A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Squash Instead of Ice Cream…

Intrigued? I’ve mentioned something about this on previous posts, but wanted to dedicate today’s post solely to one of my favorite treats. For months I have been making different variations from squash and fruit to have for part of my dinner during the weekdays and weekends.

At first I would use canned pumpkin, but now I try to bake most of the squash that can be used all week. I will rotate with Spaghetti, Acorn, or Butternut squash (whatever looks good at the store), cut in half, scoop out the seeds, place face down on a cookie sheet, and roast them in the oven at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. After cooling a while, I’ll scoop the flesh into a big bowl for use throughout the week. Of course, there’s always a can or two of Libby’s Pumpkin Puree for when I run out or just miss a chance to bake some squash.

With the base of this treat ready for use, I will take several scoops (maybe a cup’s worth) of squash and place in a blender cup. Add to this some frozen fruit of choice followed by one or more of the following: small scoop of plain Greek/regular yogurt, half scoop of vanilla/chocolate whey protein powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, water, coconut milk, or almond milk. The amount of liquid varies as I never actually measure anything, just eyeball it. I have two plastic cups that are used for these treats and usually have a different creation made for each one. The first cup will usually be a lighter, less indulgent variation, but it's still tasty. The second cup is usually something chocolate soothing for the mind and body. Let me go through the typical ingredients I might use for each cup one night…

Cup #1

- A few scoops of Acorn or Spaghetti squash
- Frozen mixed berries
- Half scoop of Stevia sweetened vanilla whey protein powder
- A mixture of water and almond milk; not a lot as squash has a good amount of water already
- Vanilla flavored liquid Stevia; about 8 – 10 drops
- Small plop of non-fat yogurt
- Dash of ground cinnamon and ginger

Cup #2

- A few scoops of Butternut Squash
- 1/4 frozen banana, 1 frozen strawberry, a few cubes of frozen papaya
- Half scoop of Stevia sweetened vanilla or chocolate whey protein powder
- 4 – 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- A little bit of water, coconut milk, and kefir; maybe 1/2 cup combined
- Vanilla or chocolate flavored stevia
- Broken pieces of whole grain pretzel dipped in a little peanut butter to mix in after blending; I love sweet and salty!

I blend ingredients for Cup #1 and pour (scoop if needed) into the cup, then do the same for Cup #2. When mixed with the right proportions, the consistency is like ice cream, but a lot better and more nutritious. I will place each cup in a koozie and put them in the freezer as I prepare the first part of my meal which is usually a salad with veggies and a lean protein.

After the salad mix meal, I proceed to indulge in the healthy treats that help relax and satisfy me for the night. Does anyone else do anything similar? Please post to the comments and share your crazy creations, I’d love to hear them!

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