Cooking With Liz: Banana-Cream


Frozen bananas with unsweetened cocoa powder and peanut butter

Liz Berndt, Staff Writer

Every year I give up white flour and white sugar for lent. I started this tradition three years ago when I decided it was time to be serious about fasting. I was told the point of fasting was to give up something I didn’t think I could live without, proving the only thing truly necessary in life is God. It’s supposed to be a sacrifice that helps you become more self aware, and I feel it has been very beneficial for me.

Supposedly, processed sugar is more addictive than heroin so every year I get nervous that I won’t be able to make it through 40 days. Walking by anything that smells like a delicious baked good is tempting. In the first couple days I have to consciously stop myself from picking up a cookie or anything else made with sugar (which nowadays is more than you think). They say it takes 21 days to break a habit and only one day to get back into it. I am only about two weeks into lent, so I still find myself double checking labels and periodically at a loss of what to eat. As each day passes, it gets easier to avoid sugar and flour; I find myself ignoring the sweets I would usually accept.

However, one very important part of fasting is putting on the face that everything is the same;  I suppose writing about it in a column isn’t exactly doing that. However, I think it’s important to preach how different you feel while not eating sugar or flour. At times, I think it’s all I want to eat, experiencing a kind of withdrawal. However, at others I feel significantly more energy, finding it easier to sleep and workout with their absence.

When people hear I’ve decided to do away with sugar and flour, they often look at me with sad pitiful eyes and bashfully ask, “What do you eat?” You would not imagine how many people don’t know there isn’t flour or sugar in corn chips or rice cakes or potatoes. POTATOES! When they really think about it, the reality that there is no refined white flour in potatoes is obvious, but the delay in understanding proves that people truly aren’t thinking about what they eat. When I say that I can eat rice, it take about a second to register, usually looking at me sideways and responding, “Oh yeah… I guess that makes sense.”

In addition to assuming I can’t eat anything, people immediately assume I’m a typical teenage girl attempting another diet. I am attempting a new diet, but my goal is not weight loss; my goal is to increase energy and overall better health. I genuinely believe that sugar and flour are what have made America fat, not fat itself. Whole milk is one of the most satisfying things in the world. Unfortunately, about thirty years ago the nutritionists made the grave mistake of telling Americans to cut fat, including whole milk, out of their diets. The loss of fat increases the amount of sugar in all “reduced fat” products. I would argue I wasn’t the McDonald’s hamburger meat that made Americans fat, but the super sized sodas and hamburger buns.

Finding food to eat is really easy, however it is fun to get creative with fruit. Since fruit has the highest sugar content (natural sugar is fine for my parameters) compared to everything else I am eating, it’s a great sweet-tooth quencher. Frozen bananas make delicious quasi ice cream. All you have to do is chop up ripe bananas, freeze them, then blend the frozen bananas with  cocoa powder and peanut butter in a food processor or blender.



  1. 4 bananas, just slightly overripe (brown spots good, completely black not so good)
  2. 2 tbsps creamy peanut butter
  3. 2 tsps cocoa powder

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