Hey dudes! Happy almost Summer!
Not sure where y’all are located but here, in Baltimore- a.k.a The Salty Balty- temperatures have climbed to a sweltering degree, pools have opened their chilly waters to the masses, and summer memories are already being etched in time. I absolutely heart summer! It’s a season that I tend to associate with youth, bliss, and a touch of magic that can only be sensed during a warm evening twilight amidst a dancing swarm of fireflies. Can you tell I get a lil’ nostalgic about summer? ; )
My childhood summer memories are endless, and I treasure so many individually in their own right, but as I’ve gotten older I find myself generalizing what it was like to be a child during these special 3 months of the year. Long days riding bikes around the neighborhood, competitive games of “Shark” in the pool with friends, picking crabs (a favorite Baltimore tradition) for hours on the deck… followed by my favorite summer time dessert- a SNOWBALL.
I’m not certain when I discovered that “SnowBalls” and their makers- the infamous “SnowBall Stand”- only graced particular geographical hot spots and destinations. I can remember being fairly alarmed, however, that perhaps the majority of our great country was really missing out one of summer’s best gifts. Like… gosh, State XYZ has some spectacular beaches… but no SnowBalls? Sucks to be them. Just kidding… kinda.
So for those of you that are unfortunately living in one of these otherwise perfectly fantastic locations, let me fill you in. A SnowBall is a cup (NOT a cone of any sort), filled with crushed or shaved ice, and then covered in a sickly sweet corn starch-y syrup, and often topped with a thick and gooey marshmallow coating. The flavors to choose from are plentiful, and have vastly grown in numbers over the years. While hybrids of flavors have evolved- “Birthday Cake”, “Chocolate Covered Cherry”, “Strawberry Daiquiri” etc.- the old standards are always popular and available. Skylight, Grape, Egg Custard, and Watermelon… the OG’s of SnowBall flavors. Love you guys.
That being said, as my palate over the last few years transitioned to foods that nourish my body and I made the decision to stop polluting it, the summer SnowBall that I associate so strongly with my childhood summers struggled to find it’s place. Abandoning something that had woven itself so deeply in my trove of memories seemed almost… elitist…and judge-y. Yuck, right? How could something so right be so wrong, ya know? So what’s a SnowBall lovin’-Baltimore-gal-turned-health nut to do?
Make my own, OBVI. That’s right. I hacked a SnowBall, Blonde Beet Nirvana style… and changed history, at least personally, forever.
Ladies and gents, let me introduce to you… the BBN Watermelon Mint SnowBall. It took a lot of hands on research and perseverance, but it is officially a game changer. Say goodbye to GMO’s and the abundance of refined sugar. Say what’s up to electrolytes, Vitamin C, lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids! SnowBall lovers, are we psyched? Everyone else, you can unpack your bags because you don’t need to move to Baltimore anymore- you can do this too! We’d love to have you visit though : )
Many SnowBall enthusiasts will rate their favorite SnowBall stands based on one major factor: the consistency of the ice. The finer ice texture emerged in the 90’s, and those that held off in purchasing a new machine can really be equated to those that still covet a VCR somewhere in the basement, beckoning for video tapes to become trendy again. It’s like that quote from the movie Mean Girls- “stop trying to make ‘fetch’ happen, okayyyy?” ( P.S. Dad, that’s you). That fine ice texture has always been a challenge to replicate, in the home, however. A blender tends to liquefy everything, which is great for your flavoring, but decimates the concept of a real SnowBall.
Behold, the Zoku Slushie and Shake Maker. Zoku is not paying me for this endorsement, so you can absolutely trust my sincerity. Zoku, if you would like to pay me for this endorsement, I’m okay with that too. See my contact info to reach me ; )
Zoku cups can be purchased online from numerous places- Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Amazon, Williams & Sonoma, etc. Each cup runs about $20, but if you consider that each SnowBall you buy costs roughly $3-5, you should easily brake even in one summer. Zoku cups remain in the freezer until you are ready to use them. They come with a long, flat, white stick of sorts. This is used to scrape the sides of the cup as the liquid freezes… until a fine ice has formed… just like that, you have a SnowBall!
There are a myriad of different flavor concoctions you can make for your Zoku SnowBall, but as promised I’ll share with you the newest fav in my house:
BBN’s Watermelon Mint Snowball:
Ingredients for 2 Zoku SnowBalls:
– 1/4 of a large Watermelon. Some fun health facts: Watermelon, is 92% water- perfect for hydrating! Additionally, it is packed with significant levels of Vitamins A, B6, and C, plus loaded with lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. And delish.
– 1/4 of 1 carton of Coconut water. Coconut water is full of electrolytes and has a high concentration of fiber! Caution- there are a lot of substandard Coconut water brands on the market. You want a coconut water that is made of young Thai coconuts, hasn’t been heated, and doesn’t contain extra sugar. Bmore folks- places like Zia’s (located in Towson and Belvedere Square Market) will actually slice open coconuts for you to bring home. Otherwise, I like the brand Suja, sold at many supermarkets and even Target!
– a couple sprigs of organic mint
– optional packet of raw stevia to sweeten
1. Blend the above ingredients in a blender until it becomes a liquid.
2. Pour into Zoku cups.
3. Allow to sit for approximately 4-5 minutes. It will begin to solidify on the sides at this point.
4. Scrape the sides periodically for the next 5-7 minutes until it becomes a textured fine ice.
5. Garnish with a sprig of mint, Fancy Pants.
Till next time…