05 August 2012

Vegan Peanut Butter, Banana and Jam Ice Cream

The heat is on in Washington! I never thought I would ever hear myself saying this about the weather here, but man, it has been hot!!!

We've been enjoying the beautiful sun and gorgeous weather, but it is making us down loads of green smoothies, salads, and our new favorite, raw vegan ice cream!

The Little Boy and I have been having so much fun experimenting with different "ice cream" flavors like Banana & Cacao Chip, Honey Walnut, Vanilla Cinnamon, but this one, a spinoff of the Strawberry Banana Ice Cream we made a couple of days ago, is currently the Little Boy's big favorite!

Vegan Peanut Butter, Banana and Jam Ice Cream

1 frozen banana (in chunks)
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp strawberry preserves
1-2 pieces of frozen strawberries

Start off with just blending the frozen banana and strawberries until you get a creamy consistency. Once you have some creamy ice cream, add the peanut butter and the strawberry preserves and blend again, just long enough to make peanut butter & jam swirls in the ice cream! Enjoy immediately!!! ;-)

What I love about this "ice cream" recipe is that you don't have to be exact with any of the ingredients so feel free to experiment -- add more peanut butter if you want a nuttier taste, add walnuts or almonds for chunks, whatever makes it yummier for you! You can even substitute raw almond butter for the peanut butter and skip the strawberry preserves and just add a couple more strawberries to make this a completely raw dessert!

02 August 2012

Ice cream for dinner? Why, yes, please!

The other day, our Little Boy had to go in for dental surgery and ended up having four (yes, FOUR!!!) of his teeth pulled out and getting silver caps on several more. The poor, poor boy.

I was very uncomfortable with the idea of having him sedated for the procedure. I just didn't love the idea of injecting a ton of sedatives into his tiny little body! So, we actually took him to three different pediatric dentists to see if we had any other options, but they all agreed that having him out for the whole procedure was our only choice if we did not want to traumatize him forever! :(

So on Tuesday morning, we brought him to the Center for Pediatric Dentistry in Seattle for the procedure. We were lucky enough to find this place because the staff here were just awesome. They were all so warm and helpful and were more than happy to talk us through the whole procedure since they knew we were a little unsure about the whole thing. They were also so caring and really went out of their way to make sure our Little Boy never felt afraid. They even let the Little Boy choose a stuffed animal to hug and keep before he went into the OR. And even if we were not entirely comfortable with the idea of the dental surgery at first, I'm just happy that it's finally over.

Anyway, with four of his upper molars missing, chewing has definitely been a challenge these past couple of days so we've been downing a LOT of smoothies for his meals. And since he couldn't really have anything too warm on that first day, for dinner, I made him a special treat (a reward for being so brave, too!!!) and made him fresh fruit "ice cream" for dinner!

I know ice cream has always worked wonders for soothing toothaches and sore gums and is always a part of any major trip to the dentist but I also wanted to stick to staying dairy-free, so I knew I wanted to make him homemade ice cream and this really easy, quick recipe was perfect!

Raw (and Almost Vegan!) Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

1 frozen banana (in chunks)
4-5 frozen strawberries

Put frozen fruits in the blender and pulse and blend until you get a creamy consistency, and that's it! I must warn you though that those frozen strawberries will give a good fight before it is completely blended into the bananas. I made the mistake of freezing our strawberries whole, so that made it take longer so next time, I'm freezing the berries in halves or maybe quarters. But other than that, it is super, super simple to make!!!

This recipe makes enough ice cream for two people though so after I gave the Little Boy his share, I added a couple more stuff to make a Mommy treat for myself! So, in addition to the banana and strawberries, I also added:

a handful of cacao nibs
and a drizzle of raw, wild honey (you can use agave syrup, too, but I LOVE the taste of the "caramel swirls" wild honey makes!)

...blend these into the fruits and top with walnuts and more honey or agave syrup! Or go crazy and top your ice cream off with anything you fancy -- pecans, sliced almonds, raisins, buckwheat groats, etc!

How often can you say that ice cream for dinner is good for you?! Well, this one is! And it made a perfect "I-jus-had-four-of-my-teeth-pulled-out" dinner for the Little Boy and it worked wonders in cheering him up. :)