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Healthy soft serve ice cream

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Soft-serve without the crap.

Soft-serve without the crap. by Sarah Henning

Like many kids, my 5-year-old is very much into the PBS show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” which, for those of you who don’t have kids, is a cartoon spin-off of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

As you can expect from a pedigree like that, “Daniel Tiger,” as the kiddo calls it, is full of the sort of wholesome lessons Fred Rogers taught kids like me back in the ’80s. You know, songs about brushing your teeth, being nice to friends, sharing, etc.

But Daniel Tiger also has something going for him I don’t remember from the original show: excellent eating habits.

Included in the rotation of fruits and vegetables Daniel eats on the show as a good example to the kiddos watching is something Daniel calls “banana swirl.” Basically: frozen bananas in a blender.

On one of the warmer days we’ve had recently, the kiddo was hot to trot on making banana swirl just like Daniel Tiger. Good thing I’ve been making it for years (so glad he noticed).

There are tons of recipes out there for banana soft serve — so many that I forget where I first saw it, but no matter whose recipe you use, it’s a delicious cold snack on hot days that won’t leave you feeling guilty.

Now, unlike Daniel Tiger, I make my “banana swirl” in the food processor. That said, if you have a very powerful blender and no food processor, you can try this recipe with that. I’m sure someone reading this will have a Yonanas machine, in which case you probably already know and love bananas as soft serve.

Raspberry-Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Per serving:

2 frozen bananas, sliced

Thawed frozen or fresh raspberries

Chocolate chips

In a food processor, blend frozen bananas, scraping down at the sides as needed, until a thick, soft serve texture is achieved (usually about 5 minutes). Top with raspberries and chocolate chips to taste.

Note: This works best if you make several servings at once, though how many depends on the size of your food processor. My food processor is 9 cups, and the minimum number of bananas I can get away with is 6. That said, mine also has a 4-cup bowl insert, and I can usually use 2 to 3 bananas in there just fine.

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