Sheryl Jesin


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Sunday Brunch at Live Organic Food Bar

A few weeks ago, Jake and Dylan were out of town for the weekend. My mom, Benjamin and I decided to head down to Live Organic Food Bar on a Sunday morning for brunch. Two kids in a restaurant = hell. One kid = a fun outing.

We arrived right at 11 am to avoid any lines. The restaurant was empty when we got there. It slowly started to fill up as we ate, but we enjoyed having the place to ourselves for a while. The decor is modern, cool and clean. All of the food at Live is vegan, gluten free and sugar free. There are an array of raw and cooked dishes to choose from, in addition to a large selection of juices and smoothies.

I had french toast on a gluten free bun, made with almond butter and bananas. It was served with fresh berries, maple syrup, jam and coconut whipped cream. It was absolutely delicious. My only complaint is that it was quite small.

My mom had a sunshine wrap. This is a raw dish. It is made up of the following: sundried tomato wrap, sunflower sesame hummus, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, micro greens, and a balsamic reduction. It came with a side salad of mixed baby greens, micro greens and sprouts. My mom was nice enough to share half of her wrap with me. She tends to be not as starving as I always find myself to be. Half of her dish, along with mine, filled me up.

We shared a juice called Green Electricity. It is made from kale, apple, grapefruit juice, cilantro, ginger and lemon. It was refreshing and delicious. I liked that it wasn’t super sweet, as juices can be. Benjamin loved it! He also snacked on some of our food, and was quite happy to be there with us.

We were quite satisfied with our brunch. It was so nice for me to be able to go to a restaurant, and know that every choice on the menu was something that I can eat, and something that is healthy. My mom commented that she felt so good after eating – she felt light, rather than stuffed and bloated. I would recommend this restaurant to vegans and non-vegans alike. While the food is healthy, it is also delicious. The presentation of the food was also top notch, with carefully placed berries on each plate, and even an edible flower perched on my french toast. I wish more restaurants offered brunch like this. I can’t wait to go back to Live!


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Raw Vegan Avocado Lemon Pudding

As much as I love chocolate, I’ve always had a place in my heart for lemon desserts.  There is something so refreshing about a lemon sorbet, a lemon merengue pie or a lemon square.  Unfortunately, a lot of these desserts are on my do-not-eat list since they generally contain copious amounts of white sugar and butter and gluten!

A couple of nights ago I decided I was in the mood for a lemony treat and whipped up something that turned out amazing.  It was rich, creamy, tart and also healthy.  I made a lemon pudding and its base was avocado.  Avocados truly are super foods – they are a good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C,  and copper.  They can help lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure.   Plus – they taste delicious!  I am quite sad that we are out of both avocados and lemons because I’d really like to eat this right now!  Must buy some tomorrow.

Recipe – Raw Vegan Avocado Lemon Pudding (gluten free, soy free)

Makes 1 large serving, or two medium sized servings.

Ingredients

1 large avocado

Juice of 1 lemon

Zest of one lemon

2-3 tbsp agave

2 medjool dates

2 ice cubes

Method

Place items in high speed blender.  Blend on high speed until smooth.  Enjoy! (Note – this was quite tart – if you like your lemon desserts sweeter, just add more agave.)


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Race Recap – Half Marathon – The GoodLife Toronto Marathon

I did it! I finished my first half-marathon on Sunday in 2 hours and 36 minutes. This of course is a personal best for me (by default, since it is my first half) and I am proud of myself. It was long, hot and sunny and painful at times, especially near the end. I still can’t believe that I did it!

Race Preparation

As I learned during my prep for my 10k two weeks ago, a gluten free, dairy free and soy free diet works really well for me. I’ve been diligent about the diet for about 3 weeks now with no slip-ups and my stomach has been feeling great. As a bonus, my eczema is also almost completely gone! The week before the race was my taper so I only ran twice, two miles each time. I felt blah, tired and lazy all week – I really missed running! The day before the race I headed down to the Direct Energy Centre with my mom and Benjamin to pick up my race kit and visit the expo. The expo was fun – lots vendors, lots of samples of various protein drinks and bars. I stayed away from most of them but enjoyed the Gidi Yoyo chocolate and Sha Sha buckwheat snacks. We didn’t stay long at the expo as I wanted to rest my legs. I tried to eat a lot of carbs the day before, and drink a lot of water. I attempted to go to bed early, but of course it was very difficult to sleep.

