Sunday, July 13, 2014

Homemade Banana Ice Cream: "Nice Cream"

All I have been craving lately is ice cream.  I mean, it is the middle of summer, so it makes sense.  Being lactose intolerant, finding inexpensive and delicious ice cream is not always an option.  Plus, I love making my own desserts.  They are less expensive and usually healthier.  Over the past few months, I have been making my own homemade ice cream concoctions, or "nice cream" which I discovered on pinterest and instagram nearly a year ago.  Naner ice cream = "nice cream."  Is this starting to make sense yet?  Basically, it is ice cream made from frozen bananas and whatever else your heart desires.  The recipe is so so SO simple you will be jumping up and down with excitement!  Get ready for a delicious recipe that will blow your mind:  

Step 1:  Stock up on ripe bananas.  Having patience while you wait for them to ripen is the hardest part.  Your bananas should have brown spots like this one.


Step 2: Slice the banana and place in a plastic zip lock bag. I usually slice up about 4-5 bananas.  Freeze the bananas overnight.

Into the freezer they go!

Step 3: Take the bananas out of the freezer.  Blend half of the frozen bananas with a splash of milk depending on how strong your blender is. (I use vanilla unsweetened almond milk).  Stir.  Add the rest of the bananas and blend more.

Step 4:  Add a second ingredient of choice (optional). I love adding peanut butter, cinnamon, a handful of frozen berries, or cocoa powder.  The best part about making nice cream is that there are so many tasty variations.  I never get bored of it!   Top with more fruit, chocolate, or granola if you want even more flavor!  Enjoy for breakfast, a snack, or dessert!  It's that simple, healthy, and beyond delicious!

Raspberry nice cream



Strawberry nice cream



Blueberry nice cream



Chocolate nice cream









Monday, June 23, 2014

Guest Post: College Student with Celiac

Hi everyone! I want to share with you a guest post that I wrote for Chynna from College Student with Celiac about my experience as a gluten free college student and how I am raising Celiac awareness. I hope this post helps other gluten free college students.  Living gluten free in college is not always easy, but it has gotten much easier over the past two years as a result of awareness and increased gluten free cafeteria options.  You can read my post here!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Awesome Avocado Recipes

Summer is finally starting to make an appearance here after a long cold winter, and with summer comes more fresh fruit and vegetables!  That is one of the best parts about being home for the summer.  I no longer have to live off of bananas, apples, carrots, cucumbers, and zucchini from the cafeteria.  This past spring, I took multiple trips to the co-op near campus to get a few gluten free treats, but I also got in the habit of picking up one of my favorite fruits, avocado!  I have always thought of avocado as a vegetable, but it is indeed a fruit, and a very tasty fruit.  There are so many ways to eat an avocado, whether it is on toast, as guacamole, or eating it plain like you would eat an apple.  When my dad returned from Costco the other day with a bag of six ripe avocados, I was giddy with excitement!  I wanted to make more than just my usual homemade guacamole, so I headed to pinterest  to look up some new avocado recipes.  I stumbled across a handful of recipes, and I ended up making two new recipes that looked absolutely delicious. 

Recipe #1: Blueberry & Raspberry Chocolate Chip Avocado Muffins

I was a bit skeptical before I made these muffins, but after tasting them, I was blown away by their deliciousness, and plus, I could not even taste the avocado.  In fact, one my friends tried a muffin before she even knew there was avocado in it, and she had absolutely no idea it included this secret ingredient!  I used this recipe, but I modified it to include an egg and greek yogurt because I am not vegan.  I also added raspberries and enjoy life chocolate chips to the batter, which was the perfect combination!  My friend and fellow blogger Candice was inspired to make her own version of these muffins for a graduation treat, and she gave them a double thumbs up as well!



  
Recipe #2: Avocado Fries

I made avocado fries using a non gluten free recipe, but I modified it by making my own breadcrumbs.  I did this by blending four pieces of Udi's bread in my blender until they reached breadcrumb consistency.  I also refrigerated the avocado before slicing it so that it would be firmer and easier to divide into equal pieces.  Although I did not make the cilantro lime dipping sauce, these avocado fries turned out amazing and were the perfect dinner appetizer! Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!!

