Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

sugar free strawberry banana food processor ice cream

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.

food processor ice cream

I originally made banana ice cream in the 90’s, when we were all fairly sure fat was of the devil.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.

freezing bananas

If you have fresh strawberries, you’ll want to freeze those too.

frozen local berries

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.

add 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:

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And then like this (see the chunks of un-blended fruit that need to be rearranged?):

strawberry ice ceam in food processor

And eventually it’ll be all smooth like this:

strawberry banana ice cream

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.)

no sugar strawberry banana 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.
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Joshua’s 365 post: After the Storm

Rolled Cut-Out Christmas Sugar Cookies

Cut-Out Christmas Sugar Cookies (with buttercream frosting) from The Frugal Girl

The other day, a friend asked me what sugar cookie recipe we use for frosted Christmas cookies, and I realized I haven’t shared that on my blog.

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So, I’m here to fix that today.

Making Christmas cut-out cookies was one of my very favorite things to do when I was a kid, and so from the time my kids have been really little, we’ve done this every year.

frosted Christmas cookies

(When I was looking for photos for this post, I came across this hilarious one of Zoe from a few years back. She put the goggles on because, “I don’t want the sprinklies to get me in the eyes, Mommy!”)

I don't want the sprinklies to get me in the eyes!

Our cookies are often messily decorated or completely covered in red hots, but our goal in making these is not so much beautiful cookies but rather having fun together.

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In the last few years, my kids (and who am I kidding? Mr. FG too!) have been making goofy cookies, which crack me up.

Cut-Out Christmas Cookies with Buttercream Frosting (from The Frugal Girl)

grumpy cookies

Wait until you see some of the crazy stuff they came up with this year (coming next week!)

I use a recipe that I found on another blog (I modified it very slightly) and for the frosting, I make a simple buttercream recipe that my family used growing up.

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I don’t have step-by-step photos, but this isn’t rocket science. Basically, you make the dough, let it chill for an hour, roll it out, cut it with cookie cutters, and bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.

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This recipe turns out cookies that are really buttery and slightly soft, though they are still sturdy enough to be handled and frosted. Also, the dough has always been easy to work with, and I’ve found the cookies to be easy to transfer to a baking sheet after cutting.

The frosting is just a basic buttercream, and when you make it, you can feel free to adjust the milk a bit to make the frosting the consistency you like. And if you accidentally add too much milk, you can always mix in a little extra powdered sugar to firm it up again.

Christmas Sugar Cookies

Printable Christmas Sugar Cookie Recipe

(I usually make a double batch of the cookies and frosting so that the six of us have plenty to decorate.)

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream
3 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Stir in egg, vanilla, and sour cream.

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt; mix into butter/sugar mixture until thoroughly combined.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 350. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out using cookie cutters, place cookies on ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove cookies from sheet, let cool, and then frost.

Butter Frosting

(frosts one batch of cookies)
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons milk, half and half, or cream
2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat together 2 cups of powdered sugar with the butter until smooth. Beat in vanilla and milk, then beat in remaining powdered sugar. Color as desired (for a pure white frosting, use less vanilla).

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Psst! Come back this afternoon for a giveaway from Third Day Naturals!