The half-marathon began at 8:30 am. I woke at 5:40 am so I would have time to eat my pre-race breakfast, vegan overnight oats, and drink some Vega Electrolyte Hydrator. This breakfast works really well for me. My stomach felt good, and I felt full, but not stuffed after breakfast. I left the house just after 7 and I drove up to the start at Mel Lastman Square by myself (there was no way we were going to get the kids up and ready to go by 7am!). I got there quickly and parked on a side street. I ate one Vega Sport Endurance Gel about 30 mins before the race. Luckily I arrived in time to make a quick portopotty stop – the lines were long but went quickly. It was a lot warmer out that I expected. It was probably about 12 degrees at the start and quickly went up to 18 degrees. This doesn’t seem so hot, but the sun was blazing down and there was little shade. I had on my throwaway jacket, but discarded it before the race even started. I wore my Lululemon Swiftly Short Sleeve T, and my Lululemon Inspire Crops. I also had on a Nike running hat and sunglasses. And of course my trusty Mizuno Wave Elixirs. I was SOO thankful to have both my hat and sunglasses. Really needed them both!

Race Time

I lined up in my corral just before 8:30. The corrals weren’t organized very well. I situated myself somewhat near the back and before I knew it, it was time to start. I knew I had to start out slowly or there was no way I was going to finish. Here are my splits:

Mile 1 – 10:57

Mile 2 – 11:15

Mile 3 – 12:46

Mile 4 – 12:07

Mile 5 – 11:18

Mile 6 – 11:43

Mile 7 – 10:48

Mile 8 – 11:34

Mile 9 – 11:35

Mile 10 – 12:30

Mile 11 – 11:31

Mile 12 – 8:52

Mile 13 – 7:59

Mile 14 – 11:27

A few things to note about my splits. I’m happy that I was able to keep most of my miles faster than 12min/mile. I attribute the ones higher than 12 to either hills, or water stops where I walked a bit. I’m not sorry that I slowed down on hills or walked while drinking as it was important to get fluids in because I was HOT. As I mentioned before, it was really hot and sunny. It was the kind of day where it was cool and beautiful in the shade, and hot in the sun. 95% of the race was not shaded, and I really felt the sun beating down on me. After training through the winter, I wasn’t really prepared for the heat. Should I have worn shorts? It was warm enough, but I really like the support that the Inspire Crops give me. They hold my tummy and thighs in and prevent jiggling, and they are really lightweight. So I think they were a good choice. I was also glad that I applied sunscreen before I left the house in the morning.

I was so thrilled to see my parents around mile 5, Jake, my brother in law and my kids at mile 6 and at the finish line, and my brother at mile 7. Knowing that I would see them helped me push through and, they also snapped some great pics.

I was feeling good with no aches or pains until about mile 5. At mile 5, my left ankle started to hurt. This pain went away around mile 7. Mile 7 was beautiful, down Rosedale Valley Drive. Finally there was some shade and it was cool and breezy. Miles 8-10 were brutal. They were down Bayview and River Street. There was no shade. It was hot. There were no spectators. The scenery was ugly. My stomach started to rumble and I started to feel sick. Earlier that morning, I had received an inspirational tweet from my cousin who was also running the half marathon. She is an accomplished cyclist who races (and wins!) a lot, and she wrote:

It’s all in your head. Just tell your brain to push through and you will kick butt.

Her words helped me push through miles 8-10. I wasn’t going to give up because of a tummy ache, and some hot weather. I told my body that I had to keep going and I wasn’t going to stop. I willed that stomach ache away. By mile 11 we were in the downtown core and there was a breeze, some shade and I was feeling good again. I pushed pushed pushed through those final miles.

