Tag Archives: Popsicles

A Recipe for a Summer’s Day: Frozen Banana Pops!

14 Jul
Mr Banana Pop enjoying the sunshine out in the garden. Photo by Jess B.

Mr Banana Pop enjoying the sunshine out in the garden. Photo by Jess B.

Summer has finally arrived.

Yesterday the temperature outside hit a balmy 24°C – mid 70s Farenheit for all you non Brit readers! This is positively tropical for rural north east England!

Photo by Jess B.

Photo by Jess B.

Inside the house, well inside my compression stockings (that I’m now wearing to help with the dizziness and purple feet issues) at least, I swear the temperature hit 40°C / 100°F +. Oh my gosh July at the peak of British summer was not the time to need to start wearing compression stockings. I can not tell you how hot my little legs are! How you POTS readers living in far warmer climes than Britain cope, I have no idea!

With the temperature rising – “barometer’s getting low, according to all sources, the street’s the place to go…It’s raining men!”

Sorry, as I typed the start of that sentence The Weather Girls song popped into my head reminding me of my student days & nights out in cheesy clubs in Cambridge!

Song lyrics tangent aside – with the weather finally nice and hot, I decided it was time to make a frozen dessert. As previously mentioned, the list of Jess friendly foods has shrunk in the last few weeks, so buying ice cream that I can eat is now basically impossible.

Drum roll please….enter my new staple foods: bananas and dark chocolate! Yep that’s what it is people. A frozen dessert made from (amongst other things) bananas and dark chocolate. These are soooo quick and easy to make (who wants to be slaving away in a hot kitchen on a hot summer’s day? Not me in my compression stockings for starters!).

Fresh Fruit ready to go! Photo by Jess B.

Fresh Fruit ready to go! Photo by Jess B.

Lots of fresh fruit, a few nuts, some milk, throw it all in your blender and Bob’s your Uncle (what does that expression mean?!) you’re already half way to having a very happy, healthy and refreshing summer treat. What’s more, the bananas provide a nice high soluble fibre base to keep our digestions happy 🙂

Using the ingredients I list below, these babies are free from: gluten, dairy, eggs, soya, wheat, almonds, coconut, brazils, yeast. They are also very low refined sugar too – only refined sugar being that in the dark chocolate. I used 74% cocoa dark chocolate and general rule of thumb is the higher the cocoa content the lower the sugar (and dairy) content – at 74% there is no dairy. Not a drop.

Pop gets a close up! Photo by Jess B.

Mr Banana Pop. Photo by Jess B.

Right enough waffling. Here’s the recipe. Make, chill, enjoy.

This quantity made me 18 pops.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 1/2 a small whole fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup of hazelnut milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 60g dark chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp dairy free Pure sunflower spread
Naked Pops! Photo by Jess B.

Naked Pops! Photo by Jess B.

With their chocolate coats! Photo by Jess B.

With their chocolate coats! Photo by Jess B.

Method

  1. Place the bananas, pineapple and milk in the blender and blitz until smooth.
  2. Add the strawberries and walnuts to the blender and mix through with a spoon (don’t blend) in order to keep the pieces intact.
  3. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds or silicone cake cases and freeze for a couple of hours until solid.
  4. After a couple of hours, place the chocolate and dairy free spread in a small bowl and microwave on medium power until melted, stopping the microwave and stirring the chocolate a couple of times as you go.
  5. Whilst the chocolate is melting place baking parchment on a couple of baking sheets.
  6. Once the chocolate is melted you’re ready to go! Time to get messy (or perhaps that’s just me)!
  7. Remove the frozen delights from the freezer and carefully relieve them of their cases/molds placing them on the baking parchment.
  8. Using a teaspoon drizzle the chocolate over the frozen pops and pop the pops back in the freezer for a few minutes to set the chocolate.
  9. Sit back in a deck chair in your garden and enjoy a nice and refreshing, happy and healthy Frozen Banana Pop! Delicious even if I do say so myself 🙂

Quick note on molds to freeze these bad boys in – if you’re using silicone cake cases  instead of proper popsicle / ice lolly molds, which don’t have sticks, remove your pops from the freezer about 30 mins before you want to eat them so that they soften enough to be able to get a spoon into them without sending poor old Mr Pop flying! I left mine on the kitchen side and after 20 – 30 mins they were soft enough to easily eat. You could also thaw them for longer in the fridge.

Eat me! Eat me! Frozen Banana Pop. Photo by Jess B.

Eat me! Eat me! Frozen Banana Pop. Photo by Jess B.

Recipe adapted from Pocketfuls food blog.

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A(n) (almost) Perfect Saturday – with no thanks to BA

30 Apr
Chocolate brownies with peanut butter frosting. Gluten Free. Photo by Jess B.

Chocolate brownies with peanut butter frosting. Gluten Free. Photo by Jess B.

Last Saturday morning I woke up stupidly early, shortly after 5.30am. I turned over and tried desperately hard to go back to sleep. After a little while I gave up. My mind had started to whirl and over think. I picked up my iPhone to give my mind a distraction so as to prevent myself from needing to do a million STOPS before breakfast.

