a bit of soy milk to give it a creamier consistency. After a dash of vanilla, we were finished! The bananas didn’t make too much ice cream, so if you are making banana splits for multiple people you may need to use more.
Instead of strawberry sauce, we made raspberry sauce. We took a 12oz bag of frozen raspberries and two dates and blended them together. We should have let the raspberries defrost a bit longer, because it turned out to be more solid than sauce—kind of like a sorbet. But it tasted great! Kayla would have just eaten it plain. We let it defrost while we finished making the other parts of the dessert, though, so by the time we actually needed it, it was sauce!
We made our own chocolate sauce. We soaked almonds overnight and then threw them in the blender along with baby spinach, blueberries, dates, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and soy milk. We had some trouble with the spinach—because it started going bad even though we bought it the day before—and we had to pick through it to find good leaves we could use. Not a very pleasant experience.
But the sauce was great, and it was a definite favorite of our coworkers. It was a bit too nutty for Kayla’s taste (she would have liked it to be more chocolatey) but I honestly could drink it as a healthy chocolate milkshake alternative! Find the full recipe here.
Instead of using whipped cream, we made vanilla macadamia cream. We weren’t sure how long to blend the macadamia nuts, dates, soy milk, and vanilla extract—we left ours a bit thicker, but you can adjust the consistency. This was my favorite part of our banana split by far. It was just so nutty and delicious! Find the full recipe here.
Instead of a maraschino cherry, we topped our sundae with fresh berries. We decided to use strawberries and blueberries, but you can choose your favorites.
We sprinkled some cut-up cashews and shaved dark chocolate (70% cacao) on top for a final touch, and voilà! Our banana split tasted amazing.
Just because you are committed to a healthy diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy National Banana Split Day. Try this healthy version for yourself and let us know what you think!