Healthy, frozen summer treat

There are a lot of recipes circulating that claim to be healthy “treat” food. (If we’d stop using language like that, it would take away some of their power.)

Unfortunately, all of the ones I’ve seen and/or tried are either not actually healthy or not actually tasty. Sure, I can make cookies out of oats and applesauce, but the results are unpalatable.

This recipe, however, is different! It is healthy! And it is delicious! (Unless you hate or are allergic to bananas…)

The Safeway near us occasionally has “overripe” bananas for cheap. At least half of the bananas in the bag are at their peak of ripeness — not crunchy, not mushy. Perfect. But the skins have brown spots on them, so people won’t buy them. (People, you are foolish!)

Your folly is my gain! I get a bunch of ripe bananas cheap.

Some of the bananas are a bit past their prime. And by the next day, maybe two, they’re really not delicious to eat any more.

What do you do with overripe bananas? Well, you can make banana bread, but anything with that much sugar in it isn’t really bread—it’s dessert. And while banana bread is delicious, it’s not how I want to spend my calories.

Peel the bananas, break them into pieces, lay them on a plate or a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. No need to cut out minor flaws. After a couple of hours, they’ll be frozen, and you can put them in your storage container of choice. (We’re a glass family here, so no plastic bags.)

In buying a watermelon recently, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. We ate some; the rest we chopped up to eat later.

When later came, we decided to turn it into ice cream. Or a smoothie. Whatever you want to call it.

We put about two frozen bananas and maybe two or three cups of watermelon pieces in the Vitamix, turned it on, and voila! Delicious frozen treat!

Cold, creamy, sweet, perfection!

We did it again a day or two later (these things are a staple in the summer around here), but instead of watermelon, we used peaches. (Organic, please—peaches are on the dirty dozen.)

Actually, we’ve done this one with a variable—with room temperature peaches and with frozen peaches. Frozen peaches win. I was surprised at how different they tasted.

Went to the store, bought two peaches, cut them into chunks, stuck them in the freezer for a couple of hours. (You could also just buy frozen peaches.) Put the peaches and two frozen bananas in the Vitamix. I added a couple of spoonfuls of plain yogurt and a bit of water. With fresh fruit, water isn’t necessary, but if everything in there is frozen, maybe a quarter cup of liquid gets the job done. I would have liked to try almond milk, but we didn’t have any. 

I sometimes will throw in some spinach. If you put in just a handful, it turns the whole thing green, but it doesn’t taste spinach-y. I find that the blender chops frozen spinach more efficiently than fresh. So even when we have fresh, I put it in the freezer. (It freezes really quickly!)

The possibilities and combinations for this are nearly endless. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and nut butters, seeds and seed butters, milks, maybe even a dash of cinnamon or cocoa powder. (Cocoa powder is bitter, so use sparingly.) As long as what you put in it is unsweetened and not highly processed, you should end up with a delicious healthy treat!

You can also take this and pour it into popsicle molds. Yum!

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