Functional Food Friday: Banana Almond ‘Ice-Cream’

Today on Functional Food Friday we’re going to have a little fun! We’re sharing a quick and delicious ‘treat’ that is sugar-free and dairy-free and fits a Paleo or Primal eating plan.

When you clean up your diet in order to lose weight, improve performance or heal from a condition it is best to eliminate the typical go-to sweet treats or desserts all of which will be sugar-laden or high in refined carbohydrates. These are bad news and will derail your goals due to their influence on insulin. Raising your insulin levels will:

  • Cause weight gain because insulin promotes the storage of fat
  • Reduce your levels of cellular magnesium which is important for the health of your blood vessels and efficient circulation
  • Can influence sodium retention which can result in high blood pressure
  • Increase inflammation
  • Increase your risk of heart disease by reducing HDL and increase small molecules of LDL and triglycerides
  • Possibly increase your risk of cancer

Bananas are naturally sweet and are rich in a variety of nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, riboflavin, folate and the minerals include potassium, magnesium and manganese.

  • Vitamin B6 protects your body against infection and disease by aiding the production of white blood cells. Tt also reduces inflammation that can lead to obesity and illnesses including heart disease and type II diabetes. B6 is also important for a strong immune system and plays a pivotal part in cell formation and proper nervous system function.
  • Potassium in bananas helps to maintain proper blood pressure and heart health. The potassium in bananas can also be helpful if you have a high sodium diet and experience muscle cramping.
  • One banana has 11% of the RDA of dietary fiber which can help keep digestion and elimination functioning well.
  • Bananas are also a source of tryptophan which helps regulate mood and can help you relax and feel happier.
  • Bananas are also a good source of iron which supports hemoglobin production and helps your blood to clot if you are cut or injured.

Because bananas are sweet, it is best to eat them with protein or fats in order to mediate the effect on your insulin levels. Even natural, healthy sugars can spike your insulin levels.

To make this Banana Almond “Ice-Cream” we add one tablespoon of almond butter for each banana to help reduce the effect on insulin but also to increase the nutrient density. Almonds are also high in fiber and contain minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium that can help with blood pressure. They are also rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats. Almonds are rich in zinc and iron too.

When choosing almond butter it is best to choose organic, raw almond butter with no additional ingredients.

Here’s how to make the ice-cream:

3 Bananas (chopped and pre-frozen for at least 4-5 hours)
3 tablespoons of almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Blend all the ingredients together until the consistency is smooth and all pieces of banana are blended.

Enjoy plain or with toppings of your choice. Some good ones are sliced almonds, pecan pieces, gluten free granola, coconut flakes.

This is a delicious option for a dessert, snack or even breakfast.

Don’t forget to check out our Human Foundations Summer Seminar to be held next month in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Take some time out to experience focused one on one personal training sessions and nutritional & lifestyle counseling in a beautiful setting. Learn cooking skills and then unwind with breathing and parasympathetic movement at sunset. Nourish your body with all inclusive organic whole food meals.

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About the Author:

Candice is a certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach living in sunny San Diego, California with her husband and seven year old daughter. She is passionate about nutrition and holistic health and sharing what she has learned and continues to learn with others who want to achieve health and vitality.