Tag Archives: banana

My Nutritarian Diary: Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

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It’s hot out. Really hot out. And it isn’t going to let up for at least another week here in Spokane, WA, as far as I know. So, today I chose a recipe that is hot-weather worthy: Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream. It’s a variant of the Chocolate Banana Ice Cream recipe I posted on my blog about four and a half months ago. I made this delightful version this week and was so amazed at how yummy it was, I had to share it.

First, in the spirit of blogger full disclosure, I need to be honest with you all. I have not been as diligent eating nutrient-dense foods (especially desserts) over the last month, and I believe I paid for this in gaining five pounds. Now, if those five pounds were the result of working out, I would not even bring it up. But they are not. And that’s the other item I need to share with you. I have not been very diligent in working out, either, which is as good for me as eating well. There are three main reasons why. One, it’s hot out. Two, I am so busy, and I just can’t seem to fit it into my schedule. And three, it just hasn’t been as much of a priority to me as eating cleaner, whole foods.

This week, though, I took small steps to improve my after-dinner sweets, this recipe being one of them, as well as to incorporate more exercise into my week.

In his Eat to Live Cookbook, Joel Fuhrman recommends eating dessert. He writes, “One trick to prevent overeating is to have a delicious dessert at the conclusion of dinner—before you’ve overeaten. Let dessert mark the end of your day’s eating experience and do not eat again until breakfast the next morning.” What great advice! And so, I don’t deny myself sweets, I just make ones that are nutrient dense (ones that are fruit-centric and made with no sugar, except the sugar found in fruits).

And as far as exercising, I get bored very easily. Because of that, I believe doing a variety of activities during the week is what will work best for me. This week, I did some yoga, took walks, and did some cellulite-busting exercises that I linked to on myfoxspokane.com’s facebook page this #wellnesswednesday. My husband and I also purchased a bike trailer for our daughter, which will allow me to add bicycle riding into the week. And when it’s this hot out, the wind on your face as you’re biking is a great relief.

It is in the small steps that we make significant changes. I try to be kind to myself when I veer off the path now and then. I just make a course correction, and get back on track. So, without further ado, here’s one of those course corrections.

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Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Recipe slightly adapted from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean by Lindsay S. Nixon. (I halved her recipe for one serving.)

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 frozen banana
• 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup unsweetened, vanilla-flavored almond milk, depending on desired consistency
• 3 teaspoons of natural peanut butter
• 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS:
“Place all ingredients together in a food processor and allow the motor to run until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stop and break up large clumps with a spatula as needed.” (Lindsay S. Nixon)

Taste and adjust ingredient amounts as preferred.

My Nutritarian Diary: Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones

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This Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones recipe is my third Lindsey S. Nixon, a.k.a. Happy Herbivore, recipe featured on my blog so far. The other two are Harvest Salad and Maple Vinaigrette and Chocolate Banana Ice Cream.

One reason she is one of my go-to gals for plant-based eating is that I love the simplicity of her recipes. She really uses minimal ingredients to get maximum flavor. This is such a timely characteristic in our land of processed foods where ingredient lists are as long as biblical genealogies. Another reason is because her recipes are generally quickly made, an added benefit for our “stuffed-with-too-many-things-to-do” schedules. But the main reason for me is that she knows how to make tasty low-fat, with minimally added sugar, plant-based treats! I think you can all agree that in our world of over-stimulated taste buds, this is a great quality.

While maybe not as nutrient dense as other recipes I’ve featured so far, these Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones are healthy enough for me to give to my daughter for breakfast. They are also about as easy to make as putting a Pop Tart in a toaster.

Go ahead. Give them a try. I think you will like them just as much as we do.

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Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones
(Recipe from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean by Lindsay S. Nixon)

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 c white whole-wheat flour (I used whole-wheat pastry flour)
• 2 tsp baking powder
• pinch of salt
• ¼ – ½ c of nondairy milk (I used unsweetened, vanilla-flavored almond milk)
• 1 spotted banana
• ¼ vegan chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
“Preheat oven to 400˚ F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Break banana in half and add both halves to the flour, and then start mixing it together with your hands, squishing the banana into the flour until you have a bowl of flour balls. Add ¼ cup of nondairy milk and chocolate chips, and stir to combine, adding more milk if necessary (when in doubt, wetter is better). Drop similar-sized spoonfuls on prepared cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, until the scones are firm and golden at the edges.” (Lindsay S. Nixon)

Makes about six.

MY NOTES:
You may be surprised to know that many brands of chocolate chips are vegan, using soy lecithin instead of milk lecithin in their ingredients. My preferred brand at the moment is Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips. The package says there may be traces of milk, and that does not bother me personally. So I don’t mind incorporating them (very frugally, mind you!) into my low-fat, plant-based cooking.

And, for those who don’t like to get their hands “too” dirty cooking, you can easily use a pastry blender to combine the banana into your flour mixture in much the same way you would combine butter or shortening to any biscuit recipe.

My Nutritarian Diary: Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Nutritarian HeaderMy daughter loves to go around the house and pretend she’s eating out of her toys, and afterward saying “yummy.” And that’s the word that sticks out the most for me when I just think about making homemade Chocolate Banana Ice Cream!

I consider this treat the plant-based eater’s best kept secret. Think about it—a dessert that’s full of fiber, sweet without any added sugar, smooth like soft serve ice cream without any added fat and chemicals to make it so, and complete with the nutritional benefits of bananas and chocolate—how can you lose?

While I am not a nutritionist, I have discovered in my studies on plant-based eating’s benefits that bananas are good for our moods, our muscles, and our hearts, to name just a few benefits. Chocolate, in a form closest to its natural state, has many nutritional benefits including reducing stress hormones and being an antioxidant that fights off cancer. Not only that, because of the natural fiber in both of these ingredients, one serving satisfies me, by making me full. I just don’t have the desire to overeat this treat. (The same cannot be said of other ice creams for me!)

So, here’s the recipe. Like my daughter likes to say, it is yummy! And I’m not pretending.

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Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
Recipe from Happy Herbivore Light & Lean by Lindsay S. Nixon. (I halved her recipe for one serving.)

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 frozen banana
• 2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened, vanilla-flavored almond milk)
• 1/8 tsp vanilla extract (not necessary if milk is vanilla flavored)
• 1/8 tsp cinnamon
• 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder (depending on your tastes / I use 1 heaping tbsp myself)

DIRECTIONS:
“Place all ingredients together in a food processor and allow the motor to run until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stop and break up large clumps with a spatula as needed.” (Lindsay S. Nixon)

MY TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS:
You don’t have to add chocolate or even the cinnamon to the bananas, if you don’t care for those flavors. I do recommend using a vanilla-flavored, plant-based milk, though, or vanilla extract with a plain milk, as I think it really gives the “ice-creamed” bananas a pop in flavor.

Also, the riper the banana, the sweeter the ice cream will be, so I look for the “dated” bananas in my local store’s produce section, which are sometimes cheaper. I then let them ripen a little more at home before peeling them and placing them in a bag for freezing.

A friend of mine had another excellent tip and that is to cut the bananas up in pieces before putting them in the freezer, which would save you the trouble of cutting them in their frozen state. Believe me your fingers will be happier for it!