Apple Butter Ice Cream for Quitters

September 26th, 2010 · Lisa · gluten-free, raw, Recipes, sugar-free, Sweet · Comments

Are you enjoying your first Sunday of Fall? I’ve decided to believe that today’s shenanigans are not predictive of what this season has to offer. As much as I’m mourning the end of Summer, I’m hoping that the shift in the earth’s axis will result in a change in my own reality.

When there are elements in my life that seem to be unaffected by my attempts at persuasion (e.g. the lottery, the weather and my psoas injury) I try to turn my attention to the things I can control. I’m much more confident in my ability to create a sumptuous meal from simple ingredient than in finding my ticket to fortune and a life of leisure. Today was full of uncertainties, punishment for poor decision-making and one terrific treat. I don’t know what you’re dealing with in your home, or in your life – but if you’re looking for some sweetness this recipe may just hit the spot.

This is my third entry into this month’s SOS Kitchen Challenge hosted to by two beautiful women (inside and out) Ricki and Kim.
Apple butter, the flavour star of this dish, is created when apples are cooked down into a sauce and then further reduced to a smooth, thick butter. It is as sweet as any jam or preserve but contains no added sugar or sweetener. I received a jar of organic apple butter from a friend and did a quick google search to see how others put it to good use. It seems many of you enjoy pouring it on top of vanilla ice cream. Hmmm, I was intrigued. But then I thought “why just pour it on top when you could infuse each bite with apple goodness?” That was the moment of conception for this little apple delight.
Apple Butter Ice Cream
2 cups cashews
2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp ginger juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
1 cup apple butter
2 TBSP agave
1 TBSP soy lecithin
2 TB coconut oil
Directions: Soak cashews for four hours, drain and rinse. In your blender combine the cashews and fresh water. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients except the lecithin and coconut oil and blend until very smooth. Melt the coconut oil. Add the soy lecithin and coconut oil to the blender and pulse until incorporated. Chill the mixture in your fridge for 2 or more hours. Churn in your ice cream maker until thick, creamy and frozen (about 25 minutes).

Each bite of this ice cream is an embrace of Fall. I think a scoop would be the perfect pair for a warm apple crisp or apple pie. However, I’m most excited to try it with crunchy granola. The textural contrast and balance of savoury and sweet flavours would be amazing. Oh, I think I just decided on my birthday breakfast :).

Okay, so here’s what happened:
Since you’ve been along for the ride thus far, I thought I’d also share a quick recap of today’s race. In case you’re new to the blog – quick update: I love running. I’ve done a few races. I was training hard for today’s race until a month ago. My psoas is driving me crazy and I haven’t been able to run for a month. Now you’re up to speed (but I’m not…lol).

I actually had dreams in which I surprised everyone and ran a fantastic race. I should of realized how far fetched that was when the physio-therapist at the race expo said “you’re walking like crap” and then ushered me to the bathroom to apply Kensio tape to my glutes and IT bands (yes, I stood there in my underwear hoping for a cure). Despite the signs I somehow remained optimistic.

Last night, I did everything right. I got lots of sleep – set out my gear and put my alarm on for 6 am. I got up, fuelled with banana, almond butter and raisins and set off for the start line.

I love it when the start-line is a 20 minute walk from my apartment. I didn’t need to stand in the 20 minute line for the bathroom because I’d barely left mine. That was the last coup of the day.

I found my coral (the yellow balloons were the clue) and stood among the happy, healthy runners. I got excited as we waited for the count-down. I kept telling myself “You can do this. People live with pain everyday. You will live through this”.

I started running (it was more of a run-limp kind of routine) and I was smiling. But I couldn’t sustain it. I was getting slower with each step and the pain from my hip was moving down my leg and across my back as I continued to push ahead. At 8 km I realized that I was not going to finish. I started to get worried that running further would result in a medical escort home. So, I stepped aside. I walked off the course, cheered for the other runners and started toward home.

Just after I left the course the elite males ran past. They looked so strong and healthy. I can’t wait to feel that in-control of my body again. I know that my decision to leave the race (as if I really had a choice) will make healing faster.

I’m not sorry I tried – although, I’m currently having trouble walking. I’m happy I was able to cheer on my fellow runners. I was inspired by all the individuals who got out of bed this morning to engage in activity that made them feel alive – exhilarated – happy!

I was touched by all the runners who stopped to see if I was okay, the man who offered to buy me coffee when he realized I must have quit the race and my Mom who listened to me cry while I stood on the sidelines and watched everyone else run past. So many of you offered words of support and encouragement throughout my training. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

As I walked home, watching the runners disappear into the distance, I realized that this moment has meaning way beyond not finishing the race. Sometimes you’re heading down a path in life that just doesn’t feel right, but you continue because it seems like the only way to go (and everyone else is going that way). I proved to myself that I have the courage to say “this is not right for me” and start out on my own. I feel like I’ve reached an important fork in the road. I just hope that path I forge takes me somewhere more exciting than my couch (covered in ice packs) – but at least there was ice cream. Sometimes quitters are winners.

