banana crunch ‘ice cream’
If you have resolved to turn over a new, healthy leaf in 2010, one way to receive maximum benefits with minimal effort is to boost your consumption of leafy greens. Leafy green vegetables are touted as being most nutrient dense food available, but unfortunately for most, it may also be the food group that is MIA from most people’s diets! Greens (think kale, chard, dandelion greens, and spinach) are high in vitamins A and C, as well as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and folic acid. They are particulary important to consume during these gray, cold days, as greens help to oxygenate our blood, acting as a mood enhancer and elevating energy levels.
For those that do not know the first way to begin cooking greens, or have bad memories of being force-fed them as a child, the easiest introduction is to blend them into fruit smoothies. Don’t let the vibrant green color intimidate you: the fruit masks any vegetal taste resulting in a creamy, sweet treat.
Below is a good ‘starter’ recipe for those wanting to try a green smoothie. But feel free to be creative! Try any fruits you may love (mango and bananas are particulary good at masking green taste) and if your blender is capable, try a heartier veggie like kale or chard. As a bonus, this is a great way to get children to eat their veggies.
Banana Crunch ‘Ice Cream’
2 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seed butter
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
Peel and chop bananas. Place them in a freezer safe bag, and freeze overnight (or at least 5 hours).
Add frozen bananas to your food processor. Process until bananas begin to break down and become creamy; about 2-4 minutes. Add sunflower seed butter and coconut oil, and process for 30-60 seconds – or until creamy. Pulse in cacao nibs.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape ‘ice cream’ into serving dishes.
Yield: 1 large or 2 small servings.
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