For the past week or so, my nightly trip home from the train station in Dover has made me chuckle. While the temperature is still a dismal 45 degrees or so, the local ice cream stand is open for the season. Folks line up under the flourescent glow of the “Dover Delights” sign, carefully considering their options while waiting patiently for their turn to order.
Ah, Spring in New England. It’s nowhere near warm enough to consider Ice Cream a cool-down treat, but it seems these longer days give folks a reason to head out at dusk for a scoop of Rocky Road or Black Raspberry.
I’ve always taken my ice cream seriously. In fact, I admit it – I’m a bit of an ice cream snob. Unless it’s completely all natural and made from high-quality, fresh ingredients, it’s not worth the calories, sugar and fat. If you have had ice cream from a local farmstand or even made it yourself, you know exactly what I mean. There is just no comparison.
There was a time when ice cream was an almost nightly ritual for my husband and me. The height of our addiction was in the summer of 2007 when I was in the last days of pregnancy with Miles. I suppose I had an excuse to eat orange-pineapple or grapenut (two of my favorite old-fashioned flavors) on a regular basis. I was hot, enormous and thirsty all the time – what better way to cure those ailments than with ice cream in the summertime? And we all know that expectant dads need to be supportive in any way they can. Andrew was only trying to help.
Fast forward to today, and it’s a different story. My metabolism isn’t what it used to be, and I’m starting to feel the blood sugar effects of indulging in sweets more drastically than in my younger years. So, what’s an Ice Cream-loving, New England girl to do?
Fake it with this healthy, all natural, dairy-free alternative. This is an amazing substitute for ice cream, that only requires bananas! Of course, you can then mix in any of your favorite nuts, fruits, grains or natural flavors, like vanilla, cacao powder, cinnamon or honey. It has the consistency of soft serve ice cream, with zero guilt. You can find the full recipe here.
This week I made the single-ingredient ice cream base with 3 bananas, then created my own flavor: Chocolate Almond, by mixing in 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds and 2 Tablespoons of Raw Cacao Powder. Almonds are an excellent source of protein and “good” fat, and raw cacao powder is knows as one of world’s superfoods, providing vital anti-oxidants and a host of other health benefits. This recipe served two perfect, 1/2 cup dishes – one for me and one for my partner-in-ice-cream-crime.
So, it seems, I have found a version of ice cream that is actually good for me! And while it’s no substitute for the summer ritual of hitting the ice cream stand after dinner, this is a dish I could have morning, noon and night.