Sweet Potato Ice-Cream!

Today was the first day back to work after the long Labor Day weekend: the official End of Summer- boo hoo! It was dark, dreary and rainy when I woke up, but I looked forward to getting started this morning because not only was my run just an easy 2 miles (with some sprinting and weights for good measure) but I had plans, BIG plans, for my post-workout breakfast: Sweet Potato Ice-Cream!

Yesterday, with the oven preheated to 400 degrees F for a side of Oven Roasted Marrow Sticks with lunch, in went a few small sweet potatoes. Each of the sweet potatoes below is about 1 cup, which in my world is 2 servings of a high-starch veg. I used to wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil for baking because that's what my grandmother always did- and she was a food genius- but recently started feeling guilty about using all that foil, so I've been simply placing them directly on the top rack. They are still very sweet and delicious, but I do sometimes miss the moist skin and caramelized juices that accumulate inside the foil wrapper.

Once cooled, I cut 1 potato into several pieces and wrapped it in parchment paper, being sure the pieces didn't touch one another, then put it in the freezer. How cool is the multi-colored flesh of this potato? I've never seen that before! All night I thought about the best way to make it into sweet potato ice-cream. Did I want to spice it up or add sweetness, or did I want authentic sweet potato flavor? I absolutely adore sweet potatoes. They really are perfect all on their own, so I decided there's no need to mess with that, but just wanted to adapt it into something new. Here's what I came up with:

1 small baked organic sweet potato, cut into 5 or 6 pieces and frozen
4-5 oz full fat Coconut Milk
1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder
2 TB organic ground flax seed
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 T cinnamon
5 or 6 ice cubes, made from filtered water

Place the ingredients in the Vitamix. Turn on, to 10 quickly, then to high and push the frozen potato and ice cubes into the blades with the tamper. The machine will work really hard, blending through the dense potato, but after a minute or so it will blend freely and 4 mounds will form. Turn the machine off and you have protein packed ice-cream with all the health benefits from the beta-carotene, phytonutrients, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, fiber and more found in the scrumptious sweet potato. The ice-cream is super rich and creamy with an earthy flavor. The cinnamon isn't prevalent here, but adds to the depth of flavor. If you'd prefer to make this more along the lines of Sweet Potato Pie Ice-Cream, I'm sure more cinnamon, and some honey or brown sugar would do the trick.

This entire batch is 1 serving even though it contains 2 serving of sweet potato because my breakfast meal is 2 servings carb (the potato), 2 servings protein (the protein powder with 16 grams of protein per scoop). The GI of sweet potato gets pretty high once baked, so it's best to eat it with some fat, like the coconut milk in this recipe, to slow the conversion to glucose. The fat will also aid in the absorption of the beat-carotene. I recently tried a baked potato drenched in tahini with some Himalayan pink salt sprinkled over it- so awesome! And I don't really like tahini (too bitter) or add salt to my food, but it turned out to be a decadent combination, and it's good to switch up your fats. To keep the GI low, try boiling or steaming them instead. What's your favorite way to cook sweet potatoes? Do you dress them up or just take them as they are?

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