Banana ice cream doesn't suck…and other things I’ve learned
Quick recap for those who may be joining us for the first time... In June of this year I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease with two bulging and two herniated discs -- four in a row all stacked on top of each other in my lumbar spine (low back.) What I haven't talked about before is my stupid freaking food allergies.
In October of 2016 after a lifetime of gastrointestinal illness and mystery symptoms, misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis, and trying elimination diets that did no damn good... I got tested for food allergies.
As it turns out I am allergic to corn, wheat/gluten, and sesame and am intolerant of onions and beef. So, no wonder I'd been sick with stomach ailments my whole life, right?! As soon as I stopped eating the allergens and things, VOILA! I was well.
So I tell you all of that to explain to you the horror I felt deep in my soul when my caregivers said the words: Anti-inflammatory diet, followed by, "no meat and no dairy." Y'all. Seriously. Let's review, shall we? No corn (goodbye everything good about Mexican food,) gluten/wheat (goodbye great Italian restaurants,) sesame (goodbye delicious Indian food,) onion (the only thing that is in more foods and mixes and spices than onion, is freaking corn, and while I'm at it goodbye flavor,) no meat, and no diary.
To say that my soul was crushed and heart broken when I thought about giving up cheese and ice cream would be the biggest understatement in the history of my existence.
I love ice cream.
Like, I'm the girl from Michigan who's all, "It's 55 degrees guys! Time for ice cream!"
I never don't want ice cream.
It's a running joke in my relationship. I'd rather get ice cream than flowers or jewelry. Ok well maybe not jewelry. But I love ice cream a lot is all I'm saying.
Have I yet mentioned that I live in a town in South Central Tennessee that isn't super alternative-diet friendly? They put meat in everything in the south, y'all. Even green beans. Green beans have meat. Let that sink in...
Thank goodness for two things!
Vegan ice cream by So Delicious is absolutely amazing, it's Gluten Free and Corn Free and is sold at Kroger and I do have a Kroger!
A new restaurant just opened in my town called The Dotted Lime and they accommodate every food allergy under the sun, are a dedicated Gluten Free facility, and make delicious food for vegans and carnivores alike. How on Earth this family and restaurant wound up in this area I will never know, but it's not for me to question, just to enjoy. If you're in this area, go there immediately and eat. You will not regret it.
I digress. Banana Ice Cream.
So, like I said, the So Delicious vegan ice cream is amazing...but it's still packed with sugar and fat, and these are inflammatory foods! So, now what does a sugar/ice cream addict do?! Apparently, we freeze and then food-process bananas.
I got my recipe inspiration from Chiquita because who the Hell knows more about bananas than Chiquita? Well, this chick might... because she's got 10 different banana ice cream recipes, but I went with Chiquita to start.
Last week I sliced 2.5 bananas and put them in a freezer bag, threw them in the freezer. Then I procrastinated doing anything with them because I was afraid it would suck.
Yesterday I took those bananas out and dumped them in the food processor along with: 2TBSP unsweetened cacao powder, 1TBSP real maple syrup, and 2TBSP powdered peanuts (I'm also a chocolate/peanut butter fiend.) I processed them and then poured almond milk in slowly until it looked nice and creamy like a soft serve ice cream. That was it. it look literally like 3 minutes.
You might think I'm full of bull, but I'm telling you, that ish was legitimately pretty darn tasty.
Tasty enough, in fact, for me to feel confident that I could stop putting vegan ice cream on every single bi-weekly grocery list thus likely saving my relationship because the boyfren gets super sick of buying ice cream.
I shall save the So Delicious noms for special occasions and occasional treats, and rely on the delightful frozen banana to help quench my thirst for sugar and ice cream on regular ass days. Word.
In conclusion, here are the things that I've (recently) learned:
The foods we eat can impact the inflammation in our freaking spine.
One may be able to avoid surgery on their spine if they try a combination of physical therapy (more on that later) and an anti-inflammatory diet.
Holy crap, inflammation is so terrible for the brain and body!
It's tough to live in the south with lots of food restrictions.
So Delicious makes some super bomb vegan ice cream, but it's still got sugar and fat just like regular dairy ice cream, so beware!
Banana ice cream doesn't suck!... and it's super easy to make.