Frozen Desserts

A la mode: Super Fruit Bowl

Super Fruit Bowl

A la mode:

adjective
1. in or according to the fashion.
2. Cookery. (of pie or other dessert) served with a portion of ice cream, often as a topping: apple pie à la mode.

Food in bowls is very fashionable these days. Everywhere I go, I see people enjoying food from bowls. Burrito bowls. Poke bowls. Grain bowls. Noodle bowls. And now, Acai bowls. I’ve been seeing new businesses in the area serving super fruit bowls and wondered what the facination is all about. I checked out some their menus and was shocked to see that the average cost of an acai bowl is $10. Why?! Acai berries come from Brazil and are very perishable. You can get acai berries in the U.S. in pouches either pureed or in powder form. According to WebMD, “some studies show that acai fruit pulp is even richer in antioxidants than cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries.” And then they go on to say that “acai berries have no known health benefit that’s different from similar fruits.” Sounds like a lot of over-priced hype to me. Before I even had an “official” acai bowl I sent away for a package of powdered acai thinking that would be the most affordable and more sensible form of this super fruit. I wanted to create a “knock-off” version of my own. I was excited when my package arrived. Now what do I do to magically transform a powder into something super? I decided to use the acai powder as a supplement to frozen mixed berries. As frozen berries tend to be on the tart side I sweetened the puree with a bit of honey. I used just one-half teaspoon of acai powder to one-half cup of fruit and pureed it in my Blendtec twister jar. To assemble the bowl I placed a good amount of the berry puree in the bottom of a large glass, then added some soy yogurt, bananas, mangoes and low-fat granola. You can personalize these super fruit bowls by using different fruit in the puree or as topping ingredients. You could also replace the yogurt with chia pudding. Instead of granola, you could sprinkle on muesli, seeds, chopped nuts, dried fruit or coconut. The other day Bruce treated me to an acai bowl . While it was nice getting out for a special treat it turns out that my knock-off version is more flavorful than what they’re serving in the stores. Don’t be lured by the promise that one “super” food is superior to other, more affordable food. Make this “knock-off” version of those pricey acai bowls and make a healthy fashion statement of your own. . Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Super Fruit Bowl

This recipe makes 1/2 cup of puree, so you may want to double, triple or quadruple the ingredients.

½ cup of frozen mixed berries
½ teaspoon acai powder
½ to 1 teaspoon honey, maple syrup or agave

Add all ingredients to blender and process just until smooth but still frozen. If it comes out too soft, simply place in the freezer for a few minutes.

Toppings:

Granola
Bananas
Mangoes
Berries
Coconut
Nuts
Seeds

10 Apr 2018

Not Sharing: No Pudge Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

Brownie Sundae

Hot Fudge Brownie Sundaes appear on so many restaurant menus here in the States that they’re almost as American as apple pie. They’re usually made with a warm brownie, a scoop of ice cream, hot fudge sauce and whipped cream. Imagine eating that after a big meal. Like many other “health-conscience” restaurant goers, I often shared a brownie sundae with my friends. Even after sharing, I still left the restaurant feeling a bit “pudgy” and a little sick to my stomach. I threw together this version of a Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae last night. I just returned from a trip to Kansas and the cupboard was bare. I happened to have a few frozen bananas, strawberries and chick pea brownies in the freezer. I made a quick fudge sauce by melting dark chocolate with soy creamer. I processed the bananas and strawberries in my Blendtec blender and warmed the brownies in the microwave. The sundae was decadent in a delightful way. There was a nice contrast of sweet from the chocolate and tart from the strawberries; warmth from the hot fudge and brownie and cold from the ice “cream”. This No Pudge Brownie Sundae is full of good things that won’t weigh you down so you might not feel the need to share. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

No Pudge Brownie Sundae

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 10 frozen strawberries (about 1 cup)
  • 4 squares of chocolate
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons soy creamer or non-dairy milk

Fill a small pot with a few inches of water. Place a small metal bowl on top and add chocolate and creamer. Heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.

Process bananas and strawberries in a high-powered blender until thick and creamy. If it gets too soft, place in freezer for a few minutes.

Heat brownies in microwave until warm. (I usually microwave on 30% power for 1 to 2 minutes. Place a scoop of ice “cream” on top of brownie and pour hot fudge sauce on top.

 

11 Aug 2016

Smoothie Operator: Tropical Blizzard

Tropical Blizzard

Tropical Blizzard

I purchased a Twister jar for my Blendtec blender a few weeks ago, primarily to help process nuts for nut butters and non-dairy cheese. (A little pricey, but after the first batch of peanut butter I knew this was a great addition to my caboodle of appliances.) The Twister jar came with a little recipe book containing a few recipes for frozen desserts. The easiest one is made with frozen banana chunks. That’s it. With the aid of a special lid that has what looks like two paddles, frozen fruit is effortlessly churned into creamy, frozen desserts. Of course, I could not leave well enough alone and decided to freeze a bunch of fruit in small portions just for this purpose. I had an open can of lite Thai coconut milk in the fridge and decided to freeze that in an ice cube tray. And one afternoon a Tropical Blizzard hit our home. What went into my tiny Twister jar as frozen pieces of pineapple, mango, banana and a few coconut cubes scooped out smooth and creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. If you want to spike it up a bit, add a splash of rum or other liqueur. The recipe is simply a guide, so feel free to mix it up with whatever you happen to have on hand. I have to go now so I can clear out a shelf in the freezer for all of my blizzard ingredients. I wonder what tomorrow’s forecast will bring. Make yourself a Tropical Blizzard and make it a Vegi-curious day.

Notes: I don’t own a Vitamix so I don’t know how this will process. If any Vitamix owners try it, please let me know. I purchased the Blendtec on-line, but got the Twister Jar at Bed Bath and Beyond so I could use the coupon. I purchased the larger Twister Jar, not the Mini Twister.

Twister Jar

Twister Jar

Tropical Blizzard

Makes one serving

½ frozen banana, sliced
1 wedge of frozen mango, sliced
6 to 8 frozen pineapple chunks
2 cubes of frozen Thai coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)

Place all ingredients into a small blender and process on high until smooth. Serve immediately.

27 May 2016

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