California Walnut challenge: Time for dessert

The contest ends tomorrow and today was as good a day as ever to create the dessert that’s been on my mind for days: A parfait made with raw banana maple walnut ice cream.

The ice cream idea’s been in my mind since September’s Vegetarian Food Festival, where Lisa Pitman demonstrated a healthier, vegan alternative to Dairy Queen Blizzards using banana “soft serve”. A lot of fruits could serve as the base. At it’s most basic, and the way that Lisa did it: Put frozen bananas in a food processor and let it run until bananas are creamy, like soft serve ice cream. For her demo, Lisa created mix-ins such as her take on mint sandwich cookies, raw “cookie dough”, and raw strawberry “cheesecake”.

I was inspired by banana soft serve, walnuts, maple and spice.

Mine made one portion that I couldn’t finish. I suggest making one and sharing it with a special friend. The contest rules say that the dish should be suitable for holiday gatherings/ winter entertaining. Well, You could always made smaller versions, I suppose, and make more. Use different types of glassware, as long as it’s transparent. I used a beer glass. And it’s always the right season for ice cream. This one is kind of comforting, and it’s got the spice in there. Spice is good for winter.

[schema type=”recipe” name=”Raw banana whisky maple walnut ice cream” yield=”1″ ingrt_1=”3 frozen bananas” ingrt_2=”1 tbsp maple syrup” ingrt_3=”2 tbsp Spicebox Canadian Whisky (I considered Jack Daniels Honey, which might also work. Try it and see.) ” ingrt_4=”1/2 tsp each cinnamon & vanilla powder” ingrt_5=”1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I make my own extract, you could use almond extract but for contest purposes I was only allowed to use one type of nut).” ingrt_6=”Maple California walnuts, reserved ” instructions=”Put it all in a food processor (multipurpose blade) & let machine run until the banana mixture is smooth. Remove blade, fold in maple walnuts. (You can leave them whole, or crumble them in like I did.) ” ]

Mostly-raw parfait layers

(Suggestions only. Create your own. Ideas: Crumbled cookies, candied ginger, dried or frozen fruit, cacao nibs. My layers were not all raw.)

Layer 1 (from bottom):

Sliced bananas

Sliced bananas

Layer 2:

ice cream

ice cream

Layer 3:

Jam/fruit preserves

Jam/fruit preserves

I used cherry peach, made locally by Sausage Partners, acquired at the  preserve tasting party that I attended at the end of September, hosted by Joel and Dana of Well Preserved. Jam is not raw.

Layer 4:
More ice cream

Layer 5:

Maple California walnuts

Maple California walnuts

I added California walnuts because I’d forgotten (until a few days later) that I’d been thinking of using Mum’s Original coconut cacao nibs. It’s another not raw layer.

Layer 6:
More ice cream!

Layer 7:

Pomegranate seeds

Pomegranate seeds

The tartness helped balance out the sweetness of the entire thing.

Layer 8:
More ice cream! But now we’re getting near the end.

Layer 9:

Raw, vegan chocolate sauce

Raw, vegan chocolate sauce

(recipe below)





Raw vegan chocolate sauce recipe

I think that I read a recipe like this on Meghan Telpner’s website awhile ago, though I felt like completely winging it when I made this one and went on instinct rather than looking at other recipes for guidance. She inspired it.


  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp agave or maple syrup (I used agave, which I rarely use due to its highly processed nature) because I didn’t want the maple to overpower the chocolate)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp each of cayenne pepper & cinnamon* (It probably could have used 1/4 or 1/2 tsp of coffee powder to bump the chocolate flavour. I’ll try it with the remaining sauce.)


  1. Mix together.

And that, my friends, is my 9-layer raw banana whisky maple walnut ice cream superfood parfait inspired by two very cool women I know, Lisa and Meghan.

P.S. Dinner was raw too. I spiralized (yes, it’s a word, it means to use a spiralizer) Japanese turnip and celeriac – and, unsuccessfully, apple – added kelp noodles and tossed with the California Walnut pesto that I made earlier this week.

Full photo set:

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4 Responses to “California Walnut challenge: Time for dessert”

  1. December 2, 2011 at 12:02 am #

    Fantastic, Andrea! Wish I had some frozen bananas RIGHT NOW!!! Yum.

  2. December 2, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    You’re a superstar! That sounds fantastic. I taught the soft serve trick to so many chefs across India – the couldn’t believe the magic. Imagine their reaction if I had suggested adding whiskey!

  3. ironwhisk
    September 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    This is awesome! There is so much banana ice cream circulating the net these days but yours is totally different because of the addings! I love the addition of walnuts!

    • Andrea
      September 5, 2012 at 10:42 pm #


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