Sprout New Roots


Going Bananas Over Ice Cream!

So I know this is the oldest trick in the vegan book-but I had to post about it in case anyone hadn’t yet tried this- and maybe I’m reminding you of it! Or maybe you’ve never even heard of it.  Blended up frozen bananas=instant ice cream! Well, almost instant. If you don’t count the time it takes to freeze the bananas. Anywho, that’s it. Healthy home-made ice cream can be yours! You can simply just freeze bananas and blend! (you may need to add a little water or milk of your choice). Or you can get all fancy schmancy with it! Tonight I made a popular blend-It’s just simply good. Bananas, peanut butter, and cocoa powder. Done. Sold. I’m always in! And here’s how I do it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Naner Ice Cream (2 servings)

1.5-2 frozen bananas

2-3 T cocoa powder

1 large T peanut butter of your choice

1/4 cup Water/Nut milk of your choice

1/2 a handful of almonds/nuts-if desired

Freeze your bananas. I usually keep frozen bananas in my freezer for my morning green smoothies-so if you do not, remember to freeze those naners tonight! Also, I usually cut mine up before freezing in a container. Once frozen, throw them into your blender. Add everything-except the water or nut milk. Blend. Check it out, move it around, add some liquid. Blend. Check it out-add liquid and blend to desired consistency. You may not even need all the water or milk. Pour in a bowl-enjoy!

Do any of you have a favorite banana ice cream concoction? Comment and let us know! We’d love to try it!

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We’re Now on Facebook!

Hey guys!

We decided that we enjoyed interacting with you so much that we made a Facebook page for our blog!

We can’t wait to connect with you through that as well!

We’ll be posting simple vegan foods that we make on a daily basis! Here’s our colorful recipe photo section!: recipes

We also post about inspiration for a healthy lifestyle-such as quotes and photos and videos that we like!

So please come join in our conversation! Our Facebook Page

Here’s a bit of Inspiration to end this cute little mini post!

Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn! You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into an oak! Bury a sheep, and nothing happens but decay.

~George Bernard Shaw

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.

~Albert Einstein

All that we do is touched with ocean, yet we remain on the shore of what we know.

~Richard Wilbur

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Nola Veggie Fest & Surprise Cookie Dough Dip!

So I wanted to tell you guys about this past weekend. May 12 & 13 was NOLA Veggie Fest! Me, Jason, my sister Jenn, her boyfriend Chris, and our mom and step-dad all went on Saturday. It was heaven for us really. An entire building with booths full of veggie-related samples and treats and drinks! We each got a huge Peta bag as part of getting in and we filled them with pamphlets and coupons and samples. Not to mention each of us were walking around with both hands and arms filled with food we were tasting. So awesome! And everyone was so nice! One of the things that Jenn and I had on our must-do was to see Ellen Jaffe Jones speak (author of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day). And we did! We even met her and chatted for a bit before and after she spoke. She signed my book and it was just fabulous! She was great and even shared a photo of us with her and our blog on her Facebook page a few days ago! While we were talking to her she said something that always resonates with me when I hear it- and is so important. We were talking about how far along vegetarianism and veganism has come over the years and she mentioned how we each get 3 votes a day when it comes to our food. It’s so true. 11 or so years ago when Jenn and I first gave up meat, it was difficult to find anything on any menu that we could eat without having to alter it. And now today-pick almost any restaurant and you can find at least 2 or more vegetarian options right off the bat! Now, being vegan, we usually have to ask them to leave off cheese or cook vegetables without the butter, etc. But it’s coming. Restaurants are definitely familiar with what vegan means now and cater to it without hesitation-usually. And that’s how it happens-supply and demand. Ask for it and don’t be afraid.

Here’s the photo we took with Ellen:

Anywho, I also wanted to share a recipe with you guys. For Mother’s Day-which was a very lovely day might I add, my mom made the famous delicious Engine 2 Sweet Potato Lasagna for the family and I brought a little cookie dough dessert dip. Both were a hit! I saw this while perusing Chocolate-Covered Katie’s vegan dessert blog-which is amazing, check her out here. You would never even guess what was in this dip by tasting it!

Looks scrumptious, right? Well it totally is! Let’s do this!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

(here it is on her blog)

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/8 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 T of a nut butter. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste. Almond butter gives it a more neutral dough taste.
  • up to 1/4 cup soy or almond milk (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
  • Sweetener (see note below, for amount)-I used agave nectar and just added some and tasted until I was happy with it. You won’t need too much.
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used Whole Foods’ Vegan Chocolate Chips)
  • 2 to 3 T  flaxmeal
  • Graham Crackers for dipping (Unless you’re a bee-gan, find some without Honey hehe)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor (not blender), and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

Sweetener Notes from Choc. Covered Katie: Sweetener Notes: I used 2/3 cup brown sugar when I first made this for the party. Liquid sweeteners (agave, maple, etc.) are fine as well, as is evaporated cane juice. You can easily get away with less sugar– some people will be perfectly fine with just 3 T for the whole recipe! And if you don’t want any sugar, be sure to check out the “no-sugar” version linked above. (You can also use stevia, if you like the taste of stevia-sweetened desserts. Try 2-3 packets of NuNaturals stevia, and add more sweetener if needed. I wouldn’t recommend serving an all-stevia version to party guests, though.)

