Happily Whole

Living well from the inside out

Serving Up a Lesson on Simplicity with Simple Summer 'Soft Serve'

This summer I’m on a quest for simplicity.  It feels good!

Whether it's in how I spend the day or through the food that fills our plates, sometimes step-by-step directions just aren’t necessary. For the simple things in life, we don’t always need structure, routine or long lists of ingredients. As a beginner to this idea, I’m learning this ‘simple’ lesson little by little and, as my antidotes are so often inspired, a recent time in the kitchen supports my conclusion that sometimes simplicity makes life so much more satisfying.  

As a self-proclaimed ‘planner’, it’s always been against my nature to fly by the seat of my pants. I’m the organized, structured type who likes to know what to expect. 

But, I can honestly say the last couple years ushered in a slow but sure shift in my perspective. It’s not just one instance that got me to consider how a bit of looseness in my life might actually be MORE productive and certainly more soul satisfying.  Of course, my first earth-shattering experience calling into question my approach to daily living slammed me into unexpected, unplanned, utterly unstructured change: the world of widowhood. The death of my husband and the legacy he’s left behind, forced me to face my fast-paced, flawed perspective.  I realized I too often missed simple pleasures and small but profound purpose in the precious moments nestled neatly inside the mundane.

Then more slowly God's hand gently guided me into ideas once foreign: what real authenticity means in the moment, how living well starts on the inside and that blessings abound in the simplest things. 

Maybe my prior definition of productivity wasn’t so purposeful after all! It's as if light shined into the shadows showing me how He could bring brightness into the most unassuming, even the darkest, moments. It was in those newly lit shadows, in the simple corners and crevices of my new life, where I started seeing the blessings alongside the heavy burden. Had I still been moving fast, straining to keep my own tightly knit structure, I'd have missed His message in the mundane!

 As I lean less on my own know-how and loosen my grip on my own self-set-standards, I trust more in God’s will for my family. After a life of type A tendencies, it feels freeing! His love for me isn't performance based. So, instead of sinking in complicated self-evaluation, I realize there's no need to strive to make myself more than I already am in Him.

I also have learned to let go of the control I used to grip so tightly to. Okay, well mostly…I still like my house tidy, my calendar fairly organized and things like food to be prepped ahead. But my approach and intent is different. It’s okay if things don’t go just the way I planned. Rather than anxiously organizing everything, I decluttter as a part of a more peaceful, purposeful process--a process starting in my soul.

I try to treat the ‘doing’ as delicately as the destination. Yes, even in the simplest tasks. Sometimes simply sitting with my girls is the most productive thing I do in a day.

This shift, obvious already to some of you, has made life so much simpler and more satisfying. I actually feel gratitude for so much more when I do a little less. And when my plate does overflow with too much to do, it's a perspective of peace and my presence with HIM that pulls the simple blessings alongside me. 

So, now somehow this sweet little frozen treat has become something tangible to remind me how He blesses us big with the simplest pleasures. Simple ingredients. Simple process. Simple flavors. And simple recipe…actually, no real recipe needed! But, I’m still listing it here so you have it on hand.

Enjoy my version of simple summer ‘ice cream’ and savor life’s simple flavors…

There’s no simpler, fresh summer indulgence than simple, real foods tossed into a food processor and served up on a hot day. These refreshingly and naturally sweet frozen treats will cool and rejuvenate you without an ounce of guilt. Kid friendly and palate pleasing for adults, too! 

Here are 2 frozen treat options: Mango 'Frozen Yogurt' and 'Banana Soft Serve'


  • 1. Mango 'Frozen Yogurt':
  • 10 ounce bag of frozen mango pieces
  • ½ cup full fat, plain yogurt (Greek Yogurt can also be used)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey (locally sourced is always best if you can find it)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom (optional. I think it makes more a more adult-like frozen treat, but my girls both gobbled it down, too.)
  • Optional: toppings. We used fresh strawberries and it was delectable!
  • 2. Banana 'Soft Serve'
  • Peeled, chunked and frozen bananas (I use 2 to 3 very ripe bananas)
  • Plain almond milk (if necessary when processing. Or you can use other dairy or nondairy milk)
  • Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • toppings. We used mini chocolate chips

Recipe Instructions

Mango 'Frozen Yogurt'

  • Put all of the ingredients (except optional topping) into a food processor or a very high powered blender. 
  • Process/blend all of the ingredients until well mixed together and they turn into a creamy yogurt consistency. I had to stop the processor, separate the frozen mango chunks and scrape the sides down a couple of times. 
  • Dish up, add toppings and enjoy! You can freeze leftovers but it will get very hard in the freezer. So, you'll have to let soften before serving.

Banana 'Soft Serve'

  • Put the frozen banana chunks into the food processor or very high powered blender. 
  • Process/blend until all chunks are combined and very creamy, the consistency of soft serve. You may have to add a tablespoon or two of milk (I used unsweetened almond). I stopped the processer a couple of times to separate the frozen banana chunks. It WILL all blend together. 
  • You can add the natural peanut butter if you want to include that flavor. We usually do not, but it is yummy for a variation! 
  • Dish up, add healthy (real food) toppings if desired and enjoy! 
  • You can freeze for later but it will get very hard. So, you will have to allow it to soften before eating. 

Recipe Notes

This is such a kid friendly frozen treat and so fun because they can help make it. We have served these as 'ice cream Sundaes' to friends and family and everyone seems to love it! What a healthy way to treat yourself in the summer! 

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