Totally Awesome, Totally EASY Banana “Ice” Cream*

So awesome, I had to check three times to make sure I wasn’t adding extra n’s to “banana” out of enthusiasm. *nb: I used to HATE bananas and would not eat them; I claimed they smelled like garbage. This stuff is so great even a former banana hater like me can’t get enough, and my boyfriend without fail gets excited if I utter the phrase “who wants frozen bananas?” Possibly more so than “who wants cookies?” Well, maybe. Unless it’s Christmas.

I’ve seen several variations of this banana “Ice Cream” over the years and to be honest as long as you process your bananas long enough to get them a little fluffy, but not so long they melt, you’re going to end up with so,etching good. This was actually something I was familiar with before the internet was really eve. A thing (dating myself?) because my ultra-healthy water mother liked to get software banana from a place on our boardwalk in the summer -they has a soft serve machine rigged to serve whipped up frozen banana instead; it came out just like ice cream.

So as soon as I saw the suggestion that I could do that myself in my food processor I was all over it. Here’s my preferred method, and favorite variations:

“The Chocolate Banana Standard”

For two:
3 bananas, peeled and frozen
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3-4 tablespoons water

Seriously, that’s it. Break your bananas into 4-5 pieces each, put them in your food processor (standard blade) and add the cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of water. More cocoa power if you like a more butter dark chocolate flavor, less if you want it lighter. We like it really dark. Turn that baby on and keep an eye for your banana chunks to blend away. Take a pause for another tablespoon of water, and then keep blending, if it’s been more than a minute or two and things still look chunky, add that last bit of water to help it along.

Yum. Super healthy chocolate ice cream. The texture of the bananas is so smooth that it resembles a high fat and sugar premium dairy version, and if you are sensitive to dairy – without the stomach upset!
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Variations:

Extra Creamy: use coconut milk instead of water; this was how I first encountered the recipe. It’s delicious, but since I don’t like to open a whole can of the stuff for just a few tablespoons I usually skip it.
Vanilla: BUT it does really add something if you want vanilla. Use a half teaspoon of vanilla (you can always taste and add more after blending according to your preference) instead of the cocoa powder. Still works with water, but I do prefer the coconut milk here.
Piña Colada: use coconut milk, 1-2 teaspoons lime juice, and a splash of rum if you feel festive. I like to top this with shredded coconut.
Peanut ButterVariants: By far my favorites. Most often when I make these, I add 4 (2 for a 1 1/2 banana single serving) tablespoons of powdered PB along with the cocoa powder. You can also do this to the vanilla version for straight up peanut butter flavor – yum. Throw chocolate chips into that for PB cup bliss, or cherries or raspberries for PB&J.

Mango: this is what I had yesterday. Use one banana for one person, two bananas for two, and add about 3/4 cup frozen mango for each person. Yesterday I added 1/2 cup raspberries for one serving, and topped w coconut. So good! And since it’s really just fruit, it actually made a good pre- workout mid afternoon snack.

Note: make sure you us ripe bananas. You want them at full sweetness – personally I like to eat them raw on the less ripe side, so once my bananas are getting spots and don’t appeal to me anymore I peel and freeze them for this which works out perfectly in terms of banana-economy.20140727-134650-49610559.jpg

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