Another thing to note – according to my GPS, I ran 14 miles and crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 36 mins, but a half marathon measures in at 13.1 miles. I really tried not to weave this time but I still inadvertently added 0.9 miles to my race. Oh well! I am thrilled that I ran mile 12 in 8:52 and mile 13 in 7:59. I really gave it my all in those last two miles, as I tried to make it in before 2 hours and 30 minutes. However, once I got to 13 miles I unexpectedly still had one mile to go. That last mile was BRUTAL. I couldn’t wait to see that finish line. My legs felt like they were going to break off and when I finally saw the finish I was absolutely thrilled.

This was taken right near the finish line. Why do I look so happy? I’m in a lot of pain

As for race nutrition and hydration – I ate a Vega Sport Endurance Gel at mile 5 and mile 10. I drank a full cup of water at every aid station (and also poured one down my shirt or on my head!). I had my Amphipod Hydration Belt on and I filled one bottle with water, and 2 with Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator. They gave out Gatorade along the way, but there was no way I was drinking that nasty stuff! I drank my electrolyte drink intermittently throughout the race. This worked for me, as I had practiced drinking and eating on my long runs. It is so important to practice race fuelling and hydration to figure out what works best for you!

I could barely walk when I was done the race. My legs felt like lead blocks. They were so stiff and it was hard to lift them. I got my medal, picked up a banana and called Jake. I was not impressed with the post-race party. It was in a parking lot, there was a fence around it and there was a lot of confusion because the 5k was starting at noon. So there were a lot of runners milling about aimlessly and I couldn’t even find water. Jake and the boys weren’t allowed in the party (or were they? I’m not sure. There was someone guarding a small entrance into the fenced in area and they didn’t allow them in). I was exhausted and didn’t feel like hanging around and couldn’t wait to get home.

I earned that finisher’s medal!

However, the only thing harder than running a half-marathon, is taking care of small kids after running a half-marathon. It’s not like I could go home and have a nap or sit on the couch for the rest of the day. The kitchen counter needed to be wiped, the kids needed to be fed and diapers needed to be changed. That is life as a mom and of course I’m so grateful for my wonderful kids, but next time after a half I will employ the help of babysitters or perhaps grandparents.

If you had asked me immediately after the race if I would do another one, I would have said NO WAY. I’m already changing my mind. I’m slowly forgetting the pain of the last 3 miles and already plotting my next few races.

Final Thoughts

A half marathon is hard. Perhaps this is obvious. (Perhaps if you run 100 mile ultramarathons, a half marathon is easy…I guess it is all relative.) A half marathon requires dedicated training, knowledge of your body and fuel requirements. You feel like crap after a half marathon. My whole body ached Sunday and I had a splitting headache. I forgot about my ankle pain because that was nothing in comparison to the pain in my hip flexors. I could barely roll over in bed Sunday night. I felt better Monday, and feel almost back to normal today. I really didn’t expect it to hurt so much.

My mom asked me after the race – what is the point of running a half marathon? I think she just didn’t like to see me in pain, which is understandable. The point is I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something hard. And why not do it? I run because I can. I’m thankful that I have the health and the ability and the time to run. I saw this quote yesterday, and it sums up the way I feel about running:

Don’t ask me why I run. Ask yourself why you don’t.

I love that Dylan watches me race. He brought in my medals and a cow bell from the race to school for show and tell. I’ve already decided that I’m going to do the Oasis Zoo Run in September. It is a 10k through the Toronto Zoo. There is a 1k race for kids and Dylan wants to do it. I’m so thrilled!

I’m already plotting my next half marathon. I know I can go faster! I have been bit by the long distance running bug. The pain of a race is fleeting, but the memories of pushing my body and my mind will last forever. Perhaps there is even a full marathon in my future…


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Race Recap – The Toronto Yonge Street 10k

Sleeping fitfully all night, waking up at 6 am, standing around in 4 degree Celsius weather for 45 minutes, using portapotties, pounding the pavement for 10k from Yonge and Eglinton all the way to Fort York…to normal people, this does not sound fun.   However, to me, and I am assuming to the other 6,000 people that ran the Yonge St. 10k with me today, it was the perfect way to start a Sunday morning.

