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What to do when you run out of...

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It can happen during the holidays. You buy more food than you think any group of people could possibly eat in less than a year, but your Uncle Harry brings along several of his closest friends, and your friend Henrietta has just finished a grueling diet and wants to celebrate by eating all the previously forbidden foods. Somewhere in the midst of the party, you go to the freezer to get more ice cream for the ravening crowd and discover that all of the ice cream is gone. What do you do?

The answer is simple. You make some. No, not the old way, with the bags of salt, the ice, the cooking, and the eternal cranking. You do it the quick and easy way, with your food processor. All you have to do is toss a few frozen bananas into the food processor. You’ll have those on hand because you read this article and you want to be prepared, right? Then just process the frozen bananas until they look like ice cream, stopping to scrape down the inside of the bowl if you need to. This will not take long. In probably under a minute, you’ll have ice cream. And guess what—it will be raw! Will it taste exactly like the full-fat, hundreds-of-calories variety that is so sweet it makes your teeth ache? Actually, it's pretty close except for the too-sweet part. It's similar to soft-serve ice cream. You can jazz it up a little by adding a a half-teaspoon of vanilla and a pinch of stevia or a little agave nectar to sweeten it up if you like. If you want to play around with it, you can add 2 to 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder and some agave nectar to make chocolate ice cream. Or you can drizzle on some easy-to-make raw caramel, top with some sliced bananas, and add a few crushed berries for a raw banana split.

Okay, then let’s suppose you run out of milk. You’re making mashed potatoes and need a little bit, but it’s Christmas and the stores are closed. What do you do? In a pinch, you can make milk too. This would not be the kind that requires the assistance of a cow, however. Just make almond milk. The quick and easy way is to throw a handful of plain almonds, which—again—you will have on hand because you read this—into the food processor along with a couple of cups of cold water. Whir it up until it’s liquefied, and then strain it through a strainer. Homemade almond milk is a little richer and milder than the store-bought kind. It probably won’t pass for cow’s milk, but it will work just fine in your mashed potatoes. Oh, and it’s raw too if you can find raw almonds.

Let’s say you made some delicious homemade bread and served it up toasted, but you forgot to buy the jam. Here’s another raw trick to the rescue. Simply mix a cup of the berries you want to use—strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries—with ½ cup of chia seeds, ½ cup water, and a little bit of natural sweetener like agave nectar, stevia, real maple syrup, or honey. Or for a smoother result, process it for a few seconds in your Vitamix or food processor. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for about half an hour. You’ve got jam. This too is raw.

Of course, in order to make these substitutes you have to have the ingredients on hand when you need them. Wouldn’t it make just as much sense to just keep more ice cream, milk, and jam on hand instead? No, and let me explain why. It’s because your Great Aunt Edna is not going to sneak out into the kitchen and deplete your supply of chia seeds, plain almonds, or frozen bananas. You’re far more likely not to run out of these substitutes than you are the real things. So give your Great Aunt Edna a hug when she polishes off the ice cream, and smile sweetly. It’s one less thing to worry about over the holidays. And speaking of the holidays, have a merry Christmas and a happy new year!



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