Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Banana Ice Cream . . . And A Triathlon!

I've got big run goals for the fall and run training has been going well. But truthfully, Blacksburg, especially in the summer, simply reminds of triathlons! I do miss my college days where I spent 4+ years with the VT Triathlon Team and I definitely miss the variety that tri-training presents. I find swimming to be relaxing (most days) and it's hard to beat a good bike ride through the valley with the warm air blowing in your face. Pure bliss!

Triathlon flashback, sophomore year (2007) with my BFF
If you look at my schedule you'll notice a mini triathlon wedged in between a lot of longer runs. It's been 3+ years since my last active season as a triathlete but I've been trying to keep one on my schedule each year. This one falls only one week post-30 miler... eh...well at least it's short :) It's just for fun and a mental break because those longer races can definitely wear me down. My "training" is cross training once or twice per week and has definitely been a good thing (thanks coach!) My heart is happy with the change of pace, my legs less beat up and I feel like I'm doing more to soak up all that is wonderful with summer here in the 'burg.

Ellett Valley- definitely a favorite place to ride. And those tri shoes are my originals from circa 2006!
Okay, so when I was in college my triathlete roommate used to celebrate 3 in 1 workout days (swim+bike+run) with ice cream. With a fun bike-run scheduled for Tuesday and me missing my Monday swim, I ended up combining the three for one busy but fun-filled day, with of course ice cream to celebrate. 

I've actually never been big into ice cream because I'm lactose intolerant, until that is I discovered this homemade, dairy-free recipe this past winter. I've been waiting to share for while! I'm pretty sure anyone who's been to our house in the past 6 months has tried this because we make it often. I am especially loving it for a post-workout recovery snack on hot days.

Banana PB Chocolate Chunk "Ice Cream"

First, you will need some frozen banana chunks (I find that 5 medium bananas yields 3 cups banana chunks and ~3 cups ice cream). Note: peel, cut the bananas first and then freeze!

Spotted bananas work best!

Then, in a food processor:

(1) Add your frozen bananas and close lid.

(2) Blend until bananas reach a smooth, creamy consistency (like a Wendy's frosty). I add about 1/4 cup soy milk (or milk of choice) about halfway through to up the creaminess factor. It may take about 4-5 minutes and you'll have to stop and break up some of the stubborn pieces.

(3) Add your favorite flavorings and toppings! Ta da! So simple!

Here's what I (typically) add to mine:

5 bananas, cut into chunks and frozen
2-3 tbsp Trader Joe's Hemp Chocolate Protein Powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
1-2 tbsp peanut butter (or 2 tbsp PB2)
1/4 cup soy milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips, most are blended in with a few reserved to sprinkle on top
Nuts, as a topping

The nice thing about this recipe is it's quick to whip up, freezes easily and you can make it your own by adding whatever toppings you desire! If you're interested in some other flavor recipes, check out this guide from The Kitchn. I prefer to eat the entire batch fresh (serves 3-5), but it also freezes well if you want to divide up into containers for a quick snack later. Enjoy!

This is a chocolatey version with diced cherries and sliced almonds :)

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