The weather is hitting the 90’s, and that sunshine is dominant. The strawberry crop is just about done for the season, and my lettuces are starting to look unhappy in the hottest portion of the day. All around, we’re seeing the beginning signs of summer, and for anyone who knows me well enough, that means I’m about to get a bit unhappy.
You see, summer happens to be my least-favorite 6-9 months out of the year (my fellow Texans, you get it!), and though summer hasn’t quite happened upon us fully, I’m already looking forward to Fall. Yes, I’m very, VERY weird like that.
I thought this year, we’d do something new this summer, something FUN! Rather than count the days until this season is over, let’s embrace it, and try our best to see some good in it. After all, I’d be pretty sad to see my heat-hibernating (and grumpy) traits get passed on to my impressionable kiddos, just because it’s “that time of the year”. Last year we purchased a forest backdrop, complete with cardboard trees and campfire – and we transformed a corner of our school room into “the forest”. We laid the ground with pillows and blankets, and to this day, my son still sleeps in there every night (despite it having been changed to a waterfall as of a couple months ago).
This year, I’m thinking bigger…better…sweeter.
So let me ask you this, what is the sweetest part of summer for you?
For me, my mind goes right to ice cream! Now I happened upon a decent ice cream maker on sale at Costco, and on a whim decided to go ahead and take the plunge. Thoughts of all those gloriously sweet, refreshing flavors plagued my mind night and day until I realized we had a problem. The problem being that everyone in the house LOVES ice cream, and in and of itself, ice cream isn’t that great for you. *Sigh* But how could I limit myself once I taste that ice cold goodness on a hot day?? That’s just wrong. But on the flip side, this one machine could be what does both my – and my husband’s waistlines in for good!
What’s a gal to do??
Does this problem sound similar? Are you in the same boat?
This doesn’t have to be a complete moral dilemma, or our 2 AM mind-racing guilt trips. It doesn’t have to be modern day torture as we listen to our kids make those “yummy” noises as they guiltlessly enjoy their cones. Consider today’s post your ticket to Happy Land, and the price – your willingness to change things up just a tad.
First thing we have to do is get past the sugar idea. For one, it contains virtually no nutrients – in fact, it inhibits our immune systems for up to 4 hours after consumption! Sugar feeds cancer cells, it stops a healthy metabolism in it’s tracks, imbalances healthy gut flora, contributes to obesity and diabetes, causes cavities, causes energy slumps, and oh, did I mention it’s extremely addictive? In addition, recent studies have linked sugar consumption to brain fog, and Alzheimer’s!
Ok, do we have the basic evils of sugar established? There’s a lot more, believe me! But let’s not go there today – let’s move on to the good stuff.
I’ve been experimenting a bit, and have come up with some amazing ice cream recipes that are not only great tasting, but also nutritious!! Let’s get in the kitchen and have some fun!
We’ll start with a good old favorite, vanilla! But we’re turning this into a gut-healthy version!
What you will need:
3/4 C Raw Milk
1 1/2 C Raw Cream (if raw is unattainable, get organic pasteurized)
3/4 Tbsp Vanilla Extract (preferably homemade)
1 C Organic Maple Syrup
1 tsp Probiotic Powder
2 tsp New Zealand Colostrum Powder
2 Tbsp New Zealand Whey Powder
1-2 Tbsp Grassfed Collagen Powder
First, you want to blend all your ingredients well so you don’t have any pockets of powder in your dreamy goodness.
If you have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into your maker per the instructions. If you don’t, you could use any freezer-proof, airtight container. You will simply have to stir every couple hours until desired consistency is reached, usually about 8+ hours.
Next recipe has chocoholics covered, with a twist that provides a rich source of both magnesium and iron!
What you will need:
1/2 C Organic, Raw (and preferably fermented) Cacao Powder
3/4 C Raw Milk
1 1/2 – 1 1/3 Raw Cream
1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 C Organic Maple Syrup
Raw (preferably fermented) Cacao Nibs for topping
Simply blend all ingredients except the cacao nibs, then place in ice cream maker or freezer. Top with cacao nibs when ready to eat!
And for those of you who want or need a vegan option, you can substitute the milk using a cashew base. Simply soak 1 C cashews in water for 2 hours, then drain off and blend up. The cream can be substituted for either organic coconut milk, or organic coconut cream. Any other add-ins can be omitted if they are animal based.
If you have a peanut butter lover in your house, try the vanilla recipe with 1/2 C almond butter added to the mix. Then top with cacao nibs, or organic semi sweet chocolate chips.
And if you want to make these recipes just a tad more nutritious, try them with fresh, organic fruit on top! The possibilities are endless (and scrumptious)!
Is everyone feeling better now? I sure am! There is hope that we can have our proverbial cake, and eat it too.
Hope today’s post gets you excited for the heat to come – and gets all that nutritious goodness into you and your family’s tummies!
Oh Happy Day!
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