Back in our teen years, my sister and I used to freezer bananas and blend them up with milk to make a faux ice cream-ish sort of dessert. It’s surprisingly delicious for something that’s just fruit and dairy.
For some reason, I’ve been on a long hiatus from banana ice cream making, and lately, I’ve noticed that it’s becoming quite popular.
In fact, for $50, you can buy a Yonanas machine that makes banana ice cream.
However, if you own a blender or food processor, you can save yourself $50 and some kitchen space. Use what you’ve got!
Now, if you wanted to make ice cream the usual way, with cream and sugar and no bananas, you’ll need an ice cream maker. You won’t be able to take a regular ice cream recipe and just throw it into your food processor.
However, you can make a delicious fruity, creamy treat this way, and it’s got no added sugar.
Which is awesome.
I originally made banana ice cream in the 90’s, when we were all fairly sure fat was of the devil. Fortunately, we’ve figured out that’s not the case, so I’ve now upgraded from milk to heavy cream for the liquid addition.
Heavy cream is my favorite.
Recently I checked out the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook from the library and I saw that Michelle adds vanilla extract when she makes this. Brilliant! It really ups the ice cream flavor.
To make this, you’ll obviously need bananas. Your ice cream will be sweeter if you use bananas that are on the soft, ripe end of things.
I don’t really like the flavor of brown, spotted bananas for this, though, so I try to catch them when they’re just past the really good eating stage but not at the banana bread stage.
I spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, slice the bananas, and freeze them right on the sheet.
If you have fresh strawberries, you’ll want to freeze those too.
It is totally ok to use frozen strawberries from the store…it’ll be cheaper than out of season berries and it’ll save you work too!
If you’re making your ice cream in the next day or two, it’s totally fine to leave the fruit uncovered on the baking sheet. For longer storage, put the fruit in a plastic bag once the individual pieces are frozen.
To make the ice cream, simply blend the frozen fruit with heavy cream and vanilla.
You can do this in a food processor or in a blender. Be forewarned: all that frozen fruit makes a pretty big racket.
I always have to stop the machine to rearrange the fruit several times and I find this to be simpler in a food processor. However, a good blender also can do the trick.
At first, your mixture will look kind of like this:
And then like this (see the chunks of un-blended fruit that need to be rearranged?):
And eventually it’ll be all smooth like this:
At first, it’s tempting to pour in tons of cream to help the fruit process better, but if you add too much, your finished product will be soupy. I usually use between 1/2 and 3/4 cup of heavy cream.
This stuff melts more quickly than regular ice cream, so I like to serve it right away in cold bowls.
(Just put the bowls into the freezer before you start blending up the ice cream.)
You could do a lot of variations on this by using other berries or fruit. Actually, it just occurred to me that frozen mango would probably be outstanding. Must try that.
The bananas are really important for the creamy texture, though, so I wouldn’t recommend leaving them out.
Oh, and if you can’t do dairy, feel free to substitute something like coconut cream or nut milk.
Strawberry Banana Ice Cream
2 cups sliced frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream (can use non-dairy cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until completely smooth, stopping frequently to rearrange the fruit so that it blends evenly. Serve immediately in chilled bowls.
Joshua’s 365 post: After the Storm