Nana Ice Cream Sundae {vegan / gf}

I love love love nana ice cream. I'm so glad I found it years ago. Like where has it been all my life? It's nothing like real rich creamy ice cream, I get it. But when I used to eat the "real" stuff, I felt this need to control my portions {for obvious reasons} and I would subconsciously feel a tad guilty while consuming it? And that's just silly. 

But I have a feeling, I'm not alone. I think the guilt was real because a carton full of rich creamy dairy and sugar isn't exactly the healthiest thing. But at the same time, we all need to splurge once in awhile. I mean, come on! And I mean splurge WITHOUT guilt. 

But for the most part, why feel like that when you don't have to. I consume frozen banana ice cream {aka nana ice cream or nice cream as some call it} and can't stop at a few bites, but the good part is, I don't feel guilty but rather nourished! Whaaat? 

Food shame - you totally suck! What a dumb concept that I don't want my kids to have to deal with. But that's why I choose this health foodie life because who has the emotional energy to have foods in the fridge and in the cupboards that "temp" us or that cause us to have a mental battle of right and wrong and should and shouldn't eat. Or why battle with the kiddos on which foods they can't and can have.. Or again should and shouldn't have. bleh! 

It's just easier for me and my family to have a plentiful abundance of all these healthy foods that they can eat until they are full without being told to have just a little or being shamed into not eating things. It's not fun to hear the whining either {so maybe my choices are totally self fulfilling}. Of course we talk about candy and junk that looks good in the stores or at birthday parties and of course they can eat it and enjoy it. In fact, I rarely hide it and rather let them eat as much as they want when it's brought home. They will only really learn why some foods shouldn't be eaten in large quantities when they get super ill or queasy or they have sores in their mouths. I could say it over and over but they will never get it. My job is just to coach them through it. Not make them feel guilty about it but to just make sure they know that the candy is what made them sick or gave them that sore in their mouth.

Home to me is my place of health where my kids can worry about homework or sibling rivalry, or balancing electronic time, not what they are eating or not eating. Pancakes or waffles for breakfast? Sure! "Nana Ice cream for lunch?...ok?"

And nana ice cream is fun to make with my kids - and super simple. Not to mention, my boys love cooking more and more now as they get older. So why not teach them healthy recipes? Rather than baking donuts, I'd like to give them the tools to make healthy foods for their family one day or for themselves when they go off to college. That's a skill we don't usually acquire until later on in life. Why wait?

Anyways, enough chit chat. Sheesh. Sorry about that. Now about this recipe...

The key to this recipe is the bananas; they must be completely ripe with dark brown spots on the peel before freezing or the ice cream won't taste right. 

Nana Ice Cream Sunday Recipe


4 frozen bananas

1/2 tsp vanilla bean seeds or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup water or almond milk


1/3 cup almond butter or peanut butter {preferably salted, otherwise add a little salt}

2 Tbsp maple syrup or 3-4 dates, seeds removed

2 Tbsp cacao beans or dairy free chocolate chips

1/2 cup granola


In a blend you'll want to break up the frozen bananas into chunks. Or, better yet, cut the bananas into chunks before freezing them. 

In a high speed blender or food processor, you'll want to blend up the bananas and the water and vanilla on high until there are absolutely no chunks left and the bananas are pureed into what looks like ice cold ice cream. 

Serve immediately. 


For the almond butter sauce, you'll want to blend up the maple syrup {or the dates} and almond butter until it becomes a creamy sauce.

Layer the granola, chocolate chips and almond sauce in between layers of the nana ice cream. 

Hope you guys enjoy this!





I love Valentine’s Day. The logical side of me is always thinking this is such a silly holiday and an expensive one that is really unnecessary. But ever since I had kids I fell in love (pun not intended) with Valentine’s Day all over again. It doesn’t have to be a hyper consumer holiday. The best gift you can give somebody you love is your time, a healthy meal, a drawing, a note, or even a kiss. Each year I like creating really fun cards and gifts for our best friends and loved ones. We decorate the house with hearts and color with pink and glitter. It’s just so fun.

This year we plan to cuddle up and watch a family movie and drink hot chocolate with cute whipped coconut cream hearts. And I’m over at the Honest Company today sharing this creative recipe with all of you! These little hearts are like pillows of cold fluffy cream. And the hot chocolate is full of unique spices. Trust me and just go for it. You’ll be glad you did.

I am going to share on my blog today the recipe for these cute little whipped cream hearts. I'm attached a few instructional photos as well that Honest Company didn't post. 

But for the spiced hot chocolate, you'll want to head on over to their blog. 



1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight in fridge
2 Tbsp brown rice syrup
1 tsp vanilla (optional)


  1. Open the can of coconut milk and pour out the contents into a bowl. Separate the thick white cream from the water. Use only the thick white cream for this recipe. (Honest Tip: Save the water for a smoothie!)
  2. Using a hand mixer, whip the rice syrup, the coconut milk and the vanilla until everything is well blended and the chunks are gone.
  3. When it’s nice and whipped and thick and creamy, you’ll want to transfer this to a small baking dish – I used a bread pan.
  4. Flatten mixture and smooth it out nicely with a spatula.
  5. Freeze for at least 4 hours then use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Enjoy immediately.

Good luck and I hope you have a fun Valentine’s Day. Get creative and fill your house with hearts and pink and cupcakes! Why not!?

For full recipe and additional text please visit the Honest Company Blog. 

Cheez-Its made vegan + gluten-free

This recipe is so good you guys! I'm excited to share it with you all today. For complete recipe details, you'll have to visit BasilHealth where I am contributing this week. It's a little crazy that they do in fact taste cheesy, yet there's no dairy at all. I also made them gluten-free because why not? My kids loved them! And they were gone in less than a day. 

One thing I didn't do was include my kids in the cooking process {they just got to eat them} and I so wish I had because it's fun and easy - especially when you roll the dough out. We will make these again soon for sure. 

If you do make these, let us know what you think? Follow @BasilHealth and/or @JuliNovotny on Instagram and tag us in a post #BasilHealth or #PureMamas or comment below. We'd love your photos or feedback. 

Have a wonderful weekend everybody! Get the kids in the them learn to cook - it's the best tool for later in life and a great memory to make. Healthy cooking and baking is an invaluable lesson; something they won't learn in college or school. Check out my 8 year old in the kitchen making us all gluten-free waffles. He learned just by watching me. 


Valentine's Day [Healthier] Rice Crispie Treats

These "rice crispie" treats are so festive for holiday coming up in a few weeks. I love sprinkles because they add so much flair without too much extra sugar or food dyes and no overwhelming flavor. How cute are those little hearts?

Now what child wouldn't be jumping for joy over these little treats? They vegan and sans marshmallow but they sure are tasty, gooey and chewy. So you won't feel as guilty letting them devour one or even two. 

This recipe goes to show that Valentine's Day doesn't have to be all about spending tons of money or showering loved ones with gifts. What's so bad about a homemade batch of these cute festive treats? 

And did I mention they are incredibly easy to make?

Just 4 simple ingredients

No baking required

Kids can help you make them

No gluten

No dairy

No marshmallows



3 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal {I used WF 365 brand}

1/3 cup peanut butter {can sub for almond butter for nut allergy}

1/4 cup vegan butter {I used Melt Organic}

1/3 cup brown rice syrup

sprinkles, optional


1. In a large mixing bowl mix wet ingredients {butter, brown rice syrup and peanut butter}. Mix in the dry cereal, one cup at a time. 

2. Stir and Stir until everything is evenly mixed. 

3. Using some extra vegan butter, grease a baking tray. 

4. Add the rice crispy mixture and spread evenly into baking tray using a spatula. 

optional: sprinkle on your pretty hearts or other candy sprinkles at this point. 

5. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. 

6. Cut into squares and serve.

Store extras in air tight container. Should last a good week. 

Happy Valentine's Day.


Recipe adapted from TheBigMansWorld

Making this recipe? Share your photos using #PUREMAMAS on instagram. You can tag me as well: @JuliNovotny 

And feel free to leave comments or questions below. I love feedback. Thanks you!