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Courses

Day 7: Dairy-Free Banana Split Ice Cream

No ice cream maker required!

Hi Green14 challenger! Do you have a sweet tooth? 

When it comes to dessert, this may be one of the more difficult categories for attempting to eat more plant-based. A big part of that is giving up dairy!

But the truth is, plant-based desserts that use less artificial sugars, sweeteners and processed ingredients are better for your health in the long run. And it’s estimated that 65% of the world is lactose intolerant even if many haven’t been officially diagnosed – so dairy may not sit well for most people anyway. 

Health reasons aside, are you aware of just how taxing dairy is for the planet? Between water usage and greenhouse gas emissions, the resources it takes to raise dairy cattle and the staggering amount of emissions they let off will astound you. The Environmental Working Group ranks cheese alone as having the third highest CGH emissions and according to onegreenplanet.org, “If you chose to replace your two scoops of dairy ice cream for a dairy-free alternative, you could save 84 gallons of water from that single choice” and “The average American consumes around 630 pounds of dairy every year, so the less you consume, the larger your impact. If a gallon of milk weighs 8.6 pounds and it takes 683 gallons of water just to produce the feed for a dairy cow to produce that gallon.”

Luckily, there is no shortage of mouthwatering dairy alternatives to turn to while making better choices for the planet. Here’s my video on how to make Banana Split Nice Cream that you can make without an ice cream maker, right in your blender, in minutes!

My favorite plant-based desserts have a cashew milk or coconut milk base just like in this irresistible nice cream. I also love baking with coconut, almond, and tapioca flour to get that dreamy, creamy-meets-crunchy textured dessert experience. For healthier plant-based sweeteners to avoid refined sugar, I recommend agave, pure maple syrup, raw cacao powder, maca powder and pure vanilla extracts. 

You can also turn your leftover fruit into preserves (i.e. cherries, pears etc.), which also saves on food waste down the line!