Hope and Ice Cream
Well, snark aside, I’m a high school teacher, and I deal with 100 children each day. Now, in my more pessimistic moments, I might say that the insistence of 8 weeks without dealing with children gives me hope. In fact, the whole month of March I’ll say this, and most of May too. (You’ll see. Just wait. . .) However, what gives me hope is the change that takes place in kids between the ages of 15 and 17.Over the summer between 9th and 10th grade, boys grow up exponentially. They leave snot-nosed, whiny little brats, and they return snotty, whiny young men. A small distinction, but an important one to be sure. It is the one thing that make me look forward to August and September every year.Something else that gives me hope is that recently, my father told me that he started running. When the blonde and I were up here in June, I happened to ask my father about running instead of walking, and his response was one of total disdain. He told us that he couldn’t run, that it wasn’t an option for him, and that there was no chance that it would be. This past Monday, we were talking on the phone, he told me that he started incorporating running into his walking schedule. He started with 25 paces of running on his walk, then 50, then 100, and now he ‘s up to running for about half of his daily exercise.My dad had bypass surgery about 10 years ago, and he’s had a little bit of a hard time of it ever since. I’m trying to get him to take better care of himself (read: go vegan) but it’s been a struggle, and this change helps a ton.
The blonde gives me hope. Every day, and every change she gets, she gives me hope. We argue, we debate, and we disagree, and all of those things give me hope. I really do love her. . .
And lastly, because I would feel odd without at least a little sarcasm and food here, dessert gives me hope. Ohhhh, does dessert ever give me hope. In fact, the dessert that gives me the most hope is ice cream. Well, it did until I learned 1. how bad it is for me and 2. how bad it is for the poor animals that had to suffer so that I could become more their size than mine.
Vegan ice cream, at least the ones that I’ve had, give me considerably less hope. Not none, but less.
You know what give me comparable amounts of hope though? Bananas. Frozen bananas. In my food processor. With cocoa powder, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and agave or maple syrup. Yup, home made ice “cream.”
So, before I pass the relay baton on, I present to you, my pretty-much favorite vegan dessert.
Frozen Banana “Ice Cream”
1 – banana, very ripe, but not banana-bread ripe
1 tsp agave or maple syrup, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp cocoa powder, plus more to taste
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)
3-5 vegan cookies, such as Oreos, Vienna Fingers, Stauffers Animal Crackers, etc.
1-2 Tbsp vegan chocolate chips
Other vegan mix-ins
**For this recipe, you’ll need a food processor or Vitamix. a regular blender is really hard to use, although I’ve done it.**
Before freezing the banana, peel it and break it into smallish pieces. Bigger than bite sized is fine, about double the size that you’d use for cereal.
Freeze the banana in a Ziploc bag. You can freeze multiple servings in one bag, and just pull out what you want. The ice “cream” doesn’t freeze very well once it’s been made, so you’re making to order here.
Drop the frozen banana pieces into the food processor, and pulse a few times. Once the bananas have begun to combine just a little bit, add the cocoa powder and the sweetener. You want to add the liquid on top of the powder to avoid the evil puff of dust as much as possible. Pulse again until the ingredients are starting to combine.
At this point, you can add other mix-ins. The larger the pieces you want, the later you should add them. You’ll have to go through a few rounds of blend-scrape-blend before the bananas are fully combined, but it’s worth it.
We use our mini-Cuisinart, but any small food processor should work. I suppose if you’re making a ton, then a full-sized food processor would work too. You can also use a Vitamix, but like I said, I would avoid using a blender.
**Edit** I found this recipe for Cake batter Ice Cream. Not my cup of tea, but people love cake batter, so, have a ball**
So now, to pass the “hope baton” to 5 other bloggers, and explain why they give me hope also:
1. Sexy Tofu: She combines two of my favorite things, while writing using comedy, sexuality, and deliciousness.
2. Turning Veganese: One of my go-to blogs about food, especially when I’m looking for something easy and special.
3. Accio Vegans!: Watching and helping two women transition into veganism, and getting support from their challenges. And they used a spell from Harry Potter. . . Just sayin’.
4. at350degrees: While not a vegan blog, seeing this young woman bake, and bake, and bake. . . Well, I love sweets, and I get half a fix from just seeing her awesomepics.
5. Plant Based Diet Adventures: For one, she loves NYC, just like me, but moreso, she is showing the way to veganize some of my favorite foods.
So these are some of the blogs that I follow, and they are all great. These guys also give me hope that I’ll get to figure out just what it is I’m doing here on my blog. Check them out, and you’ll pretty quickly see why I appreciate these folks so much.