  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blog Your Heart Out

I was nominated by my friend and fellow gluten free blogger Casey for the Blog Your Heart Out chain letter  (Thanks Casey!!).  I am going to answer a few questions where I talk more about the girl behind my blog and the inspiration behind why I started my blog in the first place.  After answering these questions, I will pass on the torch to five of my favorite bloggers.  So, let's get to know more about Allie, aka, the gluten free Bennie (my school mascot).


1.  Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?


The amazing gluten free community and bloggers are the people who truly encouraged me to start blogging.  When I went gluten free a few months before I started college, I felt so lost and confused, and many of the blogs about being gluten free in college gave me hope that I would actually be able to survive.  After reading so many amazing blogs, I wanted to give back to the community and reach out to other gluten free college students.  I also started blogging because I love to write, and it is a great stress relief.  I have not always been the best cook, but after going gluten free, I started trying out more and more recipes, and now I love baking and cooking!  Although I do not post many recipes, it is a goal of mine to create more recipes in the future.  I can't believe that I have already been gluten free for two years and have been blogging for over a year.  Time truly flies!



2.  How did you choose what to blog about?


I usually blog about whatever comes to mind first.  I have an ongoing list on my phone with blog ideas, which vary frequently.  I tend to focus my posts around tips for gluten free college students, updates about my own gluten free finds and adventures (including study abroad adventures!), and I occasionally create new gluten free recipes.  



3.  What is something most people don't know about you?


I love photography!  This has been a recent hobby of mine over the past few years.  I love being outdoors and taking pictures of nature, in addition to food, of course.  There is something about photography that makes me feel so relaxed and carefree.  



I love taking picture of my school!
  

4. What are three words that describe your style/blog?


Personal:  I always write from my heart, and I want my readers to be able to see what life is truly like as a gluten free college student.


Positive:  As many of you know, being gluten free is not always easy or fun, but staying positive definitely helps! I admit that I can be downright negative some days, but then I look at the big picture and think of all of the blessings in my life.  Positivity is definitely one of the best forms of medicine! 


Creative:  I try to make my blog as creative as possible because reading a boring post is no fun!  I am a creative person myself, so that usually is reflected throughout my blog.



5.  What do you love to do when you are not blogging?


A lot of things!  When I am not busy with class or work, I love being active.  This includes running, nordic skiing, biking, walking my dogs, and more.  When I need a break from running around, I love reading other blogs, spending time with family and friends, embarking on gluten free adventures, experimenting in the kitchen, playing the piano, and taking pictures.  I also love traveling! I am a going to become a high school Spanish teacher after I graduate in two years from now, so I have had wonderful opportunities to study abroad.  I am even more thrilled to live in Guatemala for the Spring 2015 semester!



Spain, 2013!


And now for the fun part!  It was so hard for me to choose just five bloggers because I love and follow so many amazing blogs, but here are the bloggers I would like to nominate:

Candice from Embrace Gfree

Colie from The Curse of Gluten



Amanda from Eating Out…Without!


Again, thanks to Casey for the nomination.  I hope you five have fun writing a post answering the same questions or by commenting below! 





Sunday, May 18, 2014

Halfway There!

Here I am over a week later with another year of college under my belt.  Although I have been home since this past Wednesday, it has yet to fully sink in that I am halfway done with college!  The past school year went incredibly fast, and I learned so much!  It was full of positive and negative experiences including adventures in Spain, football games, new and improved gluten free cafeteria options, a foot injury, learning that mini altoids are not gluten free, gluten free expos, connecting with some awesome new bloggers, and much more. To be honest, leaving school this year was harder than I thought.  Growing up is exciting and terrifying at the same time.   As an upperclassman this fall, I will no longer be required to purchase an unlimited meal plan.  I am thrilled about this, as I will no longer have to worry about navigating the gluten free cafeteria options on a daily basis.  I left the cafeteria lifestyle on a positive note, which truly makes me happy for future gluten free students!  Getting to know the dietician and a few of the chefs on a personal basis has made this past year smooth sailing, in comparison to my bumpy freshman year.  As excited as I am to cook for myself this fall, I will miss having the convenience of a chef cooking me a delicious meal on an occasional basis.  I am sincerely thankful for all of the cafeteria staff who have taken care of me this past year.   Whether it was saying "Hi, how are you today?," giving me a can of gluten free chicken noodle soup when I was sick, or making the delicious Mexican quinoa dish that I requested, I can tell that you all truly care and love your jobs.  Your generosity has meant the world to me, and saying thank you is the least I can do.  

