My local grocery store sells spotty brown bananas. They take them out of the bins when they start getting those tell-tale brown spots that all bakers covet--the ones that mean those bananas are bursting with sweet. They package them in nice big bunches for a steal--less than one dollar for about 10 bananas on average. Do your stores do this? If not, they should! Make sure you ask the produce guy/girl about it. Maybe they can start setting some aside for you. Even if you don’t need them at the time, they freeze well. I usually peel and smush them, then freeze them flat in Ziploc bags. Hello, banana bread!
A couple of weeks ago, my store didn’t have any brown bananas out for sale. I asked the nice produce guy, and he said he’d go pack some up for me. I’ve gotta love this guy. Five minutes later, he brought out 2 large bunches--about 17-20 bananas total--all for just over one dollar. “Is this too many?” he asked me. Truthfully, I didn’t need that many, but how could I say no? He took the time to package them up just for me. I knew I could find ways to use them, so I said “No way is that too many, thanks so much!”
I made banana breads. We used some in smoothies. The kids ate a couple. Still, we had brown spotty bananas, and they were getting spottier by the day. I hit Google and typed in bananas. I looked at all kinds of recipes. But only one hit me like a pack of brown bananas. How To Make Creamy Ice Cream with Just One Ingredient! from the kitchn. Amazing website, and if you haven’t seen it yet, get your butt over there and immerse yourself in it’s awesomeness! Well, after you read this first, that is. I always find the coolest things there--it never fails.
One ingredient ice cream? I know what you’re thinking! Insert sarcasm here --> “Yeah, right. That must be great.” You also need a food processor. Unless you have a Vitamix. (I don’t, but my gosh, they’re the coolest things ever! I’m always available to review one, you know, just in case the Vitamix people are reading this. hehe!) A regular blender just won’t cut it with this recipe.
Move over heavy cream and dairy! Go away, ice creams with a gazillion calories and fat grams! (Well, at least for this post--you can all come back later. Please?) This banana ice cream, at first, is like creamy soft serve. Put it in the freezer for a while, and it’s like premium, creamy dreamy ice cream. I’m not kidding! Keep it simple with just bananas, or get creative, take a look in your pantry, and add some stuff in!
So I made a batch (the step by steps are here!) and it blew my mind. I kept it pretty simple and added organic honey and organic peanut butter. The kids? They loved it, too! That night, I sat down with a little bowl of it. I felt so guilty! Like I really shouldn’t be eating this creamy, rich ice cream. I actually had to remind myself that it was just bananas, honey and peanut butter!
I told a few twitter friends about it. First, Renee at Flamingo Musings. Go see the delicious creations she came up with! Then Heather, at He Cooks, She Cooks, We Cook. She mentioned she was making ice cream that weekend, so I forced her to make this one, too. (Her post will be up later today, so check it out!) Soon, Kathy at A Good Appetite was on board, and then we dragged Barbara at Vino Luci Style along for the ride.
I only had time to make two more batches that weekend. Not because it’s time consuming, because it sure as hell isn’t. My kids were on Spring Break, and we had tons of fun to squeeze into the weekend before it was back to school on Monday. Poor kids!
I decided to add more fruit to one batch, just to see what kind of texture I’d get. Frozen pineapple and frozen strawberries were the lucky fruits! You know, like banana split-ish. I processed the banana, then added the other frozen fruit till it was smooth and creamy. I also added a bit of agave, since the pineapple and strawberry weren’t very sweet. Chopped chocolate stirred in at the end, and that’s it--you’re done!
Banana Split Ice Cream, below. This one’s really fresh tasting and also reminds me of a smoothie. It’s not as creamy--I guess because strawberry/pineapple are sort of watery? Bananas are creamy and have trace amounts of fat that give you the creamy texture you want in an ice cream.
The second batch was not my favorite. I added toasted coconut, chunks of graham cracker, and some cinnamon. No exact measurements, I just eyeballed it. In theory, it sounds good, but in reality ehh, not so much.
Imagine making this ice cream for your vegan or lactose intolerant friends! They’ll love you forever. Heck, even if you just make it for yourself, think about a creamy ice cream that you can indulge in and not feel guilty about. Your kids will love it, too! And the possibilities? They’re endless. Chunks of fruit, chocolate, nuts, nut butters, extracts, spirits, cookies, candy chunks--you’re only limited by your imagination. Try this!!!