Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recipe: Awesome Cheater Banana Ice Cream

I love ice-cream.  My kids love ice-cream.  My ever-expanding rear end does not like ice cream.  Over the last week or so, I saw the host of Food Network's 5 ingredient dinners make a peanut butter and  banana "ice-cream" and then I saw it on a blog posting at Kitchen Simplicity where they made a chunky monkey version with nuts and chocolate chips - and there were many other posts as well.  I had to try it!  The magic of this ice cream is that it's really not ice cream at all, but rather just pureed frozen bananas, with the promise of ice cream flavour (great if you have any lactose intolerant kids!).  If I could really get the mouth feel of ice cream, with the calorie count of a banana, then perhaps there is hope for me yet.  Not to mention, I would be a rock star at home, letting my kids have "ice-cream" every night.   But I must say, I was skeptical....  But  now that I have made it, I must declare - that it' really good - much better than I had expected!

Luckily, I had a bunch of bananas that were getting somewhat over-ripe (and I really didn't feel like making banana bread), so I sliced them onto a parchment lined baking sheet and shoved them into the freezer until they were good and frozen (2-3 hours).  Once they were good and frozen I dumped the whole batch into the food processor.  At first it it's rather frustrating - but keep at it, keep using a rubber scraper to push the banana mixture down, then keep processing.  (As a side note, I first tried using my blender and my Magic Bullet - they don't work, you need the food processor with the larger blade).  Eventually, when the mixture has thawed a bit from all the processing, you will get something with the consistency of ice cream.  I scooped it out into bowls and garnished with a few chocolate chips.  The rest went into a storage container and into the freezer to serve to guests coming the next day.*

I think I will play around with this recipe, perhaps add in some maple syrup for a little more sweetness....or some honey.....I wonder if it would keep the consistency if I threw in some berries.....let me know if you try it and come up with a great combination!

Now, as good as it is, it doesn't completely have the mouth feel of ice cream, but it is really close - better than some of those "light" ice creams out there.  So close, that it will satisfy an ice-cream craving and perhaps even reverse the butt-expansion process I have going on...... well, a girl can dream.

*When I served the ice cream the next day, it was still good, but it had lost a lot of it's creaminess, and had crystallized a bit - tasted more just like frozen banana.  In the future, I think I will process only what I need and keep extra frozen banana chunks in a freezer bag, ready to process whenever the urge strikes!

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