I came across a really good blog post last week about using frozen bananas in place of popsicles as a cool and healthy summertime sweet and felt inspired to bring it up. Although I’ve been enjoying frozen bananas for many years, even I was surprised to read about some of their great health benefits that are posted in this list. Turns out an apple a day gets a run for its money with the banana.
Here’s the link if you’d like to read it yourself, and I think you should to get the great banana facts and in addition to that there’s a lot of valuable information on the health dangers of sugar.
Since I wouldn’t be caught dead eating a popsicle or any other treat with sugar in it, I couldn’t agree more that frozen bananas are one of the best ways to keep cool on a hot summer day. Snacking on a popsicle or a bowl of ice cream loaded with sugar and a variety of other unhealthy ingredients is just unacceptable, however in the heat of summer there are times we absolutely must indulge in something cool and delicious now and then, so we must find healthy substitutes. We don’t want to feel deprived and eating something cool is a really great way to bring down the body temperature.
I have several different little tricks I do to my bananas to give me some variety. Sometimes I freeze them whole and then pull them out whenever I’m in the mood and eat them just like a popsicle. Other times, I mash them in a bowl while they are fresh and stir in a spoon of almond butter, cashew butter or macadamia butter, add a dash of cinnamon and then stick the bowl in the freezer for a few hours. This gives you a treat that has the consistency of ice cream.
Another option is to freeze them whole and then put them in the blender when frozen with one of my favorite nut butters and cinnamon. Although the last option uses the same ingredients as this option, you get a different consistency when the nut butter is added before freezing than you do when it is added after freezing. Both are very good, but it’s nice to have the variety in texture.
Now there is one thing to keep in mind in regard to bananas. They are high in natural sugar and this can be problematic for some people with Candida overgrowth, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, adrenal fatigue, sugar addiction, obesity or diabetes. Adding the nut butter gives it protein so it becomes a more complete treat with more nutrition and it’s better for stabilizing blood sugar that way. However, do be aware if you are trying to lose weight or recovering from sugar addiction, bananas can trigger a binge. Due to their sugar content, bananas should be reserved for special occasions, not something you eat daily.
However, another option in place of the banana that I practice quite regularly is freezing other fruits as well. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are all low in sugar and freeze up quite well. Just throw them in the bowl and snack on them like crackers or put them in a blender and make sorbet.
Actually I usually buy Cascadian farms organic frozen fruits already in the bag. This makes it easy and convenient. They have all different kinds to enjoy. In addition to all the berries, they also have mangos and peaches. You should always try to eat organic foods whenever possible to avoid toxic pesticides and fruits that aren’t organic have very high levels of pesticide.
Another very cool and healthy summertime sweet is to mix any of these frozen fruits with a cup of yogurt, a dash of vanilla and a little stevia. This is absolutely delicious. You can also add a handful of crushed nuts. My favorites are strawberries and yogurt with walnuts and stevia and my second favorite is blueberries, yogurt and stevia. On a really hot day after I mix them up, I stick the bowl in the freezer and let it freeze the mixture up a little bit and then it’s extra cold and refreshing.
So, if you’re looking for some cool and healthy summertime sweets that are easy and scrumptious, give some of my recipes a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.