Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Guilt-free snacking

Have you tried the latest foodie craze?  Well, maybe it's not the "latest," but it has become pretty popular.  It's healthy and tasty and really satisfies that need for ice cream.  I first heard of banana ice cream from pinterest.  I totally thought it was Chocolate Covered Katie's Dessert blog because she is chock-full of amazing healthy desserts, but a quick search of her recipes didn't reveal it, although she DID have several other "healthy" ice cream and frozen treat options, like this yummy melty four ingredient ice cream.

  So now I'm stumped where I first saw it.  Anyway, here's the yummy and so super easy recipe that I use:

Guilt-free ice cream

  • 1 ripe banana, chunked and frozen
  • a dash of salt
  • optional: 1 Tbsp peanut butter (I don't consider this optional.  It makes it completely creamy and amazing.)
  • optional: a bit of milk or plain yogurt and water (This is only optional if you use anything less than a vitamix-type blender.  My magic bullet works great, but still needs a little liquid to get things going. And I love using yogurt because then you get the added probiotic benefits.)
  • optional: add-ins like chocolate chips, coconut, sprinkles, etc

Toss everything but your add-ins into your blender.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Then add your add-ins and stir or pulse until combined.  YUM!  Sorry, I completely devoured mine before taking a picture, but let's be honest: it looks like ice cream in a blender cup.  And Katie's picture, above, just looks so much prettier than mine would turn out. ;)

And, yes, I ate this for lunch, but really where is the harm in that?  Mine contained banana, peanut butter, and yogurt.  It's almost like eating an "Elvis special" (you know, a peanut butter and banana sandwich) without the added starchy carbs from the bread and with the bonus probiotics from the yogurt.  Sounds like a win to me!

So, I get on these various diet kicks.  Sometimes I feel like eating sugar-free.  And when I say sugar-free, I mean no added processed sugars or artificial sweeteners.  Stevia is not artificial because it is a plant and you can literally toss a leaf or two into your cooking.  It's not precise but it IS natural.  I personally use liquid stevia drops or stevia packets, which I realize aren't as natural, but that's all part of my soggy granola personality.  Bananas and dates are not added sugars.  Maple syrup, honey, and agave are sweeteners, but affect everyone differently, so I don't include them in my "sugar free foods," but I do use them otherwise because I think of them as better for you than processed white sugars because of the minerals and natural sweetness, but not as healthy for you as simply eating fruit.

Anyway, when I made this ice cream today, I really wanted some chocolate chunkiness without the added sugars.  The first time I ever considered making my own chocolate chips was when I found this recipe from Heavenly Homemakers.  I love that blog, too!

Homemade "Magic Turtle"

My version of this recipe, especially when all I want is to toss it in my ice cream and move on with life is just to melt a bit of coconut oil (a Tbsp or so is good), add in a Tbsp of cocoa powder and stir, then add a half dropperful of liquid stevia (about 8 drops).  Add more sweetener of your choice if it's not sweet enough.  Bonus, it works like "Magic Shell" on your ice cream.  Coconut oil's melting/solidifying point is just above room temperature, so pour it on your ice cream and you get little chunks. Yay!  I can make an entire post about coconut oil, but I think I'll save that for another day.

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