Chocolate Cravings: Dreamy-Creamy Chocolate-Banana Chia Popsicles

Chocolate Chia seed popsicles

I have these popsicles to thank for my kids’ growing interest in chia seeds and their strange jelly-like properties.

When that old chocolate craving hits lately we’ve been diving into these cool dreamy-creamy chocolate-banana popsicles. I’ve always liked the idea of homemade popsicles, but somehow they’re always a bit icy and never quite get that luxurious consistency I’m after. Well we’ve done it! We’ve finally landed on what is, at least for my family, the ultimate popsicle! These get extra bonus points because the flavor reminds us of the frozen chocolate bananas you get at the county fair or at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  Continue reading

Move over Fro Yo & Bubble Tea, Here Comes Taiwanese Sno Ice!

We recently happened upon Taiwanese Sno Ice. A fun, kind of odd (well at least odd looking) sweet treat which is made by freezing a creamy base into an ice block then shaving it super thin and then topping it with cookie bits, mochi, sweet sauces, sweet beans and even, according to the menu, aloe vera and tadpole. Tadpole? I didn’t ask and I’m not sure I want to know about that one. Sno ice  is really light and airy while still being creamy. Luca talked me into the chocolate, but somehow I think the fruity flavors like mango would be the tastiest.

I’m making a predication right here and now that sno ice will be the next frozen dessert craze. It’s fairly low in calories compared to ice cream which mom likes and it looks like a crazy mochi spewing volcano which any kid would surely love. It’s a lot of fun to go through the extensive checklist of toppings and create a personalized sno ice masterpiece. I vote for the addition of gummi dinosaurs. How perfect would that be on a frozen chocolate mountain-scape? When the foodies out there get ahold of this one, I can only imagine the possibilities: salted caramel, balsamic reduction, wasabi sprinkles, cocktail inspired flavors. Just you wait, it’s coming and probably on a food truck.

We still love our fro yo, soft serve and bubble teas of course, but this is a fun new discovery definitely worth checking out. So far, I know of ony one place in San Francisco that specializes in sno ice, the very non-descript 37 Degress Cafe on Taraval way out in the outer Sunset, but we’ve heard some buzz about a place in Chicago called Cloud 9. Let us know if Sno Ice has landed where you live.

37 Degrees Cafe

1155 Taraval (between 21st and 22nd), San Francisco

Pomegranate Ice is Nice!

The rain has lifted (at least temporarily) and the glorious sunshine this week has got us thinking about cool, refreshing desserts.

Granita(or Italian ice) fits the bill perfectly. It’s incredibly light and refreshing and doesn’t require any special equipment like an ice cream maker or popsicle molds. Once you make it, it can hang around in your freezer indefinitely, and requires no cooking or particular skill to make. We’ve tried countless varieties from espresso to meyer lemon to cardamon-plum. While pink grapefruit is still my personal reigning favorite, pomegranate  (or “purple ice cream” as Luca calls it) might just be the current runner up. The color is absolutely gorgeous and the flavor is super delish — like a grape snow cone, but way, WAY better — and not an artificial color or flavor in sight. This is so easy that even a preschooler like Luca can do most of the work and making it gives him the chance to get his hands on the citrus squeezer and the whisk, his two very favorite kitchen tools.

Give it a try and experiment with you favorite flavors!

Pomegranate Granita

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice (fresh if you’re ambitious or bottled. If juicing the fruit yourself, you will need to let it settle so you can strain off the sediment that accumulates)
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)
  1. Mix all of these ingredients well in a plastic container that has a lid (wide and shallow is better, but you can get by with a 32 oz. yogurt container). Taste and adjust the flavorings to suit your taste.
  2. Put the lid on and pop it in the freezer.
  3. Mix the granita with a spoon every half hour until it is slushy and semi-frozen (3-4 times). Keep covered until ready to serve.
  4. To serve, scrape the fully frozen granita with the tines of a fork and serve in pretty little glasses or espresso cups.