Vegan, Really?

We’ve been on a good health kick over in this part of the woods and we want to continue.  So, I’ve been searching for new recipes and making all sorts of things up around here.  I found vegan ice cream, and since this is one of my downfalls (real ice cream), I thought hmm, I’ll give it a try.
Also, I believe I have shared my love for Maca.  Maybe it’s this bona fide superfoods’ profound benefits (the mineral-rich maca root has adaptogenic qualities, which may support the regulation of stress and repair, balance hormones, boost sex drive, and enhance strength and energy… all without being a stimulant). Or, maybe it’s the fact that the potent, earthy, butterscotch-esque flavor is so yummy.

Maple-Maca Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

You do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe, however, if you do not have access to a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix, Blendtec, or even a Magic Bullet), soak the cashews and water together for 30 minutes before blending for smoother results.

Makes about 1 pint (4 servings).

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw cashews

1 cup water

½ banana

¼ cup maple syrup

2 Tbsp raw Maca Powder (Herbal Spirit, in Santa Barbara)

pinch sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate (I use Trader Joes)

DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients – except the chopped dark chocolate – in a blender until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl or Tupperware container and freeze for 30 minutes. Mix in dark chocolate chunks into the cold ice cream, then continue freezing, covered, until frozen through – about 6-8 hours. Let defrost for 5 minutes before serving to soften.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream

 I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with this.  Who doesn’t enjoy a pint in their lap once in a while?  And if you don’t, good for you.  An average person eats 23.2 quarts of ice cream and other frozen dairy products a year.  So what are the benefits of ice cream, if any?

Until something called “super ice cream” hits the shelves, we’ll just have to settle for the current health benefits…

Bone strengthening calcium (10% daily recommended value in a 1/2 cup)

Vitamins D, A, B12 and K

Protein (10% daily recommended value in 1/2 cup)

Low glycemic index (meaning that there is less of a chance you’ll have blood sugar spikes and drops associated with most carbohydrates)

As with anything there are reasons to be cautious about your ice cream consumption…

Here are a few “better alternatives” than your fatty choices:

Healthy Choice fudge bars

Skinny Cow low-fat fudge bars

Breyer’s double-churned light ice cream

Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches

Haagen-Daz sorbet

Dreyer’s fat-free frozen yogurt

Ice cream is by no means a health food or a vital component of a healthy diet.  But it is a simple pleasure most people wouldn’t want to give up.

Here is a recipe for the worlds healthiest vanilla ice cream:

2 c almond milk

1 1/2 t vanilla

pinch of salt

1/4 t stevia drops

Combine all ingredients and then freeze in an ice cream maker.  if you don’t have an ice cream maker, combine all ingredients and freeze until hardened.

Nom Nom!!!