Now that I have reached the halfway mark, what is in store for my last two years of college?   A lot of exciting things!  First of all, I will be living with four friends this fall and cooking for myself! One of my roommates is also gluten free, so that will be great to have someone to share food with, in addition to all other things that go along with being gluten free.  I could not be more excited!  I am hoping to meal prep because I will be busy with class and work, which I have learned a lot about from my gluten free friend and blogger Amber.  The other piece of exciting news is that I will be studying abroad in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala in the spring of 2015 for the entire semester!  I will be in Guatemala from January-May with a group of about twenty students and two advisors from my school; while there, I will live with a host family, take classes, volunteer, travel, and more.  This is such an incredible opportunity, and although I am already a bit nervous, I am more thrilled than anything!  Staying gluten free in a foreign country is definitely possible, as I experienced in Spain, and although there are challenges, nothing is holding me back from pursuing my dreams.  I am looking forward to writing about tips for eating gluten free in Guatemala, and I will be posting when I am abroad!  The future holds a lot, and I couldn't feel more blessed right now.  As for now, I am home for the summer, and I hope to blog more in my free time.  Have a wonderful day everyone!




Friday, May 9, 2014

A Month of Change

May is one of my favorite months.  With the school year winding down, the anticipation of summer is right around the corner! Minnesotans finally come out of their winter hibernation, the grass starts to turn green, and for once, we can sleep with the windows open.  I love being seeing the flowers start to bud and grow, as if they are starting fresh their short 5 month lives.  If I am going to be all metaphorical, I would say that May is a month filled with change and growth, just as the flowers would agree.  This May marks the halfway mark of my college career.  May is the month I went to Spain and had the adventure of a lifetime.  May is the month I went gluten free.  Most importantly, May is Celiac awareness month!!  An entire month dedicated to awareness, change, positivity, happiness and green everything. And yes, the grass is even green this May!    

April showers bring May flowers and beautiful green grass!

How am I planning to spread Celiac awareness during this special month? To be honest, I have not fully thought about all of my ideas.  I admit that I have been MIA lately as a result of being buried in paper writing, exam grading, and studying.  Finals is right around the corner, but in 5 days I will be able to breath a huge sigh of relief!  Because I am so busy, I have been thinking about more of the little things I can do to spread awareness, such as:
  • Talking to the dietician about adding new gluten free foods to the cafeteria.
  • Wearing my glutenlibre shirt.  This is one of my favorite shirts, and it fits me so well as a Spanish major.  Kathy and Brian, you would be happy to hear about all of the conversations that your awesome shirt has started!
  • Wearing my GFAF Expo hat that I got in Chicago.  This has also been a great way to start conversations. 
  • Joining the #positiveceliac twitter campaign started by Taylor at GlutenAway.
  • Talking to other gluten free students on campus.  For example, I gave a fellow student resources for her research paper about how colleges are accommodating gluten free students.
Of course, May is not the only month we should dedicate to spreading Celiac awareness, rather, it is a month to celebrate and embrace our differability.  We are not diseased or disabled, we are able to live and thrive because we are healthier than before going gluten free.  May is a month to embrace change, even if it means starting with small changes.  A change to become more positive.  A change to become proud of your gluten free lifestyle.  A change to count the blessings in your life.  A change to smile, even when you are not having the best day.  A change to eat gluten free double fudge cake without feeling guilty.  A change to stop dwelling on the past and future, but to live in the present.  I could go on forever, but I think you get the picture.  Embrace change.  Like going gluten free, it may not always be easy, but it may just be a blessing in disguise.  



Friday, April 25, 2014

Spreading Gluten Free Awareness on College Campuses

I want to share with you the amazing article that my gluten free friend and journalist Abby wrote for the University of Minnesota's magazine "The Wake" about the gluten free/allergen free expo we attended in Chicago.  This is just one example of how college students can spread awareness about Celiac Disease to the greater community.  It is on page 6 of the magazine.  To read the article, click here!  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!