I recently received an e-mail from one of my readers asking me about my stance on sugar. WOW! Big question there. It’s one though that I ponder about quite a lot myself and seeing that I’m posting yet another dessert recipe, Mango Nice Cream, I feel it’s time to share my (still evolving) thoughts briefly.
Like most of us, I love sweet treats (I really, really, really do!). And if it's plant-based and raw, even better! But I also think it’s wrong to assume that just because a dessert is refined sugar free, vegan, raw or gluten free that it’s automatically healthy for us and/or that we can consume it in unlimited quantities.
Sure, there are lots of wholefood plant-based ‘desserts’ that I think we can enjoy regularly whilst reaping heaps of health benefits. For example, I wouldn't think twice if my son asked me for an apple, a slice of watermelon or a handful of cherries after dinner; frankly, I'd give it to him even before he finished asking me. But some of the very impressive raw vegan cheesecakes, stunning raw vegan brownies or mouthwatering glutenfree baked apple crumbles - much as they make my knees shake and heart skip a beat - I'm not so sure about. As for the raw vegan delights - I personally make them at most once in a blue moon. And yummy baked cakes like my pretty vegan pear cake or vegan carrot cake, I tend to make only during the colder winter months and probably no more than once every two weeks or so. In summer we mainly just focus on having fresh fruit. But I must confess it's hard not to be tempted to make decadent cakes more often, because not only are they so yummy and not only are they so much fun to photograph, they are also by far my most popular blog posts.
However, since embarking on my mainly plant-based journey and starting my nutrition studies I keep wondering whether we actually need to have dessert in any form on a daily basis. If we evolved with the ebb and flow of the earth's cycle would sweet treats even have been available to us daily, weekly, all your round? Is this concept of a meal is not complete without a dessert at the end just something that we’ve grown accustomed to - you know almost like an auto-pilot acceptance - rather than drawing our awareness inwardly and asked ourselves what our bodies actually really need, right at this very moment?
Personally, my body just doesn’t respond that well to regular consumption of the desserts mentioned above (translate: after eating them the scale starts telling me something I don’t want to hear). More importantly, I do worry about the impact of regularly eating lots of dried fruit, maple syrup and honey - nourishing as these foods may be - on both my own teeth as well as my young son’s teeth.
I know there are some lucky bloggers who post recipes of beautiful raw or baked cakes several times a week and who still look healthy and radiant. And hence I can only assume that for them and their body this way of eating really works. I am also so grateful to them for providing me with such inspiration and sharing those gorgeous pictures - raw vegan desserts especially are very sexy -, but it’s not the reality of my day-to-day journey through a mainly plant-based lifestyle.
Nonetheless, it’s summer at the moment and I think with other children enjoying ice cream, I really want to offer my son a healthier wholefood plant-based alternative so he doesn’t feel excluded. And seeing what I've just told you about desserts, I am particularly excited about sharing today's recipe with you as it's just fruit and absolutely nothing else. Amazing!
IMPORTANT: Please check the tips at the end of the recipe for substitutions.
Thanks so much for reading everyone!
MANGO NICE CREAM (R, P, GF, NF, V+, ChF, GrF)
Preparation Time: 5 minutes + 5 minutes
2 ripe and sweet mangoes
1 large ripe banana
Please peel and chop up the mangoes. Freeze the flesh of the mangoes overnight.
Peel and chop the banana into 3-4 pieces and freeze overnight.
The next day, place the frozen fruit into a high power blender (I use a vitamix) or food processor. Press the fruit down with your tamper and mix until the fruit is combined and the texture is lush and creamy. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Tip 1: If your fruit is not that ripe and sweet, feel free to add a pitted medjool date into your blender. Alternatively, you can drizzle a little bit of honey or maple syrup onto the nice cream (optional and use with caution ;)).
Tip 2: I like to garnish the nice cream with bee pollen (as shown), adding a lovely crunch to it or some fresh fruit (optional).
Tip 3: Replace the mango with 400g/14oz local seasonal fruit. We have made raspberry nice cream before and it was a big success.