*Also-as a side note from me-I have seen recipes similar to this where instead of sugar or agave nectar, they used dates to sweeten it up a bit. I’ll try that next time I grab some dates at the grocery.

Let me know if you guys try this!

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Treading Lightly; My Thoughts on Simplifying

The quieter you become, the more you hear. -Ram Dass

I took the picture above last Friday after work when my family decided to take a little evening ride on my mom and step-dad’s boat. Isn’t life just simply beautiful? All we need is clean food and water, shelter, sunshine, and some good love-and if you know someone with a boat-even a dingy, take advantage :). And if not, find yourself a body of water and have a seat . Which brings me to this post. I struggle with the urge to live simpler; to appreciate the small things-which are actually the big things. I feel like I constantly have this tendency inside of me that needs to break free from so many of my physical attachments. The idea seems like a relief, and also, natural and more meaningful. Sometimes, I’ve thought, if my house burned down, would I truly miss everything in it? Would I even be able to know what was missing enough TO miss it? I bet I could wear a different shirt every day of the month-or even 2 months. And yet I still want more clothes? I realize the game in all of this, and it is definitely fun to buy new trendy things. I guess I’m just trying to take a step back and see things as they really are and gain some perspective. And why do I need so many different shirts?! And who cares?!

We’re constantly bombarded with commercials for new products, the most current fashion, the latest technology, cheap quick food, and more, more, and even MORE things. We’re bred to be consumers, and this idea of what life is supposed to look like is imposed on us. The competition to have more possessions than others, or to have the best and latest products, or even being embarrassed when you don’t have these things is so stressful and uncool. I hate when I find myself judging someone else based on whether they have a smart phone or not, or something similar. That’s insane! Whose thoughts are these that have been put in my head? I am not that person.

I have been a good consumer and have bought more than my share. The thought has even crossed my mind thousands of times, “If I just buy THIS, I’d be happy and satisfied and won’t need anything else!” Talk about the feeling of an addiction…just ONE more time…. But that’s where I’ve started to question myself more and more, “Do I need or want this?”, and then I think, “If I really want this (thing) for my home, I’ll find a way to make it myself-which is more rewarding anyways” or just simply, “Nah”-realizing this was a fleeting, impulsive feeling. I can’t kid myself any more. The small “fix” of satisfaction or joy that I get from buying things simply because I’m just used to buying is short-lived and then I’m back to square one-needing to fill that void again with something else. But why? Why do we need to accumulate so much stuff in order to move through life? Or rather, to keep us stuck… Why do I need so much, when so many can live happily with so little? This is what I’ve been working on. It has been a little journey unfolding inside of me that has gradually become something that I think is important in my life and my understanding of life. And maybe some of you feel this way too.

Once you have so much stuff surrounding you, your life can become cluttered. And maybe that physical clutter is blocking other real and good things from coming into your life. I believe that what you put into the universe is what you get back. So maybe by removing some of the clutter in your personal universe, you’ll be open to accepting a new experience, a new friend, or new idea. REAL things. The stuff of life. These are just my thoughts.

Something that has grounded me in this whenever I feel like I am needing more stuff is the exciting idea of living more minimally. I imagine that a lot of people in New York City have to do this since their spaces are so small. And that’s always seemed like a fun challenge to me. Something else I think about are so many people around the world, who just live simply on this earth. They tread lightly. Every thing they own has a purpose or some special meaning-or else why would they want it? Because it’s a popular designer brand purse? No way. That sounds laughable when I think about it from the perspective of someone who is really here to live life. These thrills are cheap in the grand perspective. So maybe, if you are feeling this way too, or not, try to think of some things in your life you’re truly grateful for.
Some of the happiest people on this planet live in modest homes and don’t have very many possessions, and yet they want for nothing. Some of the most miserable people can be considered “rich”. It’s just about perspective. Being truly rich in life doesn’t come from owning things. It comes from being grateful for and enjoying whatever it is that you do have-whether you have a lot or a little. Stop stressing. Start living. As the saying goes, the best things in life are free. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this-and other times, well, there’s that sunset.
Here are some tips to help you tread more lightly:
1. Donate clothes and things you no longer use. Goodwill. Vietnam Veterans of America. Salvation Army. Local Churches.
Your stuff will help someone else in need, and you’ll be free of it.
2. Think about what you’re buying and where it came from and who might have participated in making it. Buy second-hand more often. Our society demands new stuff constantly and it burdens our people, animals, and planet. Just step back and think more before buying.
Check out www.fairtradeusa.org and www.lovingeco.com for cruetly-free and fair trade brands and items. Where you put your money matters.
3. Recycle and Reuse. Instead of buying a new, for example, headboard-you may be able to find some old shutters you can paint and mount behind your bed, or you can find a used one you can refurbish and make your own.
Find garage sales and take notice what people are putting out for the trash. If you’re in New Orleans, check out www.thegreenproject.org .

And, last but not least, here are a few quotes that have inspired me in trying to simplify my life.

I am learning…that a man can live profoundly without masses of things.  Richard E. Byrd

Live simply so that others may simply live.  Mahatma Gandhi

Happiness only real when shared.  Into The Wild

See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.  Mother Teresa

All real and wholesome enjoyments possible to man have been just as possible to him since first he was made of the earth.  John Ruskin

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.  Hans Hofmann

The quieter you become, the more you hear. Ram Dass