***Note: This post has been a compensated piece on behalf of Collective Bias and Fruti.Momma Told Me: Fruit is naturally sweet, it doesn't need any added sugar!
Ironically enough, for the daughter of the 'Ice Cream Man,' I preferred fruit based bars over ice cream cones and Fudgecicles. I recall there was one brand, who's name escapes me, I particularly enjoyed for the chunks of real fruit hidden inside the semi-translucent bar. Not only was this strawberry banana flavored treat smooth and creamy, but every now and then a sweet and juicy slice of strawberry would peak through the melting surface and tickle my tongue. I loved the texture, and I loved the natural sweetness. As an adult, I've had the delight of filling my own freezer with various frozen refreshments throughout the years. In all honesty, we keep ice cream bars on hand year round- they don't call it Sunny California for nothing! The past few years I've been making more deliberate purchases and educated snacking decisions. I've hunted relentlessly for a natural fruit bar that best imitated those favored childhood bars. I was frustrated to find, time and again, even the closest replications were full of corn syrup and color additives.
Recently I learned about a whole, new to me, brand of 100% natural fruit bars; Fruti. With a simple name that sums it up quite well, Fruit bars are NON-GMO verified and feature a simple list of fruit-first ingredients that ensure consumers are indulging in 'the real stuff,' rather than sugar and water. Their Chunks O' Fruit bars, found at my local Sam's Club, feature generous portions of real fresh harvested fruit frozen among a naturally sweetened fruit and water puree blend. (See more of our Sam's Club excursion in our Google + album, here.) 2 of the 4 featured flavors, Caribbean Mix and Strawberry, are less than 100 calories per bar, and receive minimal added (natural) sugars during processing. If you're like me, and shy away from value buys at big club stores like Sam's, you'll be tickled to know the cube of 16 Chonks O' Fruit bars featured in this variety pack are packaged by flavor in individual boxes. That is to say there are 4, smaller, easy to store boxes inside the large colorful package. This is something I've rarely found when buying frozen treats in bulk, and a great stress saver for me!
Judging the packaging, I would never anticipate the quality or flavor packed inside one of these fruit on a stick wrappers. Fruti has a lot to brag about with their corn syrup free, all natural, frozen fruit bars, but closely resembles something I would buy from the local ice cream bicycle cart. On the Sam's Club variety package there are a few recipe ideas intended to help you expand beyond frozen fruit bars to flavorful snacks and even alcoholic drinks. Of course the Fruti website has an even larger plethora of ideas and recipes to ponder. I'll admit, I was inspired to perhaps craft my own Fruti cocktail, but wanted to try the product on it's own first. Late one night I wandered into the bedroom with a Strawberry Fruti in hand, knowing it would pique the interest of the other half. Sure enough, no more than 3 licks in I heard "What's that?" I smiled coyly and ignored the question, intent on enjoying my treat. As it turns out, I could sense the chunks of real, natural, fruit as early as those first initial licks. Strawberry seeds tickled my tongue and the natural tartness of the frozen berries played tricks with the extra sweet frozen fruit bar casing.
As it turns out I am a very nice and generous individual; I shared my secret indulgence with Jay who promptly retrieved one of the Caribbean bars. The Caribbean Fruti has the largest variety of fruit and flavors with strawberries, pineapple. mango, passion fruit, and real coconut flakes. I tend to shy away from tropical flavors, though this was a very complex treat on the palette. Jay remarked multiple times about how he would voluntarily replace many of his everyday snacking options with that particular bar. At just 90 calories, compared to our favorite chocolate shelled Drumstick (260), we could enjoy 2 a day and still shave calories off the bottom line! And just think of the extra vitamins and nutrients naturally derived from additional fruit servings. Yes, the bars, themselves, were an instant #FreshNFruti hit.
The following day, with temperatures breaking 80, I decided I would create a little afternoon delight for Momma, and a special chilled treat for Sabrina. Combining a dash of new Bacardi Rock Coconut (coconut and melon) Rum with fresh Kiwi, Coocnut Milk, and Fruti Pina Colada and Strawberry Cream bars, I made a Strawberry Kiwi Colada in less than 2 minutes. Not only was this smooth blended frozen cocktail free of tedious preparation (and expensive fresh from the market fruits), Fruti brought the perfect balance of natural sweetness. While Fruti bars are great on their own, they can easily be incorporated into drinks and snacks by simply setting them on the counter for 2-3 minutes to defrost. The bar will still retain it's shape and texture, but easily bend off the stick. I broke a Caribbean Fruti into chunks and tossed it with some chilled fresh fruit for a healthy afternoon snack Sabrina inhaled. The simple addition of the fun frozen treat helps encourage children to eat the added fresh fruit!
What Daughter Says: Fruti proves no 'extras' are needed, just natural, delicious, Chunks O' Fruit.
Fruti Strawberry Kiwi Colada
***Printable recipe here
*2 Fruti Strawberry Cream Bars
* 1 Fruti Pina Colada Bars
* 3/4 C Coconut Milk
* 5 TBS Bacardi Rock Coconut
* 1 Fresh Kiwi, Skinned and Sliced
* 1/2 C Crushed Ice
Place ingredients, liquids first, in blender and blend on high for 1-2 mins, or until even texture is achieved. Garnish with fresh strawberry and kiwi slice.