So I've been gone from the blog for a bit, life's been somewhat hectic, and I was beginning to feel myself getting into a kind of slump. Though, it wasn't the usual sort of slump that I typically find myself falling into; this one has been much more circumstantial, and heavily influenced by factors that are mostly uncontrollable for me. With forces somewhat out of my control, I started finding it more and more difficult to keep up with healthy eating habits. I've never really enjoyed the thought of myself as a perfectionist in any way, but I most definitely like to think that, as a mother, I'm capable of feeding myself and my child the best I can. I'm absolutely certain that no one likes to think of themselves as sub par, particularly us parents. Not to say that I've been a horrible mother in any way, but times have definitely been tough for me lately, and I've sort of just been trucking through it with all my might. No one's life is perfect all the time, or even most of the time, but I'm not going to quit being me, or doing what I love, and what helps me feel my best, which in turn makes me the best mother that I can be. It's been hard, but I'm still trying.
Recently I've been focusing on smaller goals. I realized a pattern, that when I attempt to focus on eating as perfectly as I can all of the time, I tend to have much harder falls. Eating to 'perfection' all of the time, while dealing with any kind of illness or even just life's normal daily struggles, can become a fairly daunting task. At least that's what I've found to be true. I've been aware of this issue for quite a while, while almost subconsciously pushing it aside. It's taken me an extremely long time to truly accept this, but in doing so I'm starting to realize that I'm actually a lot more successful at staying balanced, and maintaining a real groove in my lifestyle patterns when I take on a challenge bit by bit. So am I currently eating as well as I'd like to be? No, and everyday is different, but I'm definitely on the right track to getting back into my groove.
A lot of my time is spent thinking about snacks, not only because I'm just a foodaholic, but also because, as most parents know, it can be tricky getting a toddler to eat a consistently balanced diet. One day my daughter will only want to eat blueberries and avocados, and for a week straight she may be on a never ending quest to load up on carbs. Often times snacks can be the most difficult meals of the day, because almost all snack foods you find in stores are incredibly processed, with lots of additives, preservetives, unhealthy oils, and sugar. It really seems like the only way to provide truly healthy snacks are to make everything from scratch, but not many people have the time for it. There are tons of foods which I do make from scratch, and a lot of them can be really time consuming to make, so when I find something that's not only super tasty, extremely healthy, but incredibly simple to make as well, I know I've got a real keeper.
It was while we were at the farmers market about two weeks ago, when as we were leaving, one of the vendors offered my daughter a taste of gelato. I asked if she had anything vegan, and she did, it was a sorbet. Blueberry basil sorbet, which I thought seemed like an odd, yet interesting flavor combination. My daughter and I both loved it! A couple of the ingredients were questionable though, and it contained loads of sugar, so it wasn't something I would want us eating regularly. Before we even made it back home my mind was already spinning with ideas on how I could create something similar, but better; something even more like a real gelato, with that same great flavor, only healthier. Bananas seemed to be the logical conclusion. Banana "nice cream" is pretty big right now, and for good reason, it's always delicious. Though I wasn't entirely certain that bananas would work for this, mainly because I really didn't want a strong banana flavor, which you can often get with "nice creams." So I tinkered with the recipe in my head for a bit, then gave it a go, and it was a huge hit the first try! I've made it at least three times in the past two weeks, it's just so yummy, and if my 3 year old loves it too then I'm a really happy camper.
Blueberry Basil Gelato
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 2 large ripe Bananas
- about 5 ounces, or one small Mango
- about 1/2 to 3/4 pint fresh Blueberries
- 6 to 10 fresh Basil leaves, depending on how strong of a flavor you like
- First slice your bananas and mango into chunks, place them in ziplock bags and freeze, or you can always use pre-frozen mango like I did.
- Once they're frozen solid you can place them into your food processor, and process until it just begins to start getting creamy. First you'll see it turn into crumbles, and you may need to stop your machine to help press everything down.
- Once it begins to get creamy you can add your blueberries and basil, and continue processing.
- Blend until you've reached your desired consistency, though be careful not to over process it, as it can become too watery. But if that does happen all you have to do is pop your mixture into the freezer for a little while, and it'll get right back to where you want it.
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