Mini-me meal…soft-serve banana and berry icecream

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These hot summer days beg a refreshing treat from time to time. I’m not completely averse to sweet treats for the littlies, everything in moderation is my mantra, but I do like to keep the sugar levels in check where I can. The genius of this recipe is that you can fool the kids into thinking they’re about to eat something slightly naughty when in fact it’s packed full of goodness. By all rights they should be spitting it back out, not that they need to know that.

Naturally this recipe is a cheat’s version, we’re busy people after all. It’s another gem of an idea I garnered from my friend Ruth, whose kids clearly eat like miniature Kings and Queens on a daily basis. I personally think it’s best served immediately after making. It’s not icecream per se, more of a soft-serve which goes quite frosty when put into the freezer. You can get around this by removing portions from the freezer and allowing them to sit for about half an hour prior to eating and give them a quick whip with a spoon to return them to their original soft, gooey consistency.

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The recipe below is quite virtuous in that it uses plain yoghurt in combination with the berries and banana. On the second occasion I made this I didn’t quite have enough yoghurt in the fridge so I supplemented it with a decent dollop of whipped cream, which happened to be on hand thanks to a delicious cake I’d just served up for friends. This version was, unsurprisingly, a little more on the luscious side…so give that a go too if the contents of your fridge are playing ball.

Ruth’s recipe uses raspberries but I chose to use strawberries as my fussy little princess turns her nose up at raspberry seeds. If you use strawberries it’s helpful to chop them roughly first so the blender doesn’t have a meltdown trying to dissemble them whilst frozen.

BANANA & BERRY ICECREAM

INGREDIENTS (makes four little-person-sized serves)
100g banana – peeled weight
40g frozen berries – strawberries or raspberries work well
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp natural yoghurt (I used the very delicious Retro Organics)
1.5 tsp manuka honey (any other type of liquid honey will do)

METHOD
1. Chop the banana into small pieces and put in the freezer until solid. Do the same with fresh berries if you have them, otherwise pre-frozen berries from the supermarket are fine.

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2. Place the frozen banana into a food processor and blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

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3. Add the berries, vanilla, yoghurt and honey to the blender and blitz again until smooth and luscious.

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4. Serve immediately in small bowls or freeze in individual portions until required.

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