Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Features and More

Frozen bananas make a great base for healthy ice cream alternative

An ice cream cone on a hot day brings me back to my childhood.

But a serving of vanilla ice cream contains about half the calcium of the same size serving of whole milk, and is higher in fat and calories, so I limit our outings. Because my boys delight in the whole ice cream experience, including the anticipation, we often make our own version. This way they enjoy it without the health hazards.

I know, I know, you don't have time to make your own dinner, let alone your own ice cream. Just try it. It takes very little time, and kids of all ages will get a kick out of the process.

The trick is a sliced and frozen banana. Slice a bunch, freeze on parchment paper, and store for when the urge for ice cream hits. To prepare, whip a handful of the frozen banana pieces in a blender until creamy. Right here, you have the equivalent of soft serve without the plastic-like aftertaste or the chemicals. Then blend in other foods such as strawberries or pieces of dark chocolate to flavor. It is that simple!

My boys have concocted some rather unusual flavors. Peanut butter and jelly, made with half a tablespoon of peanut butter and a handful of fresh strawberries, was surprisingly good. Raspberry, lemon-lime and orange were refreshingly sweet. I served a honey-lavender flavor at a dinner party and had to scoop out seconds.

Frozen yogurt might appear to be a more healthful alternative to ice cream, but most frozen yogurts do not contain the beneficial live and active cultures found in healthful yogurt.

If you're buying from the freezer section, Haagen-Dazs produces a product with just five whole-food ingredients that gets my vote. It still should be eaten in moderation, because it is high in fat and calories, but being free of chemicals is a huge plus.

So start freezing those bananas!

Comments
Downtown St. Pete’s 24-hour diner 2nd & Second is open

Downtown St. Pete’s 24-hour diner 2nd & Second is open

Downtown St. Petersburg’s only 24/7 restaurant has opened and doesn’t plan to close, ever. The 2nd & Second diner at the corner of Second Street and Second Avenue N will remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering a spot f...
Published: 12/12/17
Local Humana honorees are on top of their game at Florida Senior Games

Local Humana honorees are on top of their game at Florida Senior Games

Instead of the old adage "move it or lose it," approximately 2,000 amateur athletes 50 and older celebrated "move it and win it" during the Florida Senior Games, which ended Sunday in Clearwater. They competed in five-year age brackets in a range of ...
Published: 12/12/17
Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Hotly anticipated Ichicoro Ane is now open in St. Petersburg

Noel Cruz seemed remarkably chill. As did his partner Kerem Koca. All around them in the Station House building in St. Petersburg, workers pounded the last nails, bartenders unpacked boxes of glassware and jewel-toned bottles of Amari, and the kitche...
Published: 12/12/17
Party like it’s Christmas in Narnia with these recipes perfect for tea time

Party like it’s Christmas in Narnia with these recipes perfect for tea time

As a kid, I always looked for doors into other worlds. I blame Narnia. In C.S. Lewis’ classic novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, four British children step through a magic wardrobe into Narnia, a world filled with talking animals and plenty ...
Published: 12/12/17

From the food editor: How to make perfect, hot Crispy Roasted Potatoes

Sometimes, you just want a hot, crispy potato.I didn’t get home from work the other night craving a full dinner; I arrived at my house with cartoon visions of potatoes in my head, and knew I had to make it happen.I wasn’t looking for a fast food fren...
Published: 12/12/17
Cooking challenge: Making homemade edible Christmas gifts

Cooking challenge: Making homemade edible Christmas gifts

Should I infuse this vodka with bacon?That’s not a question I expected to ask myself on a Sunday morning, but here we are. This Christmas, I’m giving homemade gifts: infused liquor and chocolate fudge. But I didn’t realize it would be so hard to find...
Published: 12/12/17
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 12

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Dec. 12

Petula Clark: The two-time Grammy Award-winning artist is known for hits like Downtown, I Know a Place, My Love and I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love. 2 and 7:30 p.m., Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo. $34.50-$49.50....
Published: 12/11/17
Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

Mario Batali on leave from ‘The Chew’ and restaurant empire after sexual harassment allegations

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein story, chef and television personality Mario Batali offered up his views on how to combat sexual harassment in the workplace for an Oct. 30 video for Fast Company."You need a workplace free of fear, that harbors an...
Published: 12/11/17
Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s

Restaurant review: Let the food and outstanding cocktails at CW’s Gin Joint transport you back to the 1920s

TAMPAMaybe it’s the twinkling chandeliers. All skajillion of them. Or maybe it is the rhythmic syncopation of ice cubes in shiny shakers. It could be the old-timey metal dessert cart with its silver cloches and chafing dishes, or else the chummy-but-...
Published: 12/11/17
Restaurant review: 1895 Kitchen Bar Market needs to do a lot more to stand out in downtown Tampa

Restaurant review: 1895 Kitchen Bar Market needs to do a lot more to stand out in downtown Tampa

TAMPA Just a block away from CW’s Gin Joint, the folks at Urban Juice Co. have retooled, taking the historic Franklin building, one of the city’s oldest, erected in 1895, and re-envisioning it in September as 1895 Kitchen-Bar-Market, a "...
Published: 12/11/17