#ThankYouSkateboarding: Thanksgiving “Nice” Cream Pie Cups
WORDS: Johnny Lozano
(Dairy-free Strawberry, Pumpkin, and Pecan Pie Ice Cream Pie Cups)
Thanksgiving is upon us. The whole month of November we’re told by social media (1) not to shave, apparently; and (2) to reflect on what we’re thankful for. Unsurprisingly, many of us are thankful for skateboarding. A quick search on Instagram of #ThankYouSkateboarding yields almost half a million pictures displaying product, clips, charity events and, of course, complete randomness. While I am well-aware that there are other things in life for which to be thankful, I don’t think it’s out of bounds to suggest that we should all be thankful that we have skateboarding in our lives. Whether you’ve been pushing for only a few months or for thirty years, skateboarding gives us something special that we can’t find anywhere else. I won’t try to define what it is (for more on that conundrum, see the write up on my Halloween recipe), but it doesn’t need a label for us to feel or appreciate it.
I was torn about which recipe to post for Thanksgiving; while it was tempting to work on a Turkey substitute, I posted a few meat substitutes recently and wanted to cool it on the meat-mimicking for a bit. While I’ve never been a stuff-your-face-like-there’s-no-tomorrow kind of eater at Thanksgiving, I have historically had a weakness for the typical Thanksgiving desserts, which are unfortunately laden with sugar, butter, and all sorts of canned gelatin that need not be described here. With that in mind, rather than offer some kind of seitan turkey dinner, I’d like to introduce a quick and easy dairy-free vegan dessert that doesn’t involve a ton of added sugars or fats.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of skating with Will Flores. Perhaps better known by his Instagram moniker, @plantrider, Will is a fellow vegan skateboarder, and he rips. While discussing our favorite vegan snacks, Will brought up one of the simplest, yet most easily customized, recipes: “nice” cream. “Nice” cream is a non-dairy ice cream substitute consisting of essentially just frozen bananas. Granted, you can make just about any flavor of ice cream from this base, but even just frozen bananas with a little bit of vanilla extract will taste like a dead-ringer for vanilla ice cream, but without any milk or added sugars (my own personal favorite is to add some peanut butter and hemp powder for a post-skating recovery snack).
If you’re looking to just make the ice cream, this snack doesn’t get any easier to make and it is dirt cheap. That said, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and in honor of a day notorious for its pie, I decided to take things a little further and make some mini vegan pie crust bowls. And along the Thanksgiving pie theme, what better flavors to make than strawberry pie, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie? Behold: #ThankYouSkateboarding Nice Cream Pie Cups!
STRAWBERRY NICE CREAM INGREDIENTS:
- 2 large, ripe bananas
- ½ cup ripe strawberries (stems removed)
¼ cup almond milk
PECAN PIE NICE CREAM INGREDIENTS
- 2 large, ripe bananas
- ¼ cup pecan butter
- ¼ cup crushed pecans
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- dash of cinnamon (optional)
PUMPKIN PIE NICE CREAM INGREDIENTS
- 2 large, ripe bananas
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp pumpkin spice
½ tsp nutmeg
NICE CREAM DIRECTIONS:
- For each of the nice creams, peel your bananas, slice them into 1” slices and then freeze for 2 hours or until solid. If they mush when you squeeze them, then they will make a very mushy ice cream.
- If you are making your own pecan butter, simply bring a pan to medium heat on stovetop, then add 2 cups of pecans to the pan, toasting and stirring often for 5 minutes. Allow the pecans to cool for a few minutes, then add to a food processor and process until they form pecan butter. Add salt and cinnamon to taste (optional). Depending on the type of food processor, this can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 10 minutes.
- For each of the nice creams, add the frozen bananas and the remaining ingredients to a food processor and process for 30 seconds to a minute or until the mixture becomes creamy. Scoop out the mixture and add to the pie cups (directions below) or freeze in a sealed container for later use.
PIE CUP INGREDIENTS:
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup coconut oil (not melted)
- ¼ – ½ cup ice water
- 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. salt
PIE CUP DIRECTIONS:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, mix the white whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and salt by pulsing lightly a few times. Once that is blended, add in the coconut oil and blend until the ingredients begin to look crumbled and will stick together if pressed lightly between your fingers. Next, add the ice water, a few tablespoons at a time, and continue to process until the mix turns into a crumbly dough that can be pressed together.
- Lightly dust a flat surface with flour and flatten your dough using a rolling pin or another heavy, cylindrical surface (I used a wine bottle). Once the dough is about 1/8” thick, cut into squares and arrange over a cupcake tin. Mold the dough into the cupcake tin and trim around the edges to create cupcake pie crusts. If you want to decorate the edges, use a fork to make light etches.
- Bake the pie cups and any additional trimmings for 25-35 minutes or until is golden brown; remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. Add the nice cream to the cups and crumble any additional baked pie trimmings on top for a bonus topping.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shredding,