Johnny’s Bananas

Oh, the anticipation of what I was going to do with John’s bananas!  For the past week, John has been bringing to work bananas from his yard.  Ripe and ready to eat with the sweetest smelling aroma.  As John knows I love to cook and bake, he has asked me several times what I was going to do with them.  Secretly I knew what I wanted to do; peeling and freezing them as soon as I arrived home from work.

Making bananas into soft serve ice cream is not new; it’s like a take off of a thick fruit smoothie.  Just toss cut up frozen bananas in a food processor, add a bit of liquid and process until smooth!  The creaminess of the bananas is awesome and the perfect base for adding in tons of flavor!!  The mere fact that it’s totally fat free is pretty awesome too! 

When I was pregnant