Thursday, April 21, 2016

Banana Ice Cream, Amplified

I think it's safe to say that winter is finally gone and spring is here! I am so happy to have the sun making frequent appearances these days. The recipe I'm sharing today is one to use all throughout the upcoming warm months of spring and summer: Banana Ice Cream, Amplified! If you're no stranger to food blogs and non-dairy living, you've surely seen banana ice cream before. But you probably haven't seen it done like this.

I'm taking healthy ice cream to a whole new place today, using one of my classic summer dessert favorites to sneak in more nutrients. If you haven't caught on by now, that's kind of what I love to do here: fit in as much nutrition as possible into each bite of my recipes. If you've heard the term "nutrient dense", that's what I'm practicing here. Nutrient dense foods are those with a high nutrient to calorie ratio, meaning foods lower in macronutrients, but high in micronutrients and phytonutrients. Think whole, plant foods like leafy greens, lettuces, cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, turmeric, ginger, berries, etc. So let's combine nutrient density with ice cream. No added sugar, no dairy - and only whole food ingredients.

A note about ingredients:

  • I've talked about my love for turmeric and its powerful properties before herehere, and here.
  • One ingredient I haven't talked about on the blog yet is maca. Maca root is a vegetable historically cultivated in Peru that has loads of health claims attached to it. The buzz about maca is that it increases energy levels, stamina and fertility. 
    • Research supports that maca can help boost testosterone production in males, and improve symptoms common in PMS and menopause in women, having a hormone-balancing effect.
    • Research also shows maca: has antiviral properties, is loaded with antioxidants, helps the body adapt to stress, and also reduces psychological symptoms like anxiety and depression. 
    • As is typical with alternative methods, more research is still needed to conclude the main mechanism of maca.

You can find maca in a powdered form at your local health food store, or at a place like Whole Foods. I personally like the taste, but it could take some getting used to for some people. I would describe the taste as an earthy, nutty, smokey toffee flavor.

Banana Ice Cream, Amplified
By Bailey West, B.S. Nutrition/Dietetics
Serves 3

2 large frozen bananas
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 tsp. turmeric, powdered
2 tsp. maca, powdered
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt

1. Place bananas and coconut cream in a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. Then add turmeric, maca, cinamon, salt and cayenne until thoroughly blended.

2. Transfer your blended ingredients into a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 3 hours or overnight.

3. If frozen overnight, remove from freezer and thaw for a few minutes before scooping.

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