Hello! The following is a guest post by Ben Hirshberg who is an ice cream aficionado. Think Paleo ice cream made with coconut milk… nomnomnom…
Noun: An event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure.
I believe that treats have a place in life. Whether it is splurging on a vacation or getting to spend uncommon time with a friend, family member or significant other, treats are nice to have every now and then.
Treats break up the monotony of life and give pleasure. When I get to go to a Seattle Sounders soccer match, it makes my day. I do not get to go to every Sounders match, but I enjoy myself every time I do (especially if they win!).
This applies to food as well. I am not the most strict primal eating adherent, so once in a while I will allow myself a treat. Sometimes the treats are primal friendly, such as date-cocoa powder cookies, or sometimes they are not, such as a traditional chocolate chip cookie. When I indulge myself in a treat, I make sure to fully savor and enjoy the flavor, texture, and scent.
People throughout history have likely indulged in treats, dietary and otherwise. I certainly can picture someone during the Paleolithic era smiling with their eyes closed, chomping on ripe berries. Humans like pleasure, and treats are excellent at providing pleasure.
However, a treat no longer becomes a treat when it becomes common or stops giving pleasure. When you eat a spoonful of peanut butter every hour, it is not a treat, it is a daily staple!
I think that everyone should treat themselves every so often (not every hour), even with food. That does not mean that the edible treat has to be unhealthy! But I think that periodically enjoying a simple pleasure such as a cookie can do wonders for mental health and decreasing stress.
When I was younger, I discovered through a near death experience that I was severely allergic to bee stings. So every month, I would get the equivalent of two bee stings injected into each of my arms in an effort to make me immune. My mother would treat me to an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins after every shot appointment, fostering a special appreciation for ice cream in me.
Ever since I started educating myself about nutrition however, my ice cream intake steadily declined. I did not want to put store-bought ice cream into my body. A visual scan of the ingredients generally looked something like this: modified milk ingredients, glucose solids, mono and diglycerides, natural flavor, color, sugar, soybean oil, soy lecithin, and a whole host of other ingredients which I did not recognize. I like to know exactly what I am eating; the more details the better!
So I started to make my own ice cream recipes. I used the ingredients that I wanted, not ingredients that were chosen for me by a corporation with little regard for my health. Compare a recipe list from one of my favorite flavors with the list above: coconut milk, blueberries (I use blueberries grown in my backyard!), raw honey, and pastured egg yolks. Looks much better no? It also tastes unbelievable! And there is no reason to feel guilty when enjoying my recipes because they are made with healthy ingredients that are conducive to good health.
My ice cream recipes are some of the best treats I have ever enjoyed. So I decided to organize them into an eBook for others to enjoy. Ice cream no longer has to be an unhealthy treat! You can learn more about my eBook Paleo Ice Cream: 31 Healthy Recipes for the Primal Sweet Tooth that are So Easy a Modern Caveman Can Do It at PaleoIceCreamRecipes.com. There is a free sample recipe to try too, and I would love your feedback so please check it out!
Ben Hirshberg is a 19 year old student of human well-being from Seattle, WA. He went to Dickinson College for his freshman year but is currently taking an absence of leave to travel the world, learn outside of the classroom, and take the path less traveled. Ben’s favorite hobbies include reading, hiking, cooking, and hanging out with friends. Read articles he has written about health and his gap year journey (currently in Madrid, Spain) at BenHirshberg.com.
From Toad: Have you ever made homemade ice cream? What ingredients do YOU use? Do you use an ice cream maker? Do you still eat traditional ice cream? Why or why not? Tell us by leaving a comment below!