Today, I am grateful for opportunities.
Around two weeks ago, I took part in a Food Writing Workshop run by the Fine Food & Dining Society of St Andrews as part of On The Rocks. I did this with a few other lovely bloggers: Maria from Happy Belly, Caterina from Amore e Sapore, and Phoebe from Chez French. We talked about our blogs, the writing, the food, and our inspirations. Of course, all of us differ very much in our styles of cooking and writing, but I think it’s safe to say that all of us love food very much, and so much so that we have decided to share it with the world. All of us brought some food to share: Maria brought in these beautiful hazelnut financiers, Phoebe made some wild garlic crostinis, and Caterina made stuffed mushrooms with kale pesto and goat cheese. Because we were talking about what inspired us to begin blogging, I decided to make raw vegan banana ice cream, which I was first introduced to by my high school art teacher: Sarah, the superwoman behind My New Roots. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while now will remember my post on the kimchi quinoa I brought to her annual vegan picnic potluck held in Toronto. I also chose to blog about this today because this month’s Recipe Redux theme is treasured cookware, and I love my immersion blender like no other. My boyfriend bought an immersion blender for my birthday last year, and it’s helped me make soups, ice cream, sauces, purées… it’s also a lot easier to clean than my food processor.
But back to the story.
I think I was in tenth grade at the time. She brought in a bag of frozen bananas, her immersion blender, and proceeded to make us all ice cream in the classroom. For most of us, this was our first encounter with vegan ice cream, and let me tell you: it was love at first bite. Back then, most of us thought she was the coolest person ever, and to be honest, I think most of us still do. I mean, she just won Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blogs Award for the Best Special Diets Blog. Did I mention she just gave birth to a baby boy in November, and shortly after, submitted her cookbook for publication? I was not lying when I said she is a superwoman!
Sarah is probably the first person I met who maintained an entirely plant-based diet, and, although it was art class, she would encourage us to think about ways to eat well and care for our bodies. One day, she told the entire class that we should chew our food 30 times before swallowing to improve digestion. The reactions of my classmates? Some of my friends were curious, others were disgusted. Some of us, including myself, actually made a concerted effort to chew 30 times from then on. Although I’ve stopped counting the number of times I chew, I make a conscious effort to chew more whenever I eat, and always encourage Lewis to do the same. He tends to forget, but hey, I try!
As you can see from my blog, my love for all things happy, healthy, and holistic is still very much alive and growing. I am grateful that my art teacher happened to be the first person to introduce me to a world of wholesome, natural foods that help to nourish the body. As I continue my journey for health, I learn more and more each day- just a year and a half ago, I was still drinking soy and eating soy-based ice cream, not realizing the effects it had on my estrogen levels. Six months ago, I was still using a microwave. It’s amazing how much I continue to learn, and how much I love it.
So. Today, I am grateful for opportunities: the opportunity to meet and learn from amazing individuals, the opportunity to share, and the opportunity to keep doing what I love- creating, eating, and blogging.
(Last night I decided I was going to try a new thing on my blog: because my blog is called Gratitude & Greens, I think it’s appropriate that I share something I am grateful for on the day of my post )
Banana Nut Ice Cream
5 frozen bananas
1 tablespoon almond butter, or to taste
chocolate granola, to garnish
Place the frozen bananas in a large mixing bowl. Using an immersion blender, food process the bananas until soft.
Add the almond butter.
Spoon the ice cream into bowls, garnish with granola, and serve.