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Going bananas for fruit's softer side

Creamy Blueberry Banana, left, Strawberry Lime, center, and Tropical Mango Banana soft-serve fruits are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Associated Press

Creamy Blueberry Banana, left, Strawberry Lime, center, and Tropical Mango Banana soft-serve fruits are as delicious as they are beautiful.

Pureed frozen fruit probably won't become the next bacon, or even cupcake. It's simply not sexy enough.

So-called soft serve fruit is, however, having a moment: recently becoming a darling of the mommy blog set, showing up on ABC's Good Morning America, inspiring a new countertop kitchen appliance, even spawning a product line and small chain of shops, the New York City-based Soft Serve Fruit Co.

And to be clear, we are talking about something that is precisely as it sounds — frozen fruit that is pureed until it reaches the consistency of soft serve ice cream. That's it.

Soft serve fruit is "the answer to an ice cream lover's cravings," says Francesca Borgognone of thedailymeal.com. "A fraction of the calories and mixed with the same type of fixings that frozen yogurt has — it can be sweet, savory as well as an any-time-of-the-day treat."

Soft serve fruit has been quietly building a following online, where recipes abound for turning all manner of frozen fruit into treats. Tanya Steel of epicurious.com has been onto this idea for a while, keeping foil-wrapped, frozen bananas in the freezer for times when she wants a treat that's not calorie laden.

"I started making them when my kids were little and I was trying to not only curb their constant need and quest for sugar, but also my own," says Steel, co-author of the cookbook Real Food for Healthy Kids.

>>Easy

Tropical Mango Banana Soft Serve

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen mango chunks

1 very ripe banana

¼ cup sweetened cream of coconut

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon orange juice

In a food processor, combine the mango, banana, cream of coconut and salt. Pulse several times to roughly chop, then add the orange juice. Process until very smooth; this may take several minutes. You may need to stop the processor several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl or move any chunks of fruit that aren't being pureed. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 at 140 calories a serving.

Source: Michelle Locke, Associated Press

>>Easy

Strawberry Lime Soft Serve

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen strawberries

¼ cup agave syrup or honey

Juice of 2 limes (about cup)

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Process until very smooth; this may take several minutes. You may need to stop the processor several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl or move any chunks of fruit that aren't being pureed. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 at 90 calories a serving.

Source: Michelle Locke, Associated Press

>>Easy

Creamy Blueberry Banana

Soft Serve

The bananas provide most of the "creamy" in this soft serve. They combine so wonderfully with the blueberries to create a silky, creamy dessert. If you want to keep it dairy free, substitute plain rice milk, coconut milk or apple juice for the regular milk. You also could use water.

1 (12-ounce) bag frozen blueberries

2 frozen bananas, cut into chunks

2 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch salt

2 tablespoons milk

In a food processor, combine the blueberries, bananas, honey, cinnamon and salt. Pulse several times to roughly chop, then add the milk. Process until very smooth; this may take several minutes. You may need to stop the processor several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl or move any chunks of fruit that aren't being pureed. Serve immediately.

Serves 5 at 90 calories a serving.

Source: Michelle Locke, Associated Press

Going bananas for fruit's softer side 10/02/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 5:30am]

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