Ice Cream, the Cure for Everything

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT MY KNEE IS BETTER. The bad news is that I came down with a cold last Wednesday, and I suspended running, Aikido, and conditioning class until I recover.  It helped that the weather has been lousy, so I haven’t felt any regret looking out my window on a sunny afternoon and thinking, “I should be out there.” Today I am much better, though still taking it easy. I hope to be back in Monday Aikido class as usual.

Proper form is essential. What a blessing to have a resident coach!

One activity I have continued throughout my enforced idleness is my 50 pushups per day. I’m too close to January 31 to quit now! And it seems like this “100 pushups” program I mentioned in an earlier post is taking off. Mauricio Sanchez (“Triathlon at 55”) has just posted on this very subject. I’ve got some work to do to catch up with him! But I’m doing mine every day instead of 3-4 times per week, so I won’t really be able to compare results until I start following the program verbatim next month.

On the cooking front (February’s goal), I tried out a couple of vegan ice cream recipes I found while looking for good uses of almond milk. I made the first two on the page, both of which use bananas for body. In the chocolate version, the banana flavor seemed intrusive, detracting from the cocoa flavor rather than complementing it. Perhaps one of the bananas was too ripe, or I just don’t like other flavors competing with good dark chocolate. The all-almond version was much more balanced; I think the almond butter provides enough of a kick to keep the fruit in its place – “second banana” as it were.

My wife's signature carrot cake is great with either of these.

One thing to note about low-fat ice cream; if you put it in the freezer overnight, it turns from soft and creamy into foundation-grade concrete. I’d actually been warned about this in The Making of a Chef, but it seems I had to learn it for myself. It can be successfully thawed in the refrigerator.

I also picked up some Stevia today.This is the latest zero-calorie sweetener, which is plant-based and not concocted chemically like sucralose (such as Splenda brand). I’ll keep you posted on what I make with it.

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