Chocolate Cinnamon Coconut Ice Cream (not from a truck!)

So, I have mentioned how obsessed my G-boy is with processed sugar.  When the weekend rolls around, the one thing I can be sure of is that he will ask me at least 246 times when the ice cream truck is coming.  For real.  If I could find the home of said truck and siphon the gas, I would!  Well ok, I probably wouldn’t, but I have seriously thought about it!  I have never wanted to see the death of a vehicle so bad in my entire life.  The freaking thing can be heard for miles.  Once, a few weeks ago, Garrett was asleep for a nap. Upstairs. In his room. With the fan on.  I heard the truck on the next street and, I am not kidding you, that kid was bolting downstairs before I could even think to myself, “Oh fooey, here comes the ice cream truck”.  I do not understand how he could have possibly heard it, but he did.  If I try to deny him the trip to the end of the driveway for his desired confection, it is like the world has come to an end.  Or I chopped off his arm. We have been through this, and it is no fun!

Today was no different.  It is Saturday aka, the weekend. Garrett was up at 7:30.  When he came downstairs, he was already dressed.  I hugged him and asked him why?  He doesn’t usually get dressed until later in the morning.  I mean, what are the weekends for if not to stay in your pj’s as long as possible?  Anyway, he says to me, “This way, I am already ready when the ice cream truck comes” in a tone of voice that said, “duh, mommy.  Today is the weekend and the ice cream trucks ALWAYS comes on the weekend!” I managed to contain myself and chose to ignore what he said.  Maybe not the best option, but seriously….I had barely taken a sip of my coffee!  Starting at about 10 o’clock though, he waited by the road off and on, money in hand, until early afternoon.  Seriously.  Here he is waiting.  Notice the red cup.  This is his cup of water because he got thirsty waiting!  Waiting for the ice cream truck is hard work. ugh.

Are you beginning to get a sense of how sugar obsessed this kid is?  I am on a mission, and I have my work cut out for me!  So, today I broke the news to him…he was done waiting for the truck and we would no longer be purchasing ice cream from the ice cream truck.  Nothing like breaking a child’s heart, right?  It is for his own good though and anyway, I don’t think he believed me.  He was standing by the back door trying to go back out to the driveway when I told him if you go out that door, you will go to bed and take a nap.  He takes me seriously when I say the word ‘nap’, so even though he had his hand on the knob, he did not turn it.  After I had his attention, I explained that we would be making our own ice cream today.  He said he wasn’t going to eat it.  He was having ice cream from the ice cream truck.  Ummm, no.  Sorry.  You’re not.  I put a can of coconut milk in the freezer to quick chill and told him we would get busy in just a little while.  Once he saw that I was serious about the ice cream truck, he started asking me, “Mom, when are we going to make ice cream? You said you were going to make ice cream!”  Geez.  Ok, ok.  Here we go….

I had to do a little looking for a recipe.  I know I had seen one that required only coconut milk, but I couldn’t remember where.  I found one that I thought would work for us at Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations.  This guy is rad.  If you have not checked out his before and after pics, I suggest you do!  He puts out great information and tasty bites on his blog.  He has a great contest going right now, too!  Subscribe and follow him. You will be glad you did.

So, I decided to tweak the recipe a little bit to fit what we had on hand, and Garrett made the suggestion of adding cinnamon, so we did!  It turned out great!  Here is what we did…

This is what you need:

one 14 oz. can (guar gum free) coconut milk ~chilled~ we had full fat, so that’s what we used

1/4 cup raw honey

2 T. unsweetened cocoa

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup Enjoy Life choc chips

ice cream machine

Mix everything, except the chocolate chips, in a blender.  Put the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker in to the machine and turn it on.  Add the ice cream mixture from the blender and let it go for about 15-20 minutes.  Be sure you watch it.  Watching it is half the fun!  You will see it get thick, and you will know it’s ready.

Actually, at this point Garrett gave me a big hug and told me how much he loved me and that our ice cream was going to be way better that the ice cream from the ice cream truck.  My heart melted.

Right before it’s done, pour in the chocolate chips.

Remove the middle thingy (yeah, I don’t know what’s it is called) from the machine and scrape the ice cream off.

Don’t forget to lick the middle thingy…

Dish it up and serve it to those you love!

We enjoyed ours on the patio because it is such a gorgeous day here in Texas!  Here are both of my children enjoying their “healthy” ice cream (not from a truck!)

