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Crave: Sweet Frozen Treats

Healthy Frozen Treats

Image thanks to Vegan Feast Catering

Although it has been a rather snowy spring here in Denver, it looks like the sun may finally be sticking around for a bit.
And soon it will be time for sunscreen and long, hot days…and the ice cream trucks jingling around every corner.
That oh-so-familiar jingle that can make even the strongest amongst us salivate like one of Pavlov’s dogs.
Drumsticks, and rocket pops, and creamsicles, oh my!
So, what are you to do when you want a little frozen treat, but don’t want to stray from your healthy habits?
Here are a few ideas for healthy frozen treats…

Yogurt Frozen Strawberries:

This recipe couldn’t be a whole lot easier, and is terrific because it can work with a variety of berries, or be changed up by using a different flavor of Greek Yogurt…
1 carton fresh strawberries
2 cups vanilla Greek Yogurt
Wash and dry the strawberries, then trim the tops and cut strawberries in half (or leave whole depending on size).
Using a toothpick, dip the strawberry halves into the Greek yogurt until coated. Distribute the coated strawberries onto a cookie sheet and then place into the freezer.
After about an hour, the strawberries can be transferred into freezer bags or Tupperware for easy storage. When you want a treat, grab a few and enjoy!

Frozen Chocolate Bananas:

I first had one of these at a fancy ice cream shop when I was a kid, and have loved them ever since. Simple and delicious.
4 ripe but firm bananas
8 popsicle sticks
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
optional: chopped nuts, granola, or coconut flakes for dipping
Peel each banana and cut in half crosswise. Insert a popsicle stick carefully into each half to avoid splitting.
Arrange the bananas onto a tray and freeze until solid, at least one hour.
Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or follow microwave directions. Hint: a tiny bit of coconut oil or other healthy oil may be stirred into the melted chocolate to make it smoother.
Pour melted chocolate into a tall glass. Dip each frozen banana into the chocolate and turn to coat. Once it is coated, the banana can then be rolled into chopped nuts, granola, or coconut flakes if desired.
Serve immediately, or wrap in plastic and store in the freezer.

Peanut Butter and Banana Ice Cream:

If you haven’t tried using frozen banana chunks as an ice cream base, I highly recommend it. When tossed in a food processor they create an incredibly smooth texture and great base for a lot of flavor options.
2 peeled bananas, sliced and frozen until solid (very ripe bananas will work the best)
3 tbsp peanut butter
1-2 tsp honey
Blend frozen banana slices in food processor until they reach the consistency of soft serve ice cream.  Add the peanut butter and honey and blend until combined.
Serve immediately, or return to freezer for a firmer consistency.
Note: this recipe allows for endless variety – try blending the frozen bananas with other frozen fruit and a splash of milk, or blend with cocoa powder and vanilla for a chocolaty treat.