I was greeted on my iPhone by several What’s App messages from my dear friend Ruby telling me she had given birth to a beautiful baby girl the night before. Whilst I was awh-ing over the photo of Ruby’s new daughter, a message from Mr B popped onto the screen. “Have you read my text?” it said. The answer to which was no…I was too busy digesting vital baby stats (born at 7.21pm, weighing 8lb 3oz, 18 hour labour etc)!

Flicking over to texts on my phone I read Mr B’s earlier message “flight’s been cancelled, am on tomorrows”.  Nooooo, this was really rubbish. I had expected to wake up to find Mr B in the air on his way to Philly. Apparently British Airways had a different idea. Flight BA 0067 London to Philadelphia Saturday April 27 at 12.35 pm had been cancelled hours earlier for some inexplicable reason. After several very angry (Mr B is notorious for being Mr grumpy and obstreperous when dealing with customer services…I often pity the person on the other of the phone and yes he has been hung up on more than once!) and seriously unhelpful phone conversations with BA, Mr B  was none the wiser as to the cause of the cancellation, but had at least secured a seat on the same flight the next day.

So Saturday had got off to a mixed start: the high of Ruby’s baby news slightly dampened by BA’s utter rubbishness. But at least Mr B got a day on our sofa watching Sky Sports (every man’s preferred past-time?) and I got another day with my sister all to myself. So all was not lost and Lou and I had a really lovely day.

Beautiful blossom en route to Greenline. Photo by Jess B.

Beautiful blossom en route to Green Line. Photo by Jess B.

First up we embraced the obstacle course that is riding and pushing a wheelchair along West Philly pavements (think totally uneven and cracked concrete slabs with bumps, drop offs and crevices calling out for wheelchair wheels to get stuck in..) and headed to Lou’s neighbourhood coffee house Green Line Cafe.

Green Line Cafe West Philly. Photo by Jess B.

Green Line Cafe West Philly. Photo by Jess B.

Gluten free bagel at GreenLine Cafe. Photo by Jess B.

Gluten free bagel at GreenLine Cafe. Photo by Jess B.

Here I enjoyed a gluten free bagel and jasmine green tea whilst Lou had a giant coffee and pain au chocolat (getting in the spirit early she said for our holiday to France later in the summer).

Once we were suitably carbed and caffeined up we made our way to Clarke Park where there is a small farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. It was a gorgeous Spring morning, mild and with totally clear blue skies. The glorious weather made perusing the various offerings of the market even more enjoyable. We bought some giant organic carrots, apples and mushrooms as well as delicious looking Cheddar cheese bread for Lou’s lunch. One stall even had a few homemade gluten free baked goodies. Did we buy some? Silly question, of course we did!! I chose some peanut butter frosted chocolate brownies and a chocolate chip cookie.

Clarke Park Farmer's Market. Photo by Jess B.

Clarke Park Farmer’s Market. Photo by Jess B.

Clarke Park Farmer's Market. Photo by Jess B.

Clarke Park Farmer’s Market. Photo by Jess B.

Grandma's Gone Gluten Free goodies at the Farmer's Market. Photo by Jess B.

Grandma’s Gone Gluten Free goodies at the Farmer’s Market. Photo by Jess B.

We spent the afternoon hanging out at Lou’s apartment watching Parks and Rec, drinking tea (and eating the aforementioned brownies..). I did lots of relaxation tracks and talked to Mr B and our Mum and Dad on Skype. We even managed to fit in a little yoga following this yoga journal podcast.

A light dinner. Photo by Jess B.

A light dinner. Photo by Jess B.

After a really simple yet decidedly delicious dinner of scrambled eggs on toast with sauteed mushrooms, onion and spinach we went out for an early evening stroll to another of Lou’s local neighbourhood highspots – the popsicle shop!

Popsicles! Can you guess the flavours? Photo by Jess B.

Popsicles! Can you guess the flavours? Photo by Jess B.

Lil’ Pop Shop is an amazing little place, just around the corner from Lou’s place, that sells delicious homemade all natural popsicles (ice lollies to us Brits!). They come in both dairy and dairy free varieties. Their flavours range from pineapple and basil, coconut hibiscus, salted caramel chocolate brownie to mango ginger, earl grey and spicy mayan chocolate to name just a few. Having made the difficult flavour choice Lou and I sat outside the shop in the evening sun and ate our popsicles, they were soooo good! I had blueberry maple coconut (dairy and sugar free) whilst Lou decided to be adventurous (she assured me she’d had all the chocolate flavours on more than one occasion!) and had goat’s cheese, rosemary and apple. Their was a lovely atmosphere with undergrads having a study popsicle break and lots of people popping in for a popsicle after eating at one of the several independent eateries on the same street.

A couple more episodes of Parks and Rec and an early night (I was pretty wiped out thanks to my super early wake up) rounded off an almost perfect Saturday. If it wasn’t for BA’s cancellation of Mr B’s flight for no apparent reason, it really would have been a perfect a day.

P.s. As I sit writing this on Sunday morning, I am very pleased to say that BA is behaving today and Mr B’s flight is airborne, and he is on his way to Philly. So excited!!!!

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