Avocado Ice Cream and Fermented Fruit Leather

With the holidays upon us, it can be fun to come up with healthy treat alternatives. The following two recipes worked well for our Halloween.

Avocado Ice Cream

Blend in high-powered blender until creamy. Chill in freezer and store until needed. (It takes some time to thaw, unlike regular ice cream.) Garnish with coconut shavings and/or cacao nibs. Serve and enjoy!

Fermented Fruit Leather

This is a great alternative to the popular Fruit Roll-Ups. General Mills is currently facing a class action lawsuit regarding its fruit snacks. According to this recent article published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups are made from pears from concentrate, corn syrup, dried corn syrup, sugar, partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, citric acid, acetylated monoglycerides, fruit pectin, dextrose, malic acid, Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), unspecified “natural flavor,” and Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue1. . . .

According to the complaint, filed in United States District Court in the Northern District of California, the presence of partially hydrogenated oil in “fruit” snacks marketed as healthy and wholesome is deceptive. The artificial trans fat in partially hydrogenated oil lowers HDL, or “good” cholesterol, raises LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. CSPI states that the amounts of trans fat are small, but that they have no place in a product marketed as if it were healthful and a source of fruit.

“Defendant is conveying an overall message of a healthful snack product to parents when, in fact, the Products contain dangerous, non-nutritious, unhealthy partially hydrogenated oil, large amounts of sugar, and potentially harmful artificial dyes,” the complaint states.

Directions for Fermented Fruit Leather:
(adapted from this recipe by Cultures for Health)

Place fresh fruit chunks in food processor (S blade). I used 5 Granny Smith apples. Process until a smooth consistency.

  • 2 tbsp. whey or half a packet of starter culture
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Spices to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)

Blend or stir. Place in mason jar and place a lid on the jar. Allow jar to sit in a dark place at room temperature. I used whey and fermented for 5 days. Even then the mixture tasted sweet. If using a culture starter instead of whey, ferment for up to 10 days.

Spread the fruit mixture on sheets of unbleached parchment paper or ParaFlexx sheets, which are then placed on dehydrator trays. (Mixture can be strained through cheesecloth if it is too watery.)

An oven can work as a dehydrator provided there is airflow and consistent, lower temperature. Set the oven as low as possible and open the door slightly. Place a fan directed into the oven to create circulation. Drying can also be done outside on a hot, sunny day.

Allow the fruit leather to dry for 8-24 hours until smooth and no longer sticky.

My kids took these to school and their friends asked if they were store-bought! I can't wait to try them using strawberries and/or cranberries and package them in parchment paper for Christmas!