…It all began with a casual interest in creating “healthy” sodas… –>Which then developed into a frenzied quest to make REAL root beer… –>Then discovering dozens of recipes before selecting the fun and interesting old-timey recipe from Bowl Licker (see for yourself here)… –> Which lead to an extensive (and a bit expensive) online scavenger hunt for a wacky-doo list of traditional ingredients (though omitting the cinnamon and hops altogether, and substituting Wintergreen for Birch bark).
Finally, the far-flung ingredients arrived and my “ginger-bug” was raring to go, giving me just enough time to bottle it and schedule “Father’s Day” as the occasion for the first taste testing.
The root beer “brewing” process was fun and proceeded without incident. As I became entranced by the steaming aroma of sarsaparilla, the thought occurred to me: Can I repurpose the root beer “mash” after filtering out the wort?
The answer is “Yes. Yes I can.”
May I present you with my first delightful creation utilizing the root beer brewing byproduct:
Frosty Vegan RootBeer Mash Sandwiches
The “Mash” was composed of:
1/2 cup sassafras root bark
2 TBS Wintergreen
2 TBS dandelion root
2 TBS ginger root
4 TBS sarsaparilla root
2 TBS licorice root
2 TBS wild cherry tree bark
2 tsp juniper berries
After following the instructions for making root beer (still located here), squeeze as much moisture as possible from the strained herbs and spices (this is the “mash”). Spread on baking pan and dry in 200 degree oven (or in a dehydrator) for several hours, checking and turning it every two hours to ensure it gets evenly dry.
Run dry mash through blender, food processor, coffee bean grinder, mortar and pestle or whatever mode you have of grinding it as fine as possible. You now have a fun ingredient to use in this recipe, and any other way you care to experiment!
For the “Cake”:
2/3 cup ground root beer mash
1 cup almond flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup pumpkinseed flour
1/3 cup ground flax seed
22-24 pitted dates
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs Water (only as needed)
Chop/blend/food-process the dates until they are nice and gooey. Combine with remaining cake ingredients until achieving a crumbly consistency that can hold its shape when pressed (add water a tiny bit at a time, ONLY if it is too dry to hold its shape.) Divide the “dough” between two 8×11 inch parchment lined pans and press evenly into a flat sheet. Move pans to freezer to harden.
For the “Icecream”:
2 cups raw cashews (soaked at least 4 hours, or overnight)
2 frozen bananas
2 Tbs agave, honey (or agave blend, if trying to reduce carbs/calories)
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 Tbs vanilla
Discard the soaking water. Blend the cashews with the milks and lemon juice until as smooth as possible. Add the agave, vanilla and frozen bananas, blending to uniform consistency.
Remove one of the pans of “cake” from the freezer and spread the creamy filling evenly over the entire cake. Return this pan to the freezer and allow the icecream to set up for about an hour. Gently remove the other cake from the freezer, release it from the parchment paper and lay it on top of the (now firm) icecream layer. Allow all layers to set up for at least two hours. I recommend cutting into 32 mini icecream sandwiches. They are quite filling and I have a hard time finishing a full sized sandwich (the recipe makes 16 standard-ish sandwiches).
These are SOOOOO yummy! They remain soft enough that you can bite right into them straight from the freezer, but they also retain their shape really well and don’t immediately turn into a melty mess!
*I had zero success in tabulating the nutritional data for the ingredients of the “mash.” Each ingredient is believed to have amazing health benefits, but I do not feel confident in calculating their value. The nutritional table I have compiled does not include any contributions from the mash.