Ice cream used to be my true love. We spent many long, summer nights together, sat through sappy movies, consoled girlfriends over broken hearts. Our breakup was difficult: I could no longer tolerate his sweetness, or cow-dairy origin and quite frankly, he made me sick.
Yes, it’s been a rough few years, but recently I met someone new that is just as satisfying, creamy and sweet as his dairy counterpart, except that he is actually good for me! Too good to be true? Well, let me introduce you to my new soul mate: the modest and down-to-earth banana.
This past winter, steeped in perpetual boredom, I took a couple frozen bananas out of the freezer to bake a loaf of banana bread. While they were thawing, I became impatient and decided to speed up the process by mixing them up with a hand blender. Lo and behold, this simple process yielded a fluffy, creamy dessert that almost brought me to tears: I never thought I could replace my beloved ice cream, but I did.
This is truly the easiest (and cheapest) dessert to make, especially for a crowd. You can buy a bunch of bananas well in advance and freeze them once they become very ripe, or you can buy them on sale towards the end of their little lives. You can blend in some honey, maple syrup, agave nectar for added sweetness (although it really doesn’t need any if the bananas are really ripe), or add your favorite toppings.
1. Get a hold of some ripe bananas
2. Peel bananas and break into small pieces (about 4 or 5 per banana)
3. Put banana pieces into a container and freeze
4. Take bananas out of freezer and let thaw slightly
5. Using a hand blender (unfortunately this does not work in a counter top blender) pulse through banana chunks until a smooth, creamy consistency is reached. It will look almost white, like real ice cream.
6. Serve immediately.
Tip: Once blended, this can be frozen again for serving later, but ice crystals tend to form very quickly as there are no additives to prevent this from happening. Giving the mixture a quick blend again right before serving will ensure the creamiest texture.
Ideas for toppings:
Shredded coconut (pictured above)
Organic chocolate chips
Maple syrup or agave nectar
Chopped almonds or cashews
Ice cream is a food jammed-packed with ingredients on my personal hit list:
cow dairy (see previous post), white sugar, saturated fat, food colouring, artificial flavors, stabilizers, emulsifiers, alginates, viscosity-producing gums and hydrocolloids (huh? Exactly.) Why not avoid a couple servings of that garbage this summer and introduce your new, true love to your friends and family. Maybe you’ll even have them saying: “We scream for NO cream!”