By Sara Holden
I have another confession. And it's a big one.
I have food vices. Pizza. Also, cheese. Oh, and mac and cheese. Pasta in general. Chocolate, nutella, cookies ... need I go on? I love food, and I, too, have fallen into the delicious, comforting clutches of those demonized foods known as simple carbs and desserts.
For the most part, I have my inner pasta/pizza/mac and cheese/dessert demons under control. I divulge infrequently and when I do I try to pile on the veggies, minimize the cheese and look for healthier desserts.
Because the fact is, eating all those “favorite” foods all the time does not make for a happy Sara. While they create a happy feeling in my brain while I’m eating them (what up, dopamine), they truly have very little to offer in the long term. They tend to be seriously lacking in the nutritional value department, so when they make up the majority of my calories I get sluggish, foggy, grumpy and fat.
I’ve been on the road to whole food, nutrient dense eating habits for long enough that my tastes have changed, and my cravings and tolerances for these foods are largely diminished (ok, let’s be real, I could eat pizza all day everyday, but only when piled to the ceiling with veggies).
There is one (other) food, however, that I can never seem to get off my mind. And that is ice cream. Especially during those balmy summer nights spent sitting on the back deck watching the sun go down after enjoying a smoky meal right off the barbecue. Who wouldn’t be dreaming about sweet, cold, creamy deliciousness? Probably Jonathan.
However, I am not Jonathan, so in an effort to avoid eating myself into a sugar coma, I set out to find a healthier alternative. Enter Nice Cream.
Thankfully I’m not the only one who has tried to cut back on their ice cream consumption.
Enter the invention of Nice Cream (or banana ice cream). It can be a great alternative for anyone trying to avoid dairy, or just making healthier choices. And the best part? It’s so easy.
In its most basic form Nice Cream is just frozen bananas thrown in the food processor (or blender) and blended until it resembles soft serve ice cream. Bananas, being the versatile wonder fruit that they are, pair perfectly with so many additional flavor options. I’m sharing two options today for your tasting pleasure.
Vanilla and Peach Nice Cream
2 bananas, sliced and frozen
½-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Optional: 1-2 dates or 1 tablespoon maple syrup (I find that an extra sweetener is not necessary. Bananas are pretty sweet on their own)
½-1 frozen peach or nectarine (I left skins on and it worked fine, but do pre-cut into small chunks before freezing)
2 frozen bananas (pre-sliced)
Optional: 1-2 dates or 1 tablespoon maple syrup
If using date, chop, mash or blend first until mostly smooth/broken up. Place all ingredients in food processor or blender. Blend until it resembles soft serve ice cream, scraping down sides as needed.
Serve immediately, or put back in the freezer for a few minutes to allow it to firm up