I love them immensely, and I want to do what is best for them.  Kids really do crave rules and boundaries and once given, they are usually ok with them.  We will still have to contend with the ice cream truck.  It will taunt us every weekend. I’m sure.  I am also sure that Garrett will want to go running after it, but I will tell him no.  It won’t be fun during the transition period, but eventually it will be fun!  and we like FUN.!

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Eat Like a Dinosaur? Yes!

It’s here, it’s here!!!  I have been waiting with bated breath for my copy of  Eat Like a Dinosaur, the new kid-friendly cookbook from the Paleo Parents, to arrive in the mail and it came yesterday!

Since our Paleo journey is just beginning, this is only the second cookbook that I own that is written from a Paleo perspective.  Making the switch to Paleo had been the easiest thing I have ever done in my life, and my next mission is to switch the kids over to a Paleo diet.  The hubs has been on board with me from the git-go!

One of the biggest reasons I really want to switch the kids over is that, in our house, there is not a meal that goes by without my son, Garrett, asking “what’s for dessert”? Whether he has eaten 2 bites (and thinks that’s plenty to have dessert) or 50 bites (and I think he can’t possibly have room!), he ALWAYS wants dessert.  It really bothers me how much a part of his life processed sugar is, and I am determined to change it.

The book’s authors, Stacy and Matt, have obviously put their heart and soul (and their love for their children) into every page of this book!  I laid in bed last night and read it almost cover to cover and am amazed (and excited by what it means for me!) at what they have done.  Losing a collective 200 pounds between them and switching their children’s diets to a healthier way of eating is nothing short of amazing and inspiring!  I had to force myself to go to sleep!  The “Boring Chapter for Parents”  lit a fire under me that I have been needing.  I have been slowly trying to convert the kids (Garrett is 6 and Mina is 15), but it has not been very easy.  Stacy and Matt state quite simply, “transition quickly; be prepared to make concessions”.  Being a nurse, it makes me think of pulling a band-aid off. Just rip it off…it’s done, and the pain is over much quicker!  Having a teen who is set in her ways, and thinks she is right about most everything, and a little boy who lives for the ice cream truck on the weekends is going to make my task difficult, but not impossible with the help of Eat Like a Dinosaur.  I am not opposed to giving my kids treats.  In fact, I have no desire to cut that stuff out all together, but treats are just that.  Treats.  They are not an everyday thing but, when they have them, they can (and should be) healthy.  Now, I will be making better choices for them thanks to ELaD.  They have an entire chapter devoted to treats made with healthy alternatives, and it all looks delicious!

When I cam home yesterday, I saw the box, knew what it was and ripped it open right away.  I began thumbing through it, wanting to test a recipe right then, and the recipe for applesauce stood out immediately!  Garrett loves applesauce.  And seriously, could it be any simpler?  No.  It could not.   We had some apples already, so G and I got busy cooking!

Here’s how you do it…

Gather your ingredients.

Yep, that’s right.  Apples and cinnamon.  Told ya.  Simple!

Peel and chop the apples then sprinkle with cinnamon.

Yes, I chopped mine.  This step is not necessary, but there is a reason why I chopped them.  It’s because I love to chop.  Seriously.  I will happily chop anything you put in front of me.  I have a gorgeous knife collection that I love to use and a beautiful block of wood on my counter that calls my name just about every time I walk by.  It’s like my art.  I could chop all day.  I have even thought about being a sous chef just so I could chop!  It’s my addiction. Maybe I need a 12 step program?  If you have an apple slicer, it will make (very) short work of this recipe.  Use it.  Anyway, peel your apples, slice them (with whatever method you choose), put them in a baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and toss to coat.  You can cover the dish with foil (for a wetter sauce) or not, but bake at 350 for an hour.

Try to keep the monkey out of it until it’s done…

When it’s done, mash the apples with a potato masher. You can puree it in a food processor for a smoother sauce, but the kids and I like it chunky.

Serve and enjoy…and feel good that you have given your kid a healthy alternative!

Kids want they want.  They (think) they know what they want because the TV tells them what they should want.  It is a vicious cycle that is going to be challenging to stop, but I will stay the course.  Tough love at it’s finest!  I have a much larger arsenal now with Eat Like a Dinosaur in my hands and I plan to use all of it!  They give you the tools and tips that you need to be successful and we will be working our way through this cookbook with gusto!