A few weeks ago we reported on an amazing ice-cream alternative treat for those of us that are looking for a dairy free or vegan frozen dessert. And while we love the convenience and the delicious “wow-factor” of Coconut Bliss, we are always on the look out for delicious, healthful and economical ice-cream-like treats we can make at home. And as it turns out, you can make an amazing and delicious frozen confection simply by freezing bananas and pureeing them.
Because of the high pectin content of bananas, they turn out creamy and soft when pureed in the food processor or blender, almost the exact same texture as soft serve ice-cream, although of course it is dairy free and gluten free and vegan. It can also be organic and fair trade, depending on the bananas you use.
The frozen banana puree itself could be considered just the beginning, the starting point to a host of other flavours, especially if you think you might grow a little weary of the same flavor profile; you could blend in strawberries, shredded coconut, pineapple or mango for super healthy and delicious sundaes, or get a little wild by blending in peanut butter, butterscotch, honey, Nutella, cookie pieces…almost anything works.
Making a batch of banana “ice cream” and letting the kids doctor it up themselves is half the fun, and you don’t have to worry too much about a sugar high, as in reality most of what they’re eating is one of nature’s original super foods that is high in vitamins B6 and C and minerals like manganese and of course potassium.
You don’t need a special appliance to do this, but one such appliance just does happen to exist. It’s called Yonanas and it is super easy-and fun to use.
The trick is to start with frozen whole bananas that have been thawed for about fifteen minutes. The manufacturer also suggests using ripe bananas, ones with “cheetah” spots on the skins, as they are riper and sweeter than fruit with an unblemished skin. After the bananas thaw for a bit you just place them, one at a time in the chute and gently but firmly plunge down. The frozen banana puree is expelled at the other end, and can be eaten immediately as is, scooped into cones, mixed with other frozen fruit that is passed through the machine in the same manner, or, after it is processed, mixed with goodies like the ones mentioned above. Or maybe even spice it up with something savory or aromatic like cinnamon or ginger or cardamom… Of course you can place it in a re-sealable container and freeze the “ice cream” too, and it will have the firmness and consistency of traditional ice cream. It may take a little practice to determine the amount of bananas per serving, but 1-2 bananas should do the trick, or 1 banana and a cup of fruit per serving.
If you don’t feel like shelling out for the Yonanas appliance, or you want to check out this dessert on your own first, you just need a good blender or preferably a food processor. Again, choose ripe fruit, but instead of freezing it whole, peel and cut the bananas into “coins,” and IQF them. Thaw for a few minutes and add to your processor/blender, using the pulse button to grind them into an loose crumble, then blend the frozen crumble until it starts to get smoother, but still lumpy. Stop the blender and scrape down sides with a spatula, and repeat this process a few times until the banana really does start to get creamy and resemble ice cream. At this point you can blend it longer for a creamier and more aerated dessert.
Eat as much of this as you want, 100% good and 100% guilt-free; going bananas was never so good for you.