14 Comments

  1. Posted September 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    You aren't a quitter – you made the right decision for you on this day. I have no doubt that you will shine on a different day. Rest up and heal!

  2. Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I'm sorry to hear the race didn't go as you hoped but I think you absolutely made the right decision to stop, and that itself takes courage so it's a decision you should be proud of. I started to get some knee pain towards the end of the race and had to decide, do I push myself through it, or take an extra walking break? I decided avoiding taking a walking break and cutting a minute off of my time just as I was approaching the cheering squads wasn't worth the risk of injuring myself, and I did take that walking break. When we were training for the Mississauga half, Robby had trained all through the summer and literally two weeks before the race, on our last long wrong, he suddenly developed knee pain and wasn't able to complete the run. He decided the week before the race not to complete it either, again knowing the long term benefit of being able to heal and continue running was better than pushing beyond his limits and possibly injuring himself long term.
    I know it's a disappointing feeling but Tracy's right, you're not a quitter! It's the opposite – you're doing the right thing so that you can keep running!!

    P.S How were you able to bring a camera along with you and get pictures at the start line?!

  3. Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Woops, meant to say long run, not long wrong. 😛

    P.P.S Did you see Monique Doucette near the start of the race?!! Around the 3k mark maybe?!

  4. Posted September 26, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I'm proud of you for listening to what your body was telling you today. With a little more rest you'll be back to running in no time!

    Your apple recipes are fantastic!

  5. Posted September 26, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Lisa, you are the farthest thing from a quitter I've ever seen! Your determination and dedication are truly inspiring, and as you say, you "did everything right" beforehand. I'll reiterate the other commenters and say I think you did the right thing in honoring your body's messages. And there will be other races. AND I'm sure the other runners appreciated your positive energy and cheers.

    Now, as to that ice cream–wowzah! That must be the most delectable use for apple butter I've ever seen. This apple challenge has really brought out some amazingly creative recipes in you! And this is one I can't wait to reproduce. 🙂

  6. Posted September 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I am curious why you wanted to do it even if your body was telling you that it was not ready? I have been there–believe me, but also it's not worth the potential loss of more mobility to just prove a point. I live life not being able to run at all and I just have to enjoy what I can do and be grateful for what I do have. I feel our society and culture pressures us and rewards us for pushing ourselves beyond reasonable limits. I am glad you quit and did not go further and really hope you give yourself the rest you need. I know it really sucks but healing is so important.

  7. Posted September 27, 2010 at 12:19 am

    I would like to acknowledge you for knowing what was right for you and for taking care of yourself! You are amazing!

  8. Posted September 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you all for your kind words. I used "quitter" because I did quit the race. But I don't regret it and I'm not ashamed of my decision. I probably should have stayed home but I learned a lot yesterday through the struggle.

    Tracy,
    Congrats to your husband – looks like you'll be visiting Boston this Spring!

    Barbee- I'm so glad you had a great race and listened to your body and focused on your goals. Way to go!

    Nicole – I'm so glad you've enjoyed the recipes. Your blog posts have been inspiring me a lot lately.

    Ricki – you always make me smile. Thank you for your support and the challenges that keep me creating new things in my kitchen.

    Bitt- I thought a lot about your comment. I agree – I think we reward people who push beyond what seems possible. I probably should have stayed home but I didn't, I was stubborn and disrespectful of what my body needed. I'm doing better today and I'm focusing on not taking my health and wellness for granted in the future.

    Vegyogini – Thank you. I really appreciate your kindness.

  9. Posted September 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    First off – great recipe.

    But, more importantly, good for you for making the right decision for you and your body! I know that must have been hard. I've been struggling with and injury for a year and chose not to race at all this year because I know myself well enough to know that I wouldn't be smart enough to quit like you. I'd be a dumb bunny and destroy myself further. 🙂

  10. Posted September 27, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Way to listen to your body – it is never good to push it too hard, and it is awesome you can tap into what you need to do to take care of yourself! And WOW, this ice cream looks amazing. I have some homemade pear butter that I canned, and I am totally going to try this recipe with that. I was just talking about how I need to make some cashew ice cream, perfect! And three entries! You are amazing!

  11. Posted September 28, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Dear LORD! This looks really good.

  12. Posted September 29, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Congratulations on making the right decision for your body before it was too late. That is _not_ quitting! You have a wonderful attitude and you are filling your psyche with images of the picture of happiness and health that you wish to embody: you are well on your way!

    The ice cream sounds gorgeous too.

    Please take great care and enjoy your healing.
    love
    Ela

  13. Posted September 29, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Deanna – thank you for your support, sometimes the right decision is hard to make.

    Kim – I have really enjoyed all the SOS Kitchen Challenge Fun. I think a pear butter version would be amazing.

    Gena – I am so touched that your visited my blog – I have such love for what you have created with choosingraw.com. The recipes and resources you provide inspire others to make more conscious choices about what they consume.

    Ela- thank you for the healing love!

  14. Posted October 1, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    I'm sure that was a hard decision to make, but it was the right one for you for that day.

    I wish I had an ice cream maker, I really need to get one.

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