Since I gave up dairy I have been on a quest to find a suitable substitute for frozen yogurt which is one of my favorite summer treats. First I tried the frozen food aisle at Whole Foods but after reading the labels of the dairy free frozen concoctions at the super market I left empty handed. I didn’t know what half the ingredients were and the products I saw were not calorie friendly. Although I can make a banana soft serve in my Blendtec or the food processor it only produces 2 servings at a time and I wanted to be able to serve the whole family a healthy frozen dessert. I had read about he Yonanas in the Engine 2 book and then while enjoying a little TV time one night I saw the Yonanas being demonstrated on QVC. It looked pretty easy to use and the only ingredients you need are frozen fruit. Not wanting to wait for a shipment to arrive I did a quick search on the Internet and discovered that my local Bed Bath & Beyond carried it. With my 20% off coupon in hand I headed for the store.
This frozen fruit dessert maker retails for $49.99 but if you have one of those BB&B 20% off coupons you can save a little $.
It’s very simple to use and comes apart easily to be washed.
Once you have the machine, all you need is some frozen bananas or other frozen fruit. You want your bananas to get all spotted as that is when they are super sweet. Peel them and pop them into a freezer bag and freeze until firm. I have been buying so many bunches of bananas at Sam’s club and Costco that people must think I have pet monkey at home!
When you are ready to make some frozen fruit desserts let the frozen fruit sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to soften just a little. The Yonanas machine turns it into a delicious creamy smooth soft serve. Although you can create something similar in your food processor or high powered blender it isn’t as smooth and creamy as this. I don’t know why that is but I love the texture from the Yonanas better. This machine is perfect for serving one or two or a entire family. When you have guests over you can let everyone have a turn at making their own! The perfect healthy dessert for all ages and all diets.
We also like to make a mixture of frozen mango and banana. The instructions say to alternate bananas with other frozen fruits but I have had great success using all frozen mango as well as a mixture of each.
Here is one where we used frozen berries, cherries and bananas (just give it a good stir at the end to blend it all together), then topped it off with some chopped almonds and cacao nibs. You can add chocolate chips or broken up chocolate bar in with the fruit as it goes through the yonanas machine but we haven’t tried that yet. I like to set out a variety of toppings, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, unsweetened shredded coconut and dried fruit. Delicious!
It’s a been a week since I posted!
Hubby Tom had last week off and we had planned on heading to the mountains for hiking but if you recall, last week we had a heat wave hit Northern California. That meant there was a strong possibility of thunderstorms and hot temperatures in the mountains which isn’t exactly hiking friendly. So we made some last minute plans to head for the Northern California coast instead. It worked our perfectly. We made Arcata, CA our base camp – okay not really camping, we had a lovely hotel room! From there we could drive to the most amazing National Redwood Forests and hike to our hearts content. Which we did! Some days we also walked along the beach but it was quite chilly and windy. I think the highest temperature we endured was about 71 degrees which the locals were complaining about – it hadn’t been that “hot” there in 15 years! By Thursday it had cooled down enough closer to home that we decided to drive down closer to San Francisco and hike the Point Reyes trail which we had enjoyed a couple years ago. This time around it was super windy and sunny. Although we did the entire 9 miles it wasn’t as pleasant as we had hoped.
Of course before leaving home we stocked up our travel plug in cooler with healthy eats. We prepped our dry breakfast cereal mixes into individual baggies and took large paper bowls to use as well as our unsweetened almond milk. Our meals out were no problem. I checked ahead of time on Yelp and Happy Cow to locate restaurants that had vegan and vegetarian options. Since the area we were staying in happens to be filled with lots of “hippies” (it actually said that in one of the hiking books I had) most restaurants had vegan and vegetarian options promoting local organic produce and locally made tofu products. Yeah! All the waiters were more than helpful in answering my questions about the vegan options and offering suggestions of what to order.
Some days we would eat breakfast in our room and other mornings we would take our breakfast down to the eating area in the hotel lobby. I took a small dish of the fruit salad only to discover that it was coated in a sugar syrup – really? Why does anyone think fruit salad needs sugar? My breakfast bowl was plenty satisfying and filling along with cup of herbal hot tea.
One of our favorite dining options was the Wildflower Cafe in Arcata, CA. This vegan Ginger – Carrot soup was so yummy and the home made roll was to die for. The food was so good we went back again a couple nights later.
I was trying to decide between this vegetable curry over brown rice or the black bean tacos and the waiter said I should go with the curry. He was right – it was out of this world. I couldn’t finish it but I wanted to.
We stopped and bought sandwiches to take on our hikes. This “Veg Out” sandwich came from the Central Sandwich Shop in McKinleyville, CA. The tofu cutlets came from the local Tofu Shop in Arcata that makes organic artisan tofu products. It was filling and so delicious. When hubby Tom saw my sandwich being made he decided he wanted the same one! It was so hearty and tasty he didn’t miss the meat.
Have you seen the bare fruit apple chips? We found these at one of the National Parks gift shops. They are also sold at health food stores and even Costco has a big bag of bare fruit granny smith apple chips.
I love that the ingredients read: Fuji Apples. That’s it, plain and simple. Some of the chips are more like dried apple slices not quite crisp but most of them are crispy like a chip. So fun to have a little healthy crunch with a sandwich. I love these chips!
Another meal at Wildflower Cafe that didn’t disappoint. This is the baby greens with steamed veggies, sprinkled with chopped nuts and seeds, a home made roll and a tahini dressing. Perfection.
Hubby Tom couldn’t pass up this special nutburger that was topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and avocado on a delicious herb bun. I need to find a nutburger recipe as he really likes these. Although hubby Tom does eat mostly a vegan diet he still enjoys a little cheese, eggs or a little meat now and then.
The Whole Foods salad bar is one of my favorite meals away from home. There wasn’t any Whole Foods in Arcata but we found one when we got closer to San Francisco in the town of Santa Rosa. It was a wonderful meal of greens,veggies and legumes. Yum!
We had a wonderful vacation week, the most amazing hikes we have ever been on – I will post about those soon – the pictures are good but you really need to see it for yourself to take in the magic of the redwood forests. We had plenty of fresh air, exercise and good times. The food part was easy, healthy and so satisfying. The good news is, even with all that eating out neither one of us gained any vacation weight. We did have 8-10 miles hikes to help off set any extra calories consumed but we also made wise choices about what to order. I usually allow myself a dessert or two when we are on vacation but this time we were always too full from healthy eats to even consider having dessert. I did however buy a little chocolate bar at the local food coop and enjoyed every chocolaty bite.
It’s good to be back to our home sweet home!
I’m so glad you are here. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.
When you travel do you take food with you?
What is your favorite kind of vacation?
We love to go to places where we can be outdoors and enjoy nature as well as trying the local food. We love to walk, hike, bike and be active on vacation.