mango banana helados

In these here parts, a popular treat is helados, little baggies of frozen fruit beverages. I don’t let my children buy the helados they sell on the streets for fear of all things bacterial (goodness, I sound like my mother!), and, oddly enough, they don’t fuss about their deprivation, probably because I pronounce Doom and Gloom whenever they suggestively point out a cooler of frozen treats.

I did, however, buy a bunch of little baggies in the market so that we could make them ourselves. Below is my most recent concoction—

Hang on. I just interrupted our house help’s industrious sweeping of our floors to ask how the people here make helados. 

She said they are simply fruits blended up with sugar and water or milk, depending on the type of fruit and the desired flavor. For example, strawberries are blended with water and sugar, while bananas and coconuts are blended with milk and sugar. Mangos and pineapple don’t have any liquid added to them, just sugar. And then there are plain milk helados that are made with just sugar and vanilla.

…um, wait. I just stuck my head out of my room to ask her a couple more questions, and this time around she said that strawberries, cantaloupes, watermelon, etc, are blended with milk and sugar. I guess this means there is no set-in-stone formula?

Okay then! So here’s what you do, says I. Just make a runny fruit smoothie of your choosing, pour it into little bags, tie them shut, and then freeze for the next day’s after-school snack.

tearing a hole in the bag

Note: eating them is half the fun. Bite a little hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag and suck, slurp, and chew until gone.

Mango Banana Helados

2 very ripe bananas
1½ cups chopped mango (the equivalent of one large, juicy-sweet mango)
1 pint peach yogurt
1-2 cups milk

Whirl it together in the blender. Pour 1/4-1/3 cup portions into long, skinny baggies. Tie baggies shut as you do a balloon (this is where a helper comes in handy—one to fill bags and the other to tie them shut). Freeze.


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  • Rachelle

    I like how your recipe doesn't actually call for sugar, the way the lady who does your housework said, I was thinking, as I read, that I am so unused to my smoothies having extra sugar that they would taste too sweet in comparison!

  • Margo

    they sound delicious. Do you have avocados? I keep running across the idea of a sweet avocado drink, like an Indian lassi, I think. I can't wait to try it this summer. Right now I'm bundled up against the 50 degrees outside and the furnace is still on.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Avocados, yes! In fact, I have an avocado-centric recipe coming up soon. (Only problem is, no one in my family likes them but me, which, I'm afraid, makes me irrationally irritated.)

  • sk

    If children aren't supposed to have sippy cups with that bad plastic, and if freezing bad plastic causes its contaminants to leach into the container food–? Just wondering. Nice trap you set there.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Trap? What trap?

      Mother. People bike in the dark, no helmets, no lights. People drink a soda and drop the can right where they stand. People cook over wood fires and breathe the smoke until their lungs are as singed as the roof beams. Children are fed only tortillas and candy. There is no such thing as ear protection. A full day's LEGAL wage is the equivalent of 10 US dollars (if you're lucky). So, you see, eating food contaminated by plastic is not really high up there on the list of things to worry about.

    • Anonymous

      In fact you should really add some bug spray or something to those smoothies just to level things out.

      okay, sorry. Love your kids.

  • Lauralli

    If you want to make these without a helper, just stand the bags up in tall glasses or jars with the top of the bag folded over the rim. Fill the bags, then twist and tie! Though I use the zip top bags here in the U.S., I do this when filling bags with broth or soups for freezing. I'm enjoying your adventures! Blessings from Arkansas!

    • Jennifer Jo

      Lauralli, excellent tip! However, the bags we use for these helados are super skinny; I'd have a hard time finding a glass skinny enough to try it out. My husband (reading over my shoulder) says it'd have to be a test tube, practically. (Not really, but kinda.)

  • Mama Pea

    M-m-m-m, yum! I guess I'm surprised to hear you have a freezer. (Is that a silly assumption?) A compartment with your refrigerator or a regular chest type freezer?

    • Jennifer Jo

      A chest freezer? No way! What we have is a little freezer in the top of our little refrigerator—a fraction of the size of the one we had in the states. And it doesn't even really freeze all that well. It takes a good 24 hours to make ice. But ice is ice, so yay!

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