Some days I sit down to write a blog and know exactly what I want to say. Some days, like today, I have no idea. My mind is blank. Or maybe not blank, but all the ideas I hold within are blunt and vague instead of sharp and focused. And so I am not writing with the fervour of wanting to spill words onto the page at break neck speed lest they disintegrate. This kind of a writer’s block scenario requires a bit more introspection. What do I really want to say? And so I settle on the truth.
Life has tossed a few obstacles on my path recently, both health and relationship wise. I have taken to yelling at the universe to stop being such an a**hole from time to time while trying to scramble over said obstacles more or less intact. It is not a graceful process. There’s tears and pain and scars. But I am more than fortunate. I have an abundance of comforts and great friends and family to help me along the way. And I also have the opportunity to set aside time, energy and resources for self-care. I have been listening to my body and doing more yoga, going for hikes and listening to energizing and inspiring podcasts. I have been spending time with my nieces and nephews – talk about therapy! They bring me crazy amounts of joy and their giggles are pure magic. I am also just trying to give myself over to the process. Whether it be health or relationships or career, I have to trust that it WILL all work out. Perhaps not in the way I pictured or wished for. But in some way or another it will be okay. I imagine a crossroads up ahead where luck and hard work will intersect and I achieve what I am striving for. I just have to keep my eyes open and be willing to flex and bend and yield.
Now, I don’t have a witty or thoughtful segue to this recipe so…..gingerbread!!
Gingerbread was the inspiration for this recipe. Gingerbread and eggnog. Essentially, I am in full on Christmas mode and wanting to devour the sights, sounds and flavours of the season at any chance possible. It started with making multiple batches of peppermint bark for gatherings in recent weeks, checking out the Milton Santa Claus Parade last weekend and then going to the Trans Siberian Orchestra with my family a few days ago. The Christmas spirit has been ignited.
This is called nicecream because in using only plant-base ingredients it’s a kind way to consume ice cream without using dairy milk. And it’s nice. Really really nice. And kind of magical, because who knew that frozen bananas can yield something smooth and creamy and cold and so akin to real ice cream that you might not miss the real thing. And it’s also super healthy, because it’s just fruit! I paired the nicecream with eggnog flavours and topped it all with a gingerbread chocolate sauce, which is a gingerbread-spiced version of my original chocolate sauce. I haven’t posted the recipe for the original sauce on this blog yet but people went nuts about it when I shared it on Instagram and Facebook. I guess people care about a chocolate sauce that is free from refined sugar, made from wholesome ingredients and versatile (you can use it as a fruit dip, on top of oatmeal, as a base for hot chocolate etc.) And because it’s chocolate. This version is filled with gingerbready spices and molasses – I use the blackstrap variety because they are a good source of iron and calcium, unlike other types of molasses. So there you have it, chocolate, eggnog, gingerbread, nicecream, Christmas. Enjoy!
Eggnog Nicecream with Gingerbread Chocolate Sauce
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free
Makes 2 servings of nicecream + approximately 1 1/2 cups of chocolate sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Ingredients for nicecream:
4 ripe bananas, frozen, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
small pinch of ground cloves
1 Tablespoon maple syrup optional)
1. Add bananas and vanilla into a food processor and process until a creamy, soft-serve ice cream consistency . This will take a few minutes, and at first will resemble a coarse, crumbly mixture. Keep processing and scraping down sides often until you get nicecream. Add spices and maple syrup (if using) and process for a few seconds until combined.
2. Spoon into serving dishes, top with gingerbread chocolate sauce and enjoy right away.
Ingredients for the gingerbread chocolate sauce:
8 soft medjool dates, pitted
6 Tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
1 Tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of sea salt
1 cup warm water
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Store in an air tight jar in the fridge for up to one week. The coconut oil might solidify in the fridge, just heat in the microwave or by running sealed jar under hot running water to melt.
I keep a stash of whole, frozen bananas in the freezer; they break up or chop easily even when frozen. You want them to be ripe, with black spots on the skin (but not mushy or brown inside) when you freeze them.
I used Mi-Del gluten-free Gingerbread Men for decoration. So adorable!