Pre-Race

Race prep for me started a week ago.  It meant being strict with my diet so that I ate no gluten or dairy AT ALL with the goal of having no stomach upset during the race.  I am pleased to say that this goal was met – absolutely no stomach issues during the race.  This is a big deal for me, as I have struggled with IBS for most of my life.

The day before the race, I ate a lot of carbs, and tried to minimize the amount of fibre I ate.  And of course, no dairy and no gluten.  I tried to stay off my feet as much as possible most of the day so that my legs would be fresh, and I drank lots of water so that I would be optimally hydrated.  I attempted to go to bed early, but had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.  Pre-race jitters contributed to this, as did the fact that a friend was in labour and I couldn’t stop thinking about her!  I ended up falling asleep around midnight, was up from 2:30-3:30am, and then was up for good at 6am.  Despite my crappy sleep, I woke up feeling good and ready to go!

Pre-race breakfast was eaten at around 6:45 am.  It consisted of overnight oats, courtesy of Oh She Glow’s Recipe.  It is my go-to breakfast before running.  If I eat it about an hour or two before running, it sits well in my stomach and provides me with lots of energy.  I kept hydrated by drinking Vega’s Electrolyte Hydrator  about an hour before the race.

The starting line was a 5 minute drive from our house, and we arrived there about 45 minutes before race time.   Jake and the boys joined me and it was great to have them there for moral support, and also because I could bundle up before the race started, and then hand off my jacket to them.   It was COLD this morning – about 4 degrees Celsius at the start of the race, and maybe went up to 5 by the end.  I think I actually overhydrated because I had to visit the portapotties a couple of times before the race started to empty my bladder – but there were plenty and lines were short.  That was a relief!

I wasn’t sure what to wear…I didn’t want to be cold, but I also didn’t want to be hot.  In the end, I decided on a pair of Lululemon Inspire Crops, a Swiftly T-shirt, and and thin jacket on top.  I also wore a throwaway sweatshirt for the first mile, and dropped it on the side of the road when I warmed up (clothes were collected and donated to a shelter).  I wore gloves, and two hats – a running hat and a baseball hat.  I got hot about half way through and took off the gloves and hat, but I am glad I had them for the first part of the race.

Bundled up before the race

My brother and law and I are almost ready to start!

Race Time

I lined up in my corral about 15 minutes prior to race time.  The corrals were well organized and didn’t feel too crowded.  I felt happy and excited when it was time to run and it was so amazing to see Yonge Street full of runners.   It was a treat to have the whole street closed off for us!

I tried to get a good shot of the street full of runners...this is the best I could do!

I wanted to start off conservatively but got caught up in the excitement and my first mile was run at a pace of 9:50 minutes/mile.  I had expected to run the race at approximately 10-11 minutes per mile, so 9:50 felt fast.  Well, believe it or not, I kept getting faster!  Here are my splits:

Mile 1 – 9:50

Mile 2 – 9:42

Mile 3 – 9:48

Mile 4 – 9:18

Mile 5 – 9:22

Mile 6 – 9:13

Mile 6.88 – 10:44

I’m not quite sure why my GPS told me that I ran 6.88 miles, when 10k is actually 6.2 miles.  I think I didn’t turn off the GPS right at the finish line, which explains my slow last 0.88 of the race.   Also, I spent a lot of time in the last mile passing people and weaving around them.  That could potentially add to the distance.

My chip time was 1:03:15.  I am absolutely thrilled with that result!  I had expected to finish at around 1:10-1:15 or so.  I felt strong throughout the race, and at no time felt like I had to stop and walk.  I did stop in the first few km briefly to take a few pictures, but that was it.  During the last km, I dug deep and ran as fast as I could.  A friendly stranger  said to me during the last km – we can do this together – and we both gave it all we could until the finish line.  She was so motivating!

There were aid stations at 4km and 7km with water, gatorade and portapotties – I didn’t drink anything during the race (or visit the portapotties, thankfully!).

