Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fruit Freeze: Part I

Here are some things people don't do often enough: Floss. Clean the lint trap. Save money. Experiment with frozen fruit. That last one is not a euphemism for anything. I believe that before resorting to ice cream and fro yo, we need to give frozen fruit a whirl. It's fun! Taking a normal, run of the mill, everyday fruit and watching it transform into its crystalline form is a playful and vaguely sciencey (it's a word now) experience. It's an interesting way to introduce new textures to your taste buds and obtain your daily sugar fix without that pesky post-consumption guilt trip.

In this vein, you may have recently seen the infomercials for a contraption called Yonanas -- a home machine that processes frozen bananas into some kind of ice cream-like substance. While it does look cool, I'm after something much more low tech than that. Here are some fun ideas to mess around in with in the fruit freezing arena:

Make a banana pop. The Joy of Baking has a nifty recipe for chocolate-coated banana popsicles that involves sundae-esque toppings like chopped peanuts or sprinkles.

If you want to opt for something on the (literally) crunchy granola end of the spectrum, Oprah's website has an old recipe for Frozen Yogurt Banana Popsicles which uses a traditional but yummy yogurt and granola coating.

Two major tips for freezing bananas:

1.) Peel them BEFORE you put them in the freezer. It seems obvious, but it's easy to inadvertently throw a whole banana into the freezer without giving it any thought (Not that I speak from experience or anything. It just SEEMS like a probable mistake for an otherwise capable, talented individual of above average intelligence to make...) Frozen banana doesn't peel. Word to the wise.

2.) Make sure your banana is good and ripe before freezing. You definitely want to see a healthy amount of brown developing on the outside of it. An under ripened banana is best eaten raw -- frozen, it just tastes starchy and weird.

One 6.5 inch banana will run you 89 calories, 1.1 grams of protein, .3 gram of fat, and 22.8 grams of carbs, 2.6 of which are fiber and 12.2 are naturally occurring sugars. Bananas are a great dessert fruit because they are packed with potassium (358 milligrams), soluble fiber, and have a higher sugar content than the average fruit. Case in point:

Tonight, following a lovely dinner of goat cheese and grilled onion appetizers, roasted asparagus, and tomato, mushroom and snap pea pasta, my new roommates, Sara and Liz, and I chowed down on a dessert of frozen blueberries, frozen grapes and Trader Joe's Gone Bananas bites -- chocolate-covered slices of perfectly ripe, frozen banana.

Well portioned, simply made and gosh darn tasty, I was definitely an advocate of this Trader Joe's product. And if my word isn't enough, turns out it also received ringing endorsements from several other random bloggers on the Internet.

One final note: If you've never experienced the simple pleasure of a frozen grape, don't delay a second further. A good frozen grape is a delight to the senses -- cold, crunchy, and juicy all at the same time. It's truly magical.

Sara, Liz and I have committed our summer to further adventures in frozen fruit concoctioneering (also now a word), so stay tuned...


Murray, Michael; Pizzorno, Joseph, Pizzorno, Lara. (2005). The Encycopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books.

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