In my belief, no food should be consumed with a feeling of “guilt”, only with pleasure. However, sometimes, people tend to overindulge in more than whole foods.
There are countless ways to substitute all cravings for fatty and sugary foods. And, in my opinion, they taste even better! Remember, the sodium and sugars in most processed goodies are addictive which often leads to overconsumption in just one seating! Plant-based options, on the other hand, are loaded with fiber which makes you get full quicker and keeps you satiated and satisfied!
This week, my focus is on ice-cream! My recipes are 100% additives free and, of course, vegan.
To make a (n)ice-cream you only need a bunch of frozen ripe bananas. Even if you are not a fan of bananas, like me, you would love them frozen because somehow they change their structure and taste absolutely creamy – just like ice-cream!
Method: unpeel 4-5 bananas, when they are ripe!, cut them in chunks and freeze them overnight. The thicker you want the ice-cream to be, the more bananas you should blend.
For an individual serving, you would only need 2/3 (depending on their size); especially if you will be adding more goodness on top.
- If you want a plain vanilla nice-cream – you only need to blend your bananas until smooth and add vanilla for taste.
You can either use a blender or food processor and depending of the strength of the brand – you may need to add tiny bits of water. If use a food processor, you can blend them alone and this will make the consistency even creamer!
2. If you want a protein nice-cream, than simply blend your bananas with a half of a cup of almond (or coconut milk) and a scoop of any vegan protein powder. I like Sungarden Raw Protein, Sunwarrior and Vega. All excellent brands derived from sprouted legumes or grains and fortified with probiotics and a wide range of vitamins. You can find them in any big health store or online. If you don’t have a protein powder at home you can easily add a serving of raw seeds (like chia or hemp) or a cup of soaked cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds. If you want to keep it low fat, limit your nuts to a small cup which is enough to give the rich consistency and taste!
3. If you want to eat your nice-cream not as a dessert but as an actual meal, than I suggest adding more greens to it – they will keep you more satisfied and will boost the nutritional value of the finished product. Not to mention, you don’t even taste the greens when blended.
A lazy way to squeeze more greens into your life is to invest in buying a super greens powder or wheat grass powder. Only a scoop provides you with your daily needs of vitamins and minerals which is quite handy for those of you with busy schedules!
Toppings that I use frequently:
- Two teaspoons of chia seeds (ideally soaked overnight or few hours before as they tend to absorb a lot of water in your body which keeps you satiated longer. You don’t need to soak them necessarily but please note that water-soaked chia seeds are easier to digest and the nutrients are better absorbed and assimilated in your body. Also, when soaking the chia it will prolong hydration and retain electrolytes, especially during exercise)
- A tea to a tablespoon of hemp seeds – rich in protein and omega 6. Eating them together with chia or flax seeds (rich in Omega 3) would give you the perfect ratio of omegas for the day and only by adding a spoon of them!
- Raw cacao nibs – a superfood that not only gives you the chocolate flavour but it also provides your body with a potent dosage of Iron, Magnesium and Copper 😉
- Raw pumpkin seeds – rich in Zinc and Magnesium
- Raw coconut flour – I like to add more water into my smoothies to ensure more hydration and adding coconut flour makes the consistency thicker and smoother! If you can use coconut flakes as well!
- Cumin spice – Gives awesome taste and adds in digestion!
- Nutmeg – A warming spice with pungent aroma that I really like!
- Dried goji berries and mulberries – amazing superfoods rich in Vitamin C, Calcium and Protein!
- Fresh berries – not only rich in antioxidants but give an amazing flavour!
- A brazil nut – only one per day gives you your daily dose of Selenium – needed for hormonal health, lubricated joints and strong nails.
In a nutshell, for your healthy ice-cream indulgence – depending on your mood and taste – blend your bananas plain or together with any frozen fruit of your choice (Mango, Pineapple, Berries, etc) and if you enjoy my suggestions, add any of the toppings listed (although, completely optional!)
Hint: if you tend to eat your desserts late in night and are a chocolate fan, I recommend blending your nice-cream with Carob Powder instead of Cacao – it has a similar structure but doesn’t not disrupt your sleep when consumed late in night. I love cacao but make sure to eat it earlier in the day when I need the kick of energy it gives me! And, remember, a tablespoon is enough – taste wise;)
If you like to make your nice-cream even sweeter, blend it with few dates (without the pits), coconut nectar or stevia:)
Hope you enjoy those recipes, stay healthy!