Need a little something to cool you down?

Hi everyone! I know that it has been a long time since I have posted a recipe, and I definitely have missed blogging. I’ve found it difficult lately to find the time to go to a coffee shop and write a post (it has become much harder than I imagined it would be!). Darn charging for internet… If only it was free.

The weather lately has been beautiful and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it. I have a bicycle and live near a few lakes so I have been biking or running there and enjoying the weather by laying out a blanket and reading in the sun. What have I been reading lately? Well… the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. I won’t tell you much about it, other than it’s an interesting read (to say the VERY least). I’m sure you’ve heard plenty on the internet/radio about it, like that it has been banned in several libraries! There’s nothing like a library banning to get more people interested in a book (as if the main point of the novel wasn’t interesting enough!).

If you’ve been caught up like me in this book, or in the recent warmer days, you may need something to cool you down! Many of you know that Elysia and I taught a cooking class back in February, and Banana Ice Cream was of course our featured dessert. We made two different kinds; Moscato Infused Banana Ice Cream and the class favorite, Chocolate Peanut Butter. When you add peanut butter to banana ice cream it creates a fluffy texture sure to please! As we’ve said before, it’s super easy to make, takes little time and tastes fabulous, so give it a try!

Sorry for the lack of pictures today; unfortunately we didn’t take any at the class while we were teaching, but trust us, it’s good!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
[Serves 2]

  • 2 Frozen Bananas*
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter (we used Trader Joe’s PB with Flax)
  • 2 Tablespoons Vegan Chocolate Chips (Chocolate Dreams is our fave brand)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract      
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Vegan Chocolate Syrup and Peanut Butter Cups, Optional

 – Blend the frozen bananas in a blender.

 – Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary.

– Serve Topped with Chocolate Syrup or melted peanut butter and Vegan Peanut Butter Cups.

*It’s best to remove the peel before freezing the bananas. I cut mine into three pieces usally.


Have you read anything good lately? I’ll be looking for something new to read soon!


Lack of Motivation and Tropical Tapioca Parfait

Lack of motivation can be a real problem when it comes to staying fit and healthy.  Recently I have been going through a motivational slump as I’m sure quite of you have experienced before as well.  For those of you who have battled the calling of your couch, or as in my case futon, you know how difficult this can be to overcome.  So what the heck should you do when you meet this barrier?! The worst possible thing you could do is give up completely.  I really enjoy this quote I stumbled across on Pinterest:

This is so true.  Just because you had a bad day/week/month does NOT mean that it is too late to get back on track!  I hate it when I hear people say “oh well, I already ruined my diet for the day so I might as well eat this too.”  I have been guilty of having this thought before and ever time it pops into my head I just want to kick myself!  Unless you are one and a half feet in the grave it is never too late.  Scratch that, unless you are dead it is never ever too late!

While that is true, I still have not answered the question I posed in the beginning of this post about what to do if you simply cannot get through a slump.  For everyone this answer is different.  For me it took the shock of a TV special on CNBC to get my rear in gear.  Last night was the premier of “Fat & Fatter.”  This broadcast followed two ladies in their 20s as they were scared straight in terms of their health and weight.  To summarize, they lived with a morbidly obese Mississippi family for one week and were forced to follow their eating habits.  During this week they sat by as the family ate their way to the grave.  Literally over half of their relatives that passed away did so because of their unregulated diabetes.  For those of you who do not know, Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented through proper nutrition and physical activity.  In some cases it can even be reversed if the right steps are followed.  The unwillingness to take those steps is what makes Type 2 Diabetes the poster disease of America.

While the ladies were in Mississippi they also visited the nearby hospital to meet a woman undergoing kidney dialysis 3 times a week for 4 hours because she let her diabetes take over her life.  To make a long story short, this woman along with the overweight family motivated the two young ladies to take hold of their lives before they become destined to reach the same fate.

This show really put things into context for me.  No, I am not an overweight individual but if I let my lack of motivation continue I very well could become one.  One key point that I took away from this special was this; wanting to look good on the outside for a guy or to keep up with your friends, or even just to look good for yourself is not enough.  Let health be your motivator.  Think of your body and how hard it must work if you are constantly feeding it the wrong food and letting it simply lie on the couch as your life passes by.  Rather then competing with the model or actress on the front cover of Vogue, compete with the healthy heart and the undamaged kidney on the cover of the Dietitian’s Journal. In the end THIS is what matters the most when you are 90 years old and still walking around with your head held high.

So whether it takes a TV episode about a dying family or a literal push from your sister or mom, find something to motivate you.  Respect your body and let that motivation propel you to a happier, healthier you.

All right, on to the recipe!  Since I have you all inspired to live a healthy lifestyle now, I’m going to give you a recipe for a healthy dessert when you just hhhaavee to have something sweet :).

Tropical Tapioca Parfait

  • 2 Tbs Tapioca Pearls
  • ¼ + 2 Tbs Almond Milk
  • ¼+ tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ Tbs Stevia in the Raw (Powder Version)
  • ½ cup Mashed Strawberries + ½ cup chopped
  • ½ cup Mashed Banana
  • ¼ cup Toasted Chopped Hazelnuts
  • ½ tsp Coconut Oil
  • ¼ cup Coconut Flakes
  • ½ cup Pre-soaked Chia (1:6 ratio with Almond Milk)
  • 1 Tbs. Agave or Pure Maple Syrup
  • ¼ cup Silken Tofu
  • Soy Whip or Coconut Whip Cream

Soak the tapioca overnight then cook it according to the package.

While the tapioca cooks (keep a close eye it!) mash the ½ cup strawberries and banana together along with 1 Tbs of Stevia and set aside.  Place the coconut flakes in a food processor and pulse until it gets to the point where it is just about to turn into coconut butter, it should form little balls.

After the tapioca has cooked for one hour slowly stir in the mashed fruit, salt, coconut oil, and coconut flakes then raise the heat to medium for about 15 minutes.  Stir the mixture often; it will thicken up quite a bit.  As it thickens more (about 10 min) remove the cover and stir constantly for the last 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat but keep the pot on the burner for two minutes and continue to stir.  Remove from heat and let it cool almost completely, stirring every once in a while.  Once cool enough add the remaining ½ Tbs of Stevia and place it in the refrigerator until chilled.

While you are waiting on the tapioca mixture combine the pre-soaked chia with the silken tofu and agave.

After the tapioca has cooled completely it is time to assemble! Feel free to get creative and layer how you see fit =) I mixed it up with every parfait.

This is the tapioca I used.  If you would like a greater tapioca to fruit ratio feel free to make your parfait with more tapioca! All you need to do is follow the directions with a 1:5 ratio of tapioca:milk.

Before and after when the pearls were done soaking, how cute :).

Mash the bananas and strawberries together well so there are few chunks left.

This is what the coconut will look like when it is to the right consistency.

Now comes the fun part, assembly!  Originally I did not have the tofu/chia layer but decided that it needed a little more variation.  Charis gave me the idea for the tofu :).  The purple stuff is the tapioca!

You really can’t go wrong when layering the parfait.  I found that it looked best with the strawberries on the bottom then a layer of the chia/tofu and so on.

Tada! The finished product!  To be completely honest, I ended up melting a little bit of dark chocolate and pouring it over the top layer of whip cream=delicious!

I really hope that I motivated you to take control of your health and well-being, if you have any questions about nutritional or fitness strategies feel free to ask.  We are always more than willing to help!

How do you stay motivated??