It’s time to talk about ice cream. You thought I was kidding last week, but I wasn’t. I do not kid about ice cream. Or pancakes. You’ll notice, however, that I have modified the title: How to eat a lot of ice cream with no while minimizing the health consequences. I changed it since one should probably consume everything with moderation, and I don’t know of a way to make ice cream 100% benign, so I’m going for minimal impact, here, not zero impact. So on to the techniques. These are listed in no particular order – it just depends on what you’re feeling like. Context: I like to eat as naturally as possible. Simple/whole ingredients are good; artificial sweeteners are frowned upon. Also, ease of assembly/method is important since I’m disabled and kitchen mobility is a challenge. I am not above just getting a pint of Haagen Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s and being happy!
1) Make Frozen Fruit Ice Cream
- I used to love using my Ninja in OR, but it’s in storage now, and the open blades, while powerful, scare me so I got a Vitamix instead. A Vitamix is pricey, yes, but the blade is attached to the bottom, I can clean it easily and use it myself. LOVE it.
- I think the standard recipe is something like 1lb frozen fruit and 1 cup milk of choice (I like Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond). Blend it up!! You’ll probably have to use the tamper.
- You might want to sub some milk with plain Greek yogurt. I used to do this with frozen mango before CMD told me to avoid mango for a while bc it is a “heaty” food.
- If you use Greek yogurt, use plain to minimize the sugar content – the fruit has enough flavor, and you can always add a splash or two of vanilla extract if you like.
2) Make Non-Fruit Ice Cream
- You’ll need to experiment with methods here if you don’t own an ice cream maker. I’ve tried the ice cream maker (at Ai Ai’s house) and the freeze and stir methods. I have yet to use the Vitamix, but that’s next!
- Since the location of our ice cream maker is unknown at present, I was eager to try the freeze and stir method, but it requires some attentiveness to prevent it from becoming rock solid. The recipes I’ve come across for the Vitamix require that you make an ice cream base, freeze it, then when ready to eat, thaw it briefly (e.g. in the microwave) pop it out of your little tupperwares or ice cube trays, and then blend it up. So it’s a trade-off: Stir after you make the base or have the patience to wait for your base to freeze before you turn it into ice cream.
- I’m enthusiastic about trying Chocolate Covered Katie’s ice cream recipes. I think her Cake Batter Ice Cream might be next.
3) Blend Frozen Bananas
- I learned this trick from JG, my walking partner/cubicle neighbor who told me to be “thoroughly movie-ready,” and also told me that her mom said you could blend up frozen bananas (add a drop of soy milk if you like) and the consistency is like soft-serve.
- It is. Which is why I think blending bananas is a fairly widespread internet cooking phenomenon. I used to use my Ninja or my baby Cuisinart. I could use my Vitamix now but I’m kind of nervous about eating too many bananas at present, and if I made banana ice cream I assure you I’d be eating WAY too many daily.
- Try chunking the bananas before freezing them, and then thaw them a bit before putting them into your blender thing. This will make it easier on your machine.
- The mix-in possibilities are endless. One of my faves, though, is to drop in an Oreo at the end. At one time I was addicted to Oreo McFlurries (the snack-size was an easy justification for indulgence), and this made me feel better about being able to drive past the golden arches without having to make a stop. Peanut butter or PB2 would be lovely, as would unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate chips/cacao nibs. I’m open to suggestions – what’s your favorite flavor?
4) Go find some Arctic Zero.
- If the idea of making ice cream is overwhelming for you, get in your car and go to a Whole Foodsy type of grocery store. In the freezer section, look for Arctic Zero. Did you see my picture on Facebook? I took it at a Publix in Florida while we were on vacay last week. I have not been able to get to a WF in Maryland for a while, and my other favorite supermarkets don’t carry it. The flavors are: Chocolate, Choc. PB, Coffee, Cookies & Cream, Mint Chocolate Cookie, Strawberry, Vanilla Maple, Seasonal Flavors.
- I tried the Mint Chocolate Cookie and really enjoyed it. The stats: per ½ cup serving = 37 calories, 5g sugar, 0g fat.
- They use only natural or organic ingredients. Here’s their list of good things about their product.
- The only drawback: it’s about $5 per pint. Comparable to what I’ve seen for some of the non-dairy options I’ve looked at for Ezzie, or some fancy pints if you don’t get them on sale. So the price tag isn’t a huge hurdle for me, especially since I can live with the ingredient list and it’s super convenient.
- Now remember that I like stuff like PBJ Quinoa, so the fact that I like a particular food might cause you to think twice. Most people recommend thawing the Arctic Zero a bit and then it’s nice and creamy. The taste has been compared to a frozen protein shake, but I like protein shakes, so that’s cool with me! I just want you to be informed.
Also, in case you didn’t see this in my FB post, I’d like you to be informed about this:
Are you tired? This message has been helpful to me as I’ve done all sorts of things since I first heard it in 2006. This list includes: Left my job, applied to business school and got an MBA from Georgetown, got a new job in a new field, moved away from home for the first time, wanted to become a missionary, visited Africa and wanted to move there, got sick…like catastrophically sick, learned to walk, learned to wait…to be continued.
KRK 2006 – Life of Elijah – I Kings 19