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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Banana-Berry Soft Serve

Guilt Free Ice

I would argue that there isn't much better in life than a cool and refreshing ice cream cone on a hot and humid day. I think everyone can agree that ice cream and summer-time definitely go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, on average a ½ cup serving of vanilla ice cream weighs in at about 15 grams of added sugar, 5 grams of saturated fat, and 150 calories. Once you add in a cone and toppings these numbers only increase. Ice cream is not a "bad" food and there is room to enjoy all your favorite foods in moderation but wouldn't it be great if there was a soft-serve style of treat that you could enjoy every night without guilt? There is!

Frozen bananas pureed in a food processor end up giving you the same cool and delicious texture of ice cream; instead of saving over-ripe bananas for banana bread or tossing in them in the trash, remove the peel, chop it in small chunks and place them in a freezer safe container. One medium banana is approximately 100 calories, contains 0 g of total fat, 14g of natural sugar. Although the grams of sugar in the ice cream versus the banana puree may seem to be the same thing, nutritionally they don't stack up the same. Natural sugars, like fructose found in fruits, are encased in fiber which greatly affect the way they are metabolized in our bodies! The fiber helps to slow absorption of fructose into the blood stream. Added sugars are usually absorbed into the blood stream very quickly and can cause our blood sugar to sky-rocket. Natural sugar also tends to come from sources that are more nutritionally dense their added sugar counterparts. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that added sugars make up no more than 10 percent of our daily calories. To put this into perspective that means for a 2,000 calorie diet, no more than 200 calories per day should come from added sugar.

Banana-Berry soft serve (Printable PDF)

1 Banana, frozen

~3-4 whole strawberries, frozen

Add banana and strawberries to food processor and pulse for about 1-2 minutes or until mixture becomes smooth and creamy in texture. Mixture can be transferred to a freezer-safe container and placed in the freezer for ~1 hour for a thicker "ice cream" texture or can be eaten as is as a soft-serve consistency.

Yield: 1 serving

Nutrition facts (per serving):130 calories, >0.5 grams fat, 1 gram sodium, 33 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 2 grams protein

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