April 15, 2013

Simple Veggie Snacks: “Ice Cream” Cravings Conquered

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Some people assume vegans eat salad, and that’s it. While I am indeed a big fan of a bowl of spinach, the notion that I could eat only that is absurd. Whether you are a vegan or vegetarian like me, a ravenous carnivore like my brother (and the majority of boys in the dining halls), prefer a paleo-plate or simply eat whatever you want, when you want, balance is key in any diet. Without certain nutrients and staples in the food you consume, you won’t grow to your full potential (or be “5’10 like Cindy Crawford” … mark it down: my first Clueless reference). However, over-thinking your diet — be it by restricting too many food groups, meticulously counting calories, etc. — is just as unhealthy. Yes, I eat a vegan diet, but I’m not insane about it, and no, I will not throw flour on you if you wear leather or something. I am happy with my personal choice, but there ARE certain foods I miss. When it gets warmer, I find myself especially nostalgic for the most random summer staples, some of which I didn’t even like pre-veganism. Hot dogs roasting on a grill? Like, okay, I was never a hot-dog lover, but they seem so much more appealing now that I can’t have them. Is this a metaphor for my attitude in life in general? God, I hope not. I did, however, used to LOVE ice cream, and fro-yo (obviously … I am a girl). Occasionally, I’ll slip up and eat ice cream, but since my diet has been completely dairy-free for so long, I have a stomach ache for days afterward that is so totally not worth it. So what is a vegan girl to do on a hot day (or a cold day or like, any time at all) when she’s craving this frozen delight? Make it vegan, duh! This recipe for vegan ice cream is so easy and wildly healthy, featuring servings of  fruits and healthy fats. I now present, without further ado, PB-Banana Homemade “Ice Cream.”Ingredients (makes 2 servings):2 tablespoons peanut butter (or another nut butter drained of excess oil)2 medium, very ripe bananas… that’s it. I’m serious.Directions:1. Chop up bananas into small slices and store in a ziploc bag or sealed container in the freezer for at least 3 hours.2. Remove and place in blender with peanut butter.3. Blend (feel free to add a little almond milk/milk of choice to assist the blending).4. Either place blended product into a container and re-freeze for a firmer result, or eat right away! Not only does this recipe completely satisfy my ice cream cravings, but the ingredients are healthy and pure. People assume vegan food is all healthy, but, trust me, the stuff churned into vegan ice cream at the stores is often even worse than that which comprises the non-vegan assortment. So, go steal these simple ingredients from the dining halls (what? Most of you probably ran out of BRBs, anyway), follow the immensely easy steps and enjoy your “ice cream” in the warm sunshine … or, like, in your bed while watching Scandal. Whichever. OH, and before I forget: this recipe is so healthy that I encourage, for once, the addition of toppings. Nuts! (Dark) chocolate! Go crazy! However, I’m drawing the line at gummy creatures. Sorry, they’re not and never were meant to be affiliated with ice cream, real or replicated.

Original Author: Meghan Flynn