By Bridgette Ruge, M.A., CPT
The HEAT IS ON here in Florida, and we can expect the thermometer to keep rising! Time to expand your repertoire of frozen treats that will not only keep you cool, but also boost the nutrition and antioxidant power of your diet.
Don’t turn to ice creams loaded with fat, dairy, chemicals, colors, artificial flavors and refined sugars. These ingredients will lead to belly bloat, gas and weight gain! No, thanks! Did you know you can make your own creamy, delicious frozen treats that taste even better easily in your own blender or food processor? Get creative–experiment with adding superfoods such as acai, coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nut butters, raw cacao powder, raw cacao nibs, and all kinds of fruits. The following are a few of my favorite recipes for frozen treats!
VEGAN CREAMY AVOCADO ICE CREAM
Fact: Avocados contain more potassium than bananas, are loaded with fiber, and can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Coconut milk is lactose-free and can also improve cholesterol, as well as prevent heart attacks and strokes.
1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)—separate the cream on the top and whip until light and fluffy. Save the thin liquid on the bottom for smoothies or popsicles later!
1 ½ ripe avocados pureed in food processor
1/3 cup brown rice syrup (or raw honey/maple syrup)
Fold the whipped coconut cream and the pureed avocado together. When mixed, add the brown rice syrup. Pour into a glass pan and lay plastic wrap on top of the mixture to avoid ice crystals. Freeze for 4 hours. Enjoy!
VEGAN CREAMY COCOA BANANA ICE CREAM
Fact: A small serving of almond butter contains a generous amount of magnesium, which boosts heart health by promoting the blow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients, and potassium, which is important for good blood pressure and heart health.
3 frozen bananas, chopped into chunks
¼ cup Chocolate Unsweetened Almond Breeze Almond Milk
1 Tablespoon almond butter
½ Tablespoon cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
½ Tablespoons cacao nibs or mini dark chocolate chips (optional)
Add all ingredients into food processor and process until smooth. You may need to stop and stir a bit and then continue processing. When the mixture is smooth, add cacao nibs/chocolate chips and pulse a few times. Scoop into a bowl and enjoy this decadent treat!
VEGAN SUPERFOOD ACAI SMOOTHIE BOWL
Fact: Acai is a fantastic superfood that is known to increase energy, boost immune system, improve metabolism, and help hair, skin and nails. Also, it’s TASTY!
1/2 small banana
1 100-g (3.5-oz) pack frozen unsweetened acai berry pulp (TRY: Sambazon Unsweetened Acai Smoothie Pack; before opening your acai pack, run pack under water for 5 seconds to thaw and break the frozen pulp into smaller pieces.) *Sold in the freezer section of the grocery store!
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Blend all ingredients together and pour into a bowl. Add more liquid as needed to get ingredients blended—you want a thick consistency. Top your bowl with fresh fruits (blueberries, banana slices, berries, granola, unsweetened coconut flakes, and maybe a drizzle of raw honey).
VEGAN ENERGIZING PROTEIN PACKED FUDGESICLES
Fact: Cacao is a powerful antioxidant—especially when consumed in its raw state. Cacao can improve your memory, increase your bliss, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and create loads of energy. Maca root is also an energizing superfood that increases endurance and stamina, boosts libido, and balances hormones.
1 cup almond milk (or your nut/seed milk of choice) – Hemp seed milk is a great choice!
1 scoop of Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Protein Powder (vanilla or chocolate) or vegan protein of choice
2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon Maca powder
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 banana (fresh or frozen)
A few dates (or stevia to taste)
Blend and drink as a smoothie or freeze in popsicle molds for a delicious and nutritious cold treat on a hot day—or anytime!