Summer Aunt-ics in the Kitchen
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Jennifer Iannolo
Jennifer Iannolo is the Founder & CEO of Zenfully Delicious, a lifestyle company created to empower women with chronic illness to celebrate a life of indulgent wellness. She is also the co-creator of The Gilded Fork, home to the world's first all-food podcast channel.
I love spending time with my Rent-A-Kids during the summer. This year, however, I’m faced with a slight challenge: I’m doing a complete system detox right now, so all grains, sugar, and dairy have been eliminated from my diet. Now, my life with said kids largely revolves around what we cook and eat together, so this is going to require a bit of creative thinking.
But I fear not! My mental mouth is very agile, and she will lead me down the path of culinary righteousness. She stores flavor memories and combinations for me, and we pull out her mighty arsenal whenever the situation requires it.
In thinking through my options, I begin with two obvious summer refreshments: fresh fruit and Popsicles. At the most rudimentary level, fruits like grapes and strawberries are perfect for freezing and toting along to the beach or by the pool; but I want something a bit more...interesting. I also want a treat that will work for them and me.
That’s where Popsicles come in — but not those tired old Popsicles made of frozen fruit juice. They have to make my mental mouth sing and comprise the following criteria:
-No added sugar
-Interesting flavor combinations, preferably with a little kick, to make the kids think and explore
Now, as these children learned the word “gastronomy” by the age of 3, I think said criteria will please them.
My mental mouth goes to combinations like these:
-Oranges and basil
-Cantaloupe and ginger
-Pineapple and mint
-Coconut milk, cardamom, cinnamon, and peaches
(I really went there with that last one. Couldn’t help it.)
These duets and trios, for me, are evocative flavor combinations that will make my Rent-A-Kids stop and question and compare; the flavors will help them develop a discerning palate that is not simply overtaken by sugar.
Preparation does not need to be complicated, and there is no stovetop anything of any kind. It’s July, darlings — we do not boil things in July except for lobster; and that happens outside somewhere by someone other than “me.”
Here’s how to keep it simple:
Choose ripe fruit that will have higher sugar content. Frozen foods tend to be less sweet on the palate, so you want to have some leverage here.
Simply purée the fruit in a food processor with the herbs, put in Popsicle molds, and freeze.
For the coconut milk combination, purée the peaches; then slowly add the coconut milk. Make sure you buy the full-fat version, so it freezes well.
You can use pre-formed Popsicle molds, or go old-school with small paper cups and Popsicle sticks (which are slightly more fun in my opinion).
Voila! Summer at your fingertips in a healthy way! Have them experiment. Take your favorite Rent-A-Kids to the farmer’s market, and have them sniff, sample, create combinations that appeal to them. They might surprise you with their creativity!
Photo: Poulsen Photo
Published: July 23, 2012