This might be, by far, the easiest recipe I’ve ever tried. A coworker recently told me how his wife uses overripe bananas to make “ice cream.” The technique, he said, was simple:
- Freeze the bananas
- Blend them in a blender or food processor
It can’t be THAT simple, I thought to myself as I visualized the 3 overripe bananas in a basket on my counter. Normally, my attack strategy is to make banana bread or banana muffins out of those bad boys. This time – with DC heat waves hitting some absurd highs a week ago – I decided to forgo any baking and give this “ice cream” a shot. And oh, how richly were my taste buds rewarded!
Banana “Ice Cream” – 2 variations. Serves 1-2, or more if you have more bananas.
For the vegan version …
- 2-3 overripe bananas
- 1-3 tbsp cold water
Here’s What You Do:
- Slice the bananas into small chunks. Place the chunks in an ice cube tray (one chunk per “cube”), and freeze for an hour (or until fully frozen).
- Add the chunks to a food processor or blender. Add 1 tbsp cold water to help the mixture blend. Blend or process on full strength (or “Puree” / “Liquify” on your blender) until the mixture is smooth, adding another 1-2 tbsp water if necessary.
- Serve with a drizzle of agave nectar or real maple syrup and chopped walnuts. (Or, try a scoop of natural peanut butter if you’re feeling decadent!)
For the not-quite vegan version …
- 2-3 overripe bananas
- 2 or 3 tbsp vanilla Greek yogurt (optional)
- 1-2 tbsp milk
Here’s what you do:
- Slice and feeze the bananas just as you would in the vegan version.
- Add the chunks to a food processor or blender. Add your yogurt and 1 tbsp of milk to help the mixture blend. (The yogurt adds extra flavor and richness, but the bananas are just as creamy on their own – adding the yogurt is entirely up to you.)
- Blend or process on full strength (or “Puree” / “Liquify” on your blender) until the mixture is smooth, adding another tbsp milk if necessary.
- Serve with drizzles of your favorite sundae sauces (caramel sauce sounds particularly delicious), chopped walnuts, or chocolate sprinkles. Mine was delicious with a drizzle of honey and handful of walnuts.
As Ina Garten would say, how easy is that? I haven’t tried this technique with other frozen fruit, but I assume the effect would be sorbet-like. (Which sounds lovely and summery to me!) The bananas have such a natural creaminess, though, that they’re really ideal for this kind of preparation. You can also use leftover banana chunks for smoothies!
What are your favorite easy summer desserts? Any tips for more frozen treats?