As I started my clean eating adventure, reading ingredients in common foods became quite interesting. I noticed how even foods labeled “Natural” contained ingredients that I couldn’t even pronounce. So I tried to start eating only items that contained ingredients that I could read, pronounce and actually knew what they were. WAY easier said than done. Do you have any idea the variety of ways that sugar alone can be written on a label? I am not sure I even want to know the answer to that question!
Refined sugars were the first thing I tried to quit. I wanted to find a natural way to sweeten things but I had one major problem. I HATE honey. Yep, I admit it. When my little sister used to dip her chicken in a big goop of honey I wanted to throw up right then and there. The smell of it alone makes my stomach turn. I am certain there are maybe two or three others on the planet with this problem, but it’s the truth. On top of that, about 90% of clean eating recipes that are sweet use honey as the sweetener. No way. Not for me.
So what’s a girl to do?! I started reading up a bit on Maple Syrup–the real stuff, not Aunt Jemima (Sorry little lady, no disrespect. We had some good Eggo Waffles together back in the day.) I liked what I was finding out about this Canadian form of ketchup. The old me that was so consumed by how many calories I was putting in my body would have written off the sweetener completely, but as I said, that was the old me. I like things sweet, but I need them natural. So began my sweet affair with 100% Pure Maple Syrup; and I see no end in sight from where I’m sitting.
I tossed out the sweet n’ low and began adding a couple drops of Maple Syrup to my coffee in the morning. I substituted maple for honey in recipes I found. Then I started playing with my own recipes and Pumpkin Pie “Ice Cream” was born. I make this ice cream quite often but typically toss in cocoa powder and peanut butter to the mix, but fall got me thinking recently. We all know how obnoxious people get at the first sign of a Starbuck’s Pumkin Spice Latte, so why not have your ice cream too! Hope you enjoy!
For your reading Pleasure:
Pumpkin Pie “Ice Cream”
2 Frozen Bananas
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 T Cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/2-1 T 100% Pure Maple Syrup (Another option is one medjool date)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2-1 T Unsweetened Almond Milk
Crushed pecans (optional)
1. Put bananas, pumpkin, vanilla, maple syrup, nutmeg and cinnamon into food processor.
2. Pulse the food processor a few times to mix everything up to start. Then let the food processor run for a few minutes until all the ingredients form a smooth, almost soft serve texture. It does take a bit depending on the strength of your food processor so be patient. If the texture seems a bit too thick for your liking, add the almond milk. If not, this can be omitted.
3. Serve it up! Throw some crushed pecans and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on top and you’ve got yourself a tasty treat without any refined or processed sugar! Leftovers, if there are any, can be frozen.