Cutting Down Sugar in Our Home + 2 Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream

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I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for 2 Ingredient Ice Cream!

“You’ve had enough sugar already!”

Have you ever caught yourself saying that? With a good dose of exasperation I might add.

Especially when your little ones begin to bounce off the walls after having had a juice box, cookie, popsicle, fruit leather and a granola bar all in one day?

I definitely have. Many, many times.

My cupboards used to be constantly stocked with these snacks (many touted as ‘healthy’ even though they’re stuffed with a shocking amount of sugar). And god forbid we ever ran out. Because when we did there was mighty disappointment lurking around the corner.

My children had come to expect these snacks everyday. And no wonder because I was the one freely handing them out – often even suggesting, “Let’s go have a juice box /cookie.” if someone was upset or hurt. Way to start kids off as emotional eaters! I know.

We all have the absolute best of intentions as parents, but life can be full and it can be easy to let sugar sneak in the backdoor one day and then a short while later we’re back to an all out daily sugar fest again.

I was trying to buy the ‘good stuff’ – organic or fruit juice sweetened – but both my daughters were going through severe sugar crashes (or I suspect withdrawals when I tried to crack down) in the form of whining and tantrums.

I had mini sugar addicts on my hands. Oh boy.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe sugar is inherently bad or naughty. It’s just so damn prevalent in this day and age. It’s everywhere – grocery store aisles, gas stations, schools, vending machines, and our own homes.

For a long time I chose to blissfully ignore the connection between what my children were eating and how they were behaving. Instead I boiled their outbursts down to ‘they’re just going through a phase’ or ‘they’re overtired”.

But both of them would often complain “My tummy hurrrrrts” and my older daughter developed what she would call sugar ‘boo boos’ on the inside of her mouth. Meals had become very very difficult. My kids were getting pickier than ever and when I faced the truth I knew it because they were filling up on sugar-laden snacks in between every meal and everything else tasted slightly bitter after all that sweet stuff.

How confusing it must have been to be handed sugary snacks all day and then be expected to sit and eat a fresh, homemade meal at dinner time.

So slowly I have been weaning my girls off sugar (and myself off buying it) and replacing snacks with fresh fruits and veggies, saving their hunger and their palettes (and their blood sugar levels!) for mealtime.

I no longer buy juice boxes because water and a fresh apple is basically the same thing but apples actually help clean your teeth and contain tons of fiber to slow the absorption of the naturally occurring sugars they contain.

Fruit leathers, granola bars, popsicles and many other things that used to be staples in our cupboards have also been slashed off my grocery list. Most of these have been replaced with homemade versions.

Make a little extra smoothie and fill a popsicle tray. Too easy!

I usually bake a double batch of one yummy dessert each week with the help of my girls and as you know from my recipes they are filled with healthy fats, loads of fibre and enough natural sugars so that they still feel quite indulgent.

As for fruit leathers – they’re just gone – I work fulltime so I don’t have the time (or will!) to be in the kitchen every waking minute and the homemade version (which I tried once) is a gigantic pain in the bum when you could simply eat a bit of dried fruit.

Does this mean I have cut my children off from all forms of packaged goods? Nope! I am not the crazy mom who flies in front of someone offering my child a juice box at a BBQ – nor would I ever want to be.

My mantra when it comes to food and eating is that it should be no-stress. Food is meant to nourish us – fill us up with connections, experiences and curiosity – not just nutrients. And sometimes that means enjoying a treat with their buddies on a summer evening.

But I do want those things to be exactly that – treats – or ‘sometimes foods’ as we call them in our home. Honestly, if I eat a lot of sugar I feel (and act!) like a big bag of garbage so I can’t possibly expect my children to thrive on it either.

Which brings us to ice cream – the treat of all treats and one that everyone in my house loves dearly. My kids would eat it everyday if they could and with this crazy easy two ingredient ice cream you probably could!

2-Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream
Serves 1

2 very ripe bananas
1 Tablespoon cacao

Optional add-ins: nut butter, nuts, maple syrup, berries, cinnamon etc.

Directions

  1. Start with ripe bananas. When they start to develop little black spots on the peel they are at their softest and sweetest.
  2. Peel the bananas and cut them into coins and put them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight.
  3. Blend the frozen banana pieces in a food processor or powerful blender. Pulse until crumbly. Add the chocolate and any other add-ins. Blend just until smooth and even in texture. It should have the texture of soft serve ice cream at this point.
  4. Eat the ice cream immediately or transfer to an airtight container and freeze until solid like traditional ice cream.

I hope you love it as much as we do!

xo

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