Post Race

Jake and the boys met me at the end of the race.  There was a fun party with music and lots of good food.  I enjoyed the apples and bananas, and there was also Chiobani Yogurt, bagels and cookies, which the boys happily ate.  And of course plenty of water and gatorade.  I didn’t use the baggage check, but heard that it was well organized.  I quickly felt chilled after the race and was thankful to have Jake there waiting with my jacket.  We stayed for about 30mins at the party and then went out for lunch.  Then we came home, and everyone napped but me…not quite sure how that makes sense since I was the one that ran 10k!

Feeling proud after I received my finisher's medal

Final Thoughts

I am so pleased with my first 10k experience.  A year ago I couldn’t run for more than a couple minutes at a time, and now I easily ran 10k in just over an hour.  I feel like all of my training paid off and I’m thrilled that the weather co-operated, and that my stomach did too.  I felt a true sense of accomplishment when I crossed the finish line, and it goes far beyond running.   Running gives me the energy to make it through my day.   It lifts my spirits and makes me a happier mom and wife.   I was proud of myself today and it felt great to set an example for my kids.  I hope they grow up valuing exercise and what it can do for your mind and body.  Before bed today, I asked Dylan what his favorite part of the day was, and he said the race!  He also said he was proud of me.

Running is an amazing sport because everyday people can compete alongside Olympic athletes.  I ran today’s race, and so did Canada’s Olympic marathon contender, Reid Coolsaet.  How cool is that?  He won the race in 28 minutes – twice as fast as me!   His talent, determination and speed are truly inspirational.

Elite athletes at the starting line - Reid is in the black outfit in the middle

My first 10k was a phenomenal experience.  Can’t wait for my half-marathon in two weeks!


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Recipe – Mixed berry oat bars

I often find myself looking for a quick snack during the day or just before a run.   Something that doesn’t take any time to prepare and something that I can eat with one hand while I’m holding a toddler or chasing a four year old.

In the past, I used to buy granola bars or other snack bars to have on hand.  One of these bars that I used to purchase is the Nutrigrain bar by Kelloggs.  I haven’t eaten one of these in years, but I decided to look up the ingredients.  I was curious, and here’s what I found:

CRUST: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN B1[THIAMIN MONONITRATE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, WHEAT GLUTEN, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B1(THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE) , VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), FOLIC ACID. FILLING: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, GLYCEROL, APPLE PUREE CONCENTRATE, SUGAR, STRAWBERRY PUREE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BLUEBERRY PUREE, SODIUM ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, RASPBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, CITRIC ACID, MALIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, RED 40, BLUE 1.

I cringe now when I look at that list.  A few things stand out – high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavour, Red 40, Blue 1.  I can’t believe I used to regularly ingest such awful ingredients.  And how many times can sugar be listed in the ingredients?  I counted 5.  That is atrocious.

Here is my answer to the Nutrigrain bar.  It is free of refined sugars, refined flours and also free of gluten (if using GF oats), dairy and soy.  It is quick and easy to make and it is something you can feel good about eating.  Oh yeah – it’s also delicious.

Recipe – Mixed berry oat bars 

Adapted from Choosing Raw

Preparation time – 10 minutes

Baking time – 30 mins

Makes 8 squares

Ingredients:

1 cup oats, ground into flour using a food processor, magic bullet or Vitamix

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 tsp. baking soda

pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp. maple syrup

1 medium apple, cored

1 tsp. vanilla

3 tbsp. shredded dried coconut, unsweetened

10 almonds

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. water

1 organic egg

1/4 cup blueberries

1/4 cup raspberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together ground oats, rolled oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Blend the maple syrup, apple, vanilla, coconut, almonds, olive oil, water and egg together in a food processor or Vitamix until smooth.
  4. Mix together wet and dry ingredients.  Stir in berries.
  5. Place in a 8×8 glass baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30-35 mins, until edges are turning golden brown.
  7. Cool on a rack and cut into squares or bars.
  8. Eat and enjoy, knowing you are nourishing your body with healthy, whole foods.  Be thankful that you are not eating a Nutrigrain bar.


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Recipe – Baked Oatmeal with Apple and Banana

Had a bit of fun again in the kitchen last night, this time with baked oatmeal.  I’ve been wanting to try a baked oatmeal dish for a while.  I thought it would be a good late night snack and a quick and easy breakfast before Dylan heads off to school in the morning.  (The La Leche League leader in me also thinks that baked oatmeal would be a great dish for a new mom – can be made ahead of time and easily warmed up for a quick breakfast.  Plus, oatmeal is supposed to boost milk supply.)

I was perusing through Angela’s Oh She Glows blog and came across a great recipe  – Fruity Baked Oatmeal with Crunchy Almond Topping.  I decided to give it a try, and made a few changes based on what I had on hand at home.  I am truly amazed at how amazingly delicious it turned out!  (Although I shouldn’t be surprised – Angela’s recipes are all outstanding!!)  It is creamy, yet dairy free.  It is satisfying, comforting and so delicious!  I just may have a new favorite breakfast recipe…

Recipe – Baked Oatmeal with Apple and Banana (Vegan, can be gluten free with GF oats, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 and 2/3 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup Ruth’s Chia Goodness (I used chocolate because I had some extra on hand.  You can substitute with plain chia seeds if you like!)

2 large bananas, sliced

2 apples, chopped

2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of sea salt

3 1/2 cups water

4 tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Topping:

1/2 cup raw walnuts

4 tbsp rolled oats

2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 tsp maple syrup

1 tbsp Earth Balance (can substitute with coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or water)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix together oats, Chia Goodness, banana, apple, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  Add water, maple syrup and vanilla.  Stir well.  Pour into a 2L baking dish.  Set aside.

Chop walnuts.  Add in oats, coconut sugar, maple syrup and Earth Balance.  Mix well.  Sprinkle over oatmeal mixture in baking dish.

Bake for 25-30 mins.  It will be done when the water has been absorbed and topping is golden brown.  Serve warm, and ENJOY!  Makes 8 servings.

I had three (small) bowls of this immediately after I took it out of the oven.  I figured why not – it is full of wholesome ingredients, and I with the half-marathon training I am doing, I can use the extra carbs!

Have you ever tried making baked oatmeal?  What are some of your favorite oatmeal toppings?


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Recipe – Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Like many other runners, I love bananas.   We seem to go through so many in our house!   They are an amazing snack before a run, after a run and basically anytime throughout the day!  They are also so versatile when mashed and used in baking, and I adore them sliced in a bowl of oatmeal.  I find them very easy to digest, and they pack a lot of nutrition into 100 calories, including 3 grams of fibre and 12% of your daily requirement of potassium.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about the deliciousness of banana soft serve (which is basically frozen bananas processed in a blender).  I was inspired by the Ultimate Vegan Ice Cream over at the (Never) Homemaker blog, and the “Blizzard” recipes over at Angela’s Oh She Glows blog.

So, I decided to come up with own version, made from some of my favorite ingredients – bananas, coconut milk, almond butter and chocolate!   It is so simple to make – I hope you give it a try!

Recipe – Banana Coconut Milk Ice Cream (Vegan, soy free, gluten free)

Ingredients:

2 medium bananas

1 tablespoon almond butter

100 mL coconut milk

4 ice cubes

A few squares of dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:

Slice bananas and place in freezer for an hour until frozen, or overnight.   Place frozen bananas, coconut milk, almond butter and ice cubes in food processor or blender (I used a Vitamix, of course).   Blend until smooth.  Top with chocolate.  ENJOY!

This recipe makes 2 large servings.  You will be so surprised how creamy the bananas get in the blender.  You won’t believe that this ice cream is dairy free!  I used greenish bananas, and the ice cream did not have a strong banana flavour.  I think I like this recipe even more than my previous coconut milk ice cream recipe!  It is a bit lighter, more refreshing, and not quite as rich.

(As an aside, my photography skills can use a bit of work.  I’ve read that pictures of food turn out much better when taken in daylight.  This is a problem for me, since most of my adventures in the kitchen tend to take place once the little ones are in bed for the night.  Oh well…a real first world problem, right?)