Local mom creates Little Lulu's Italian Ice as healthy summer treat

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Just a few more weeks left of summer, but our Hungry Hound isn't letting that stop him from indulging in a few more cups of Italian ice.

ABC7 Chicago's Steve Dolinsky said a relatively new option in Portage Park offers all of the classic flavors and they make it all from just a few ingredients in a tiny store each day.

When a Portage Park mom realized all her kid liked was ice cream she sought to find a healthier option to keep them happy and cool on hot summer days.

Having no prior experience, the professional wedding photographer taught herself how to make the delicious treats and then opened a very personal storefront along Montrose.

With summer fleeting, the window to indulge in icy cold, vibrant Italian ice, loaded with fresh fruit is quickly counting down.

At Little Lulu's in Portage Park, they make their 15 or so flavors every day using just a few ingredients.

"Fruit, water, sugar. I wanted to make something healthier," said Little Lulu's owner Autumn Bastyr. "My kids are ice cream connoisseurs and they wanted it all the time. I wanted to give them something that was a little better for them."

After combining her fruit with sugar syrup, lemon juice and water, she gets out her enormous immersion blender to mix it all together.

Once the mixture is pretty smooth she simply transfers it to her machine, which does the heavy lifting and freezing in about 15 minutes. And just like that the liquid has turned into a slushy ice which will be kept frozen in a container until a customer requests some.

When it does come time to order, definitely get a combo, as they'll deftly combine two flavors into a single cup.

"We also have our frushis, which are Italian ice slushies," said Bastyr. "They can blend up whatever they like."

Same flavor have just a slightly different texture. The pina colada is a combo of pineapple and coconut topped with a bit of dried coconut.

The frushis are easily consumable with a straw.

"We also have our Lulu bike we do events for. All types of corporate events, different parties. On the bike we do Italian ice, slushies, hot chocolate and cookies, and a variety of other things throughout all seasons," she said.

Little Lulu's Italian Ice
5035 W. Montrose Ave.

In Steve's Extra Course video, he takes a look at the shop's small sandwich menu, which kicks into gear as the weather turns cooler.
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In Steve's Extra Course video, he takes a look at the shop's small sandwich menu, which kicks into gear as the weather turns cooler.

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