NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

September 26, 2012

Going bananas for soft serve fruit

Soft serve fruit is growing in popularity

(Continued)

“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, coauthor of the cookbook “Real Food for Healthy Kids.” Steel says her site has a number of frozen fruit dessert recipes and “we see incredible interest in them,” she says.

Soft serve fruit “makes so much sense,” she says. “It’s an almost guilt-free treat and you actually feel good about giving it to your kids and you feel good about giving it to yourself.”

For Chloe Epstein, a partner in the Soft Serve Fruit Co., the love of soft serve fruit began with bananas. Expecting for the second time (twins, as it turned out), she craved something sweet, but she wanted it to be healthy, too. Up to then her career had been in law, but she was always looking for innovative ways to create healthy alternatives to favorite indulgences so she decided to try to come up with her own solution.

“We started to experiment with frozen, old, over-ripened bananas in a blender, juicer and Cuisinart and learned, like many who play in the kitchen, that there was a way to create something like the creamy frozen consistency we craved without all the other ‘stuff,’” she says. The first few efforts encouraged them to incorporate soft serve machines and learn the steps needed to guarantee consistency and taste.

The big challenge was sticking to the goal of keeping the product simple — minimal ingredients — wholesome and nutritionally sound. After a lot of trial and error they found that fruit, filtered water and a touch of organic cane sugar — to keep the machine from “hard-freezing” the mix, not for taste — did the trick. After perfecting bananas they moved on to mango and apple, working with a food professional to get things right.

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