Our March cooking classes had an air of mystery about them – we made secret ingredient desserts! We started off by comparing the sugar content of different foods. The kids made pairs of desserts and drinks with fruits that had the same sugar content. Here are a few examples:
56 grams of sugar: 32 ounces of Gatorade or 4 bananas
12 grams of sugar: 1 packet of Gushers or 1 cup of cherries
43 grams of sugar: 1 pack of Skittles or 4 ½ oranges
21 grams of sugar: 1 chocolate chip Clif bar or 3 ½ kiwis
What fills you up faster? 32 ounces of Gatorade or 4 bananas? Definitely the bananas! In all these cases you would be much fuller after eating the fruit, plus you would stay fuller for longer because of the fiber, and you would also benefit from the vitamins and minerals they contain. The drinks and desserts will give you quick energy, but that’s about it.
So have you guessed the secret ingredient in our desserts? They all included fruits and vegetables! Though just because the desserts had fruits and vegetables in them doesn’t mean they are “healthy,” because there was still sugar in them. But having some of the sugar content come from fruits and vegetables means that they are healthier than versions without fruit and vegetables. We made black bean brownies, chocolate beet cupcakes and banana ice cream.
This ice cream recipe has no added sugar in it, and is a wonderful, creamy texture which comes just from frozen bananas. It would be easy to customize by adding cocoa powder or nut butter.
Unbelievable Banana Ice Cream
Adapted from Baking with Less Sugar by Joanne Chang
6 ripe bananas, peeled, chopped, and frozen
120 g/ ½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ tsp kosher salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Place bananas in the blender or food processor. Pour in the cream and vanilla and blend on high speed until smooth. Add the salt and cinnamon and blend again. Enjoy ice cream immediately or store in the freezer to enjoy later. If stored in the freezer, let thaw for 10 minutes before eating.