If you are with me here in the Midwest, you are likely in snow up to your ankles and would rather bury your head under a blanket right now. This morning, as I drink my first cup of coffee, I looked out at my car and thought yep, that ice isn’t coming off — especially with my scraper inside the vehicle. I am going to have to work from home today. Self-employment has its perks, so I am freestyling this blog post. Cause my notes are on my desk at work 🙁
Freestyle random thoughts. Did you know that bananas are on the verge of becoming extinct? I told my daughter this a few years ago and I think she started to shed a tear as she said, “WHAT?? I can’t live without bananas!” I know because I have been feeding her bananas all her life. Bananas when she’s hungry, bananas when she’s sick, bananas before school, after-school snack banana, you’d think she thought I WAS bananas. But this was an immediate crisis now (thanks to me), and I had to go into details about the ramifications of global warming, deforestation, and a nasty fungus affecting the banana lovers like us and threatening an $11 billion global banana trade. I can’t imagine it either, but it’s happening and not only to bananas. That’s a whole pot of coffee talk for later, so I will move on.
(Remember, I am freestyling here.) Did you know the most significant percentage of vegans are not US? I mean U.S. (United States) us, more specifically California. Yes, the largest population of vegans is in Isreal. I know these stats blew my mind! My recent stay in LA this month begs to differ; I was within a 200 feet radius of a vegan restaurant at all times. Very different were I live. I am not a pure vegan; I am a wannabe. I practice wanting to be vegan all the time. If you look into my roots you will see what my aim is when it comes to eating more earth-friendly food. I like to think if we could take into account where our food is sourced, and how this global shift of plant-based eating is a logical direction. Don’t get me wrong; I am still a foodie. I choose to do some vegan freestyling to keep things in check. Plus, there are so many options that taste amazing and super fulfilling.
Like these Banana Tarts. I made these with plant-based cream cheese as I am 95% dairy-free by choice. The bananas make this even better, just the right amount of sweetness with less indulgence. Priorities, plant-based, bananas, freestylin’ a badass recipe. Here goes!
- 1 cup gluten-free graham crackers, processed into fine crumbs
- 2/3 cup almonds or walnuts (I freestyled using some glazed walnuts I had left over)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 4–5 tablespoons earth balance non-dairy butter sticks, melted
- 1/4 cup ripe banana, mashed
- 6 oz. plant-based cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place graham crackers and nuts of choice in a food processor and process till crumbly. Add in the sugar and pulse a few times till incorporated.
Pour mixture into a small bowl and slowly add the melted non-dairy butter and mix with a fork.
Place a couple of tablespoons into four 4-inch silicon tart molds. Press mixture into molds forming the crust.
Bake in the preheated oven for 7 minutes, check last minute or two to make sure edges don’t brown too quickly. Remove from oven and set aside.
Prepare your filling by mashing a ripe banana in a small bowl. Measure 1/4 cup and add to another bowl with softened plant-based cream cheese, honey, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.
Beat mixture with a hand beater for a couple of minutes till smooth.
Divide mixture into the four baked crusts and place in oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on the countertop before wrapping in plastic wrap for the cooling period. Refrigerate for three hours before serving.
Garnish with sliced bananas, chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey. Dive in!