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21 days without sugar.

No, it’s not the latest method of torture, although it may sound like it. It’s part of the 21 “detox”  plan I just completed.

If you’re wondering what drove me to do such a thing, I might plead temporary insanity. I’m usually not a big supporter of any extreme diets, detox plans or anything that doesn’t promote balance. But after a friend of mine went through it and told me what a learning experience it ended up being, I decided to give it a try.

And let me tell you something, it was, indeed, an eye opening experience, for different reasons.

For starters, even as someone somewhat knowledgeable about nutrition, I was amazed by how hard it is to avoid sugar. It’s everywhere. It’s added to almost every processed product sold out there, and for no apparent reason, in my opinion. It’s unreal.

So I had to give up a lot of my staples (ketchup and gum being the most challenging ones) which made me realize that my diet wasn’t as “clean” as I thought it was.

But I have to say overall, it was easier than I thought it would be. Because to tell you the truth, I was expecting a total nightmare.

Think about it, 21 days working on the blog, creating and testing recipes and cooking all kinds of delicious food, and not being able to taste most of it. If that’s not will power, I don’t know what is.

But I made it.

And that is precisely one of the main things I got out of this experience. It  forced me to find my inner strength and my determination. And it also made me realize that no matter how challenging the situation, the saying is true: “You can do anything you put your mind to”. And I believe that is true for each and everyone of us.

Even if it means saying no to caramel 😉

Hope you enjoy this recipe… as much as I didn’t.

Ruth

BANANA CARAMEL SHAKE
Prep time: 5 minutes 
Ingredients (makes approx. 2-10oz shakes):

  • 1 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk (we use Silk Pure Almond)
  • 1 1/2 large frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp (or 3 or 4 or 5…)  store bought or homemade vegan caramel sauce (recipe follows) plus extra to drizzle on the glass
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups ice
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth and creamy. Drizzle the bottom and sides of the glass with caramel.
  2. Pour and ENJOY!! From May I have that recipe

HOMEMADE VEGAN CARAMEL SAUCE
Cook time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (makes approx 1 cup):

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk (not beverage)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

1. Pour sugar in a large, deep non-stick pan and place it on the stove at medium heat.

2. Let the sugar “melt” until it reaches an amber color, 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on it constantly, it can burn very quickly!

3. Reduce heat to low and carefully pour coconut milk, stirring constantly. Be careful here because the mixture will bubble up. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined (the sugar  might clump up and harden when you pour the coconut milk. Don’t worry if this happens, it will slowly melt again as the caramel cooks)

4. Add coconut oil, stirring constantly. Cook until smooth and creamy, for about 5 minutes.

5. Let it cool and store in the refrigerator*

*Note: If caramel sauce hardens in the refrigerator, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds until it softens.

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