Apparently this is the Month of Resolutions for Amy!
I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I just finished the Happiness Project so I’m all hyped up with ideas of how to happify my life. The first resolution I talked about was my November Happiness Challenge to read all my favorite childhood books. So far I’ve read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and it was marvelous, spendiferous, magnificent, wonderful, a real whizzbanger! 🙂 Can you tell I just finished?
Some other resolutions are more heatlh-driven, including exercising at least 6 half-hour chunks each week, drinking two big bottles of water each day at work, and finally, the big one for me:
Cutting out foods with added sugar…dunh dunh duuuunh
This one was scary for me. I’m sure anyone who either knows me or reads this blog knows I have a sweet tooth and a special place in my heart for chocolate. Lately however, I had been going way too crazy and overindulging.
Some of the culprits:
- The huge bag of Hershey’s chocolates that David sweetly bought for me when I was sick
- Halloween candy around every corner at work (seriously, a bowl in most cubicles)
- Making treats like brownies and ice cream at home and eating a lot along the way and afterward
Of course, I know that the biggest culprit is not the existence of these temptations but my own lack of self-restraint. Not restraint from having a taste — I don’t see a problem there! — but restraint from overeating.
I find that completely cutting something out for a while can be easier than trying to cut it down. Also, since I firmly believe sugar can have a healthy place in my life as an occasional treat, I will use this time to abstain for better appreciation later. Also, I’m working on forming better habits like checking for added sugar everywhere (yikes pasta sauce), chugging water, and fixing boredom with things other than food.
I followed the textbook advice of removing all sugary foods from my pantry. But two delicious and tempting treats remain in my freezer: Black Coffee ice cream and Queen City Cayenne ice cream, both made from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream cookbook.
They are so delicious. All last week I was obsessed with which flavors I wanted to try from the book. The Queen City Cayenne jumped out at me — delicious chocolate ice cream with a kick.
The ice cream cannot be eaten right now per my resolution (which ends Thanksgiving Day!). The other night I really wanted some so I made a sweet, yet no-sugar-added version.
All you need to make this ice cream is a food processor, frozen bananas, and the add-ins – cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cayenne.
I loved the result. The banana is the sweet and fruity background to rich chocolate, highlighted with warm cinnamon and warmer cayenne. I love how you don’t taste the cayenne as much as you feel it. The sensation of heat after gulping down a cool bite is so fun. In any case, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a ton of flavor, no sugar added!
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream with Cayenne
Inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
1 frozen banana, sliced
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 dashes cayenne pepper
Add all ingredients to food processor and process until bananas are smooth. This takes a little while, and you will need to stop occasionally to scrape down the sides.
Keep processing until you get to a soft serve texture!
My picture of the ice cream looked terrible so I won’t include it. If you haven’t had banana ice cream before, just know two things:
- It tastes very banana-y.
- The texture is a just a little more icy, a tad less creamy because, of course, there’s no cream.
I really hope you try this!
This made me drool:
Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip from Brown Eyed Baker
This made me smile:
The Starbucks barista who jumped out the drive-up window
This made me laugh: