As it’s rather warm here in Sydney at the moment, my thoughts have been turning to cool frozen sweet options, as iceblocks and the like are a staple of an Australian summer! However, rather than ingest the sugar and water that makes up a majority of commercially available options, I decided to invest in some reusable moulds (and an exciting new gadget!) and experiment with frozen fruit options.
Softserve goodness – Yonanas!
First off, the awesome gadget – I have long wanted an icecream maker, but recognise that having icecream readily available will just lead me to eat it in large quantities and that doesn’t necessarily work so well with my fitness/health goals, so I resist and just have icecream when out of the house – much safer for my sweet tooth! However, when I discovered this little gadget, I realised that I might be able to have the icecream-style goodness without all the fat and cream and artificialness. So, our first exciting frozen delight – Yonanas! (NB: this is not a paid or sponsored post, I just discovered this awesome gadget and want to share the love!)
This is a kitchen gadget/machine that turns frozen fruit into the consistency of soft-serve icecream!! You freeze bananas and any other type of fruit, thaw for about 10 minutes, then shove into the machine and hey presto, soft serve!
And it’s only made up of whatever you’ve actually put into it (ie fruit, yoghurt), so it’s super healthy (in terms of knowing what’s in it and it being fruit, too much of a good thing can still be dangerous!) It’s a fun treat, and it really does have the consistency of soft serve – and if you’re not the biggest fan of banana-flavoured things, you can’t even really taste the bananas, they just work as a sweet binding agent for the other fruit you put in it! I love berries, watermelon, peaches (next time I’ll peel them to improve the consistency), and will also try pineapple at some stage.
My mango-loving husband tells me it also tastes great with mangoes (I’m not a fan, an act of sacrilege in a mango-loving country, I know!) – I use the machine for my serving, then he puts his mangoes in afterwards 🙂
The only downside is that because it is usually bananas and other fruit, it can be kinda filling, as we discovered on our first try, with a full banana and other fruit each, so we try to limit the amount we make – I find using about half a banana, with some berries, watermelon and peach, makes the perfect amount for an after dinner treat! And friends have put yoghurt in it with fruit, then put into freezer moulds to make frozen yoghurt – I haven’t tried that yet, but definitely plan to!
So, when we’re not enjoying Yonanas, we’re enjoying other frozen delights, also made from fruit. When out shopping in December, we came upon these awesome little silicone moulds, which are shaped like a Calippo iceblock (for Australians who know what that is, not sure if it’s elsewhere in the world). Basically, a little cone shaped mould, with a lid. We tried some with squeezed orange juice (watered down), which were nice and convenient as we had to use up the oranges that were getting a bit funny! Then I made some watermelon puree (I used our stick blender to mush it up, then strained to remove the seeds), and put that in with a couple of blueberries and some chopped strawberries, which floated to the top and made for a sweet and textural experience!! They stand up in the freezer and then you can squish them in the moulds for easier eating – highly recommended, especially because they are small enough that you feel like you’re getting a treat without feeling like you also had a large amount! We’ve made them with blended pineapple also, which has a slightly chewier texture, but still lovely and refreshing!
I also bought some iceblock/Popsicle moulds, the ones with the stick that you pour things into then eat off the stick, and made some pineapple ones, with some cut up peach, strawberry and blueberry at the bottom – see below!!
My most recent ones have been watermelon puree, with chopped nectarine, blueberry and strawberry – I tried to make it look fancy, ie place the fruit so that when you take it out of the mould to eat, it creates a nice pattern, but the fruit kept floating, oh well – next time, Gadget!! These are so refreshing and lovely at the end of a meal, just what you want on a hot summer’s night, and even better, they’re all fruit, so much better for you!
And, as there was some left over (and I hate waste, hence my reusing and freezing!) I put the rest of the mix into an icecube tray, so there will be little fruity ice cubes, to eat by themselves or add to water for a slightly fruity concoction!!
So, these are my suggestions for some homemade frozen delights – let me know your thoughts and your ideas!! I’m wondering whether making some slightly more vegetable-full ones would work, similar to a veggie juice … stay tuned!