Soft Serve for Solaris

Solaris, one of the Virginia Zoo’s four orangutans, celebrated his 14th birthday on June 22. Chef Yohn, with the help of Zoo Keepers, always likes to prepare special treats and enrichment for the animals to enjoy on their birthdays. For Solaris’s birthday, Yohn prepared a soft serve treat to help the orangutan beat the heat while enjoying his birthday party. Using fruits and veggies found on Solaris’s daily diet sheet, Chef Yohn was chilled and thrilled to make this yummy frozen meal.

Soft Serve frozen fruigurt


• 2 bananas

• 1/2 cantaloupe

• 1 sweet potato

• 1/2 zucchini squash

• 1/2 papaya

• handful of blackberries


Step 1: Scoop out the insides of the zucchini and the cantaloupe, making them into bowls. Reserve the cantaloupe pieces.

Step 2: Put most of the blackberries in the bottom of the zucchini and cantaloupe halves. Save 3-4 blackberries to use later as a garnish.

Step 3: Mix bananas, papaya, cantaloupe pieces and sweet potato into a blender and blend.

Step 4: Scoop mixture into the zucchini and cantaloupe bowls.


Step 5: Garnish with the blackberries (optional: garnish with an edible flower like nasturtium).

Step 6: Freeze the filled bowls for 1 to 2 hours.

Step 7: Celebrate Solaris’s birthday with a delicious frozen treat!

Join us for next month’s Animeals featuring our wildest creatures yet – the Zoo Keepers!