The transition from regular eating to clean eating was pretty rocky for me. My main issue in the beginning was that health food tasted like cardboard compared to everything I actually enjoyed. The problem, I came to realize, was that I didn’t know enough about how to use whole food flavors in my recipes, and that clean eating didn’t mean no longer utilizing my tastebuds.
The more recipe research I did and the more I experimented in the kitchen, the more I realized that a lot of the flavors I loved so much had all-natural dupes. For instance, ice cream was a MAJOR weakness of mine. When I switched to clean eating, I assumed the only ice cream I’d have would be for special occasions or midnight cheat sessions. Imagine my surprise when I threw a frozen banana, some cocoa powder and a little bit of almond milk into the blender and was rewarded with a sweet, creamy, chocolatey soft serve that truly belongs on the menu at [insert favorite creamery here].
The wonderful world of natural flavors is vast and intriguing. I keep finding new ways to truly savor my meals, snacks, beverages and desserts without breaking the calorie or sugar bank.
If you’re new to clean eating, take heart! It’s overwhelming to have to “start from scratch” when it comes to your daily eats, but the options are there if you look for them! In the mood for cake and cookies? Try these lemon almond butter cookies. In the mood for a heaping plate of pasta? Try quinoa pilaf with balsamic roasted kabocha squash! Feel like a milkshake? Have a delicious mango banana smoothie instead. Craving ice cream on a hot summer day? Ditch the heavy cream, eggs and sugar, and make your own with a frozen banana!
I haven’t completely dumped my guilty pleasure foods, but they certainly take up a lot less of my routine. I find that keeping tabs on a balanced diet is way more effective than trying to completely ban certain things. When a craving strikes, it’s much easier to handle it responsibly if you don’t have the added pressure of a signed contract with the health food police.
I hope you give this ridiculously easy recipe a try! Have you been eating clean? I’d love to hear about your health food journey and the foods/recipes you’re loving right now!
Cocoa Banana Almond Dairy Free “Ice Cream”
Yields 1 serving (135 calories)
1 frozen banana (cut in half)
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Combine everything in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Quick Tip 1: To freeze my bananas, I wait for them to brown and then I cut them in half and seal each pair of halves in snack-sized zip top baggies and store them in the freezer door. This way they’re already divided into single servings, and I can toss them right into the blender the minute I need them.
Quick Tip 2: When I’m eating a single serving of this “ice cream”, I like to use a tiny spoon so it lasts longer. Maybe I’m crazy, but it makes me feel like I’m getting more, and tiny spoons are just more fun! Try this set of 4 espresso spoons from Williams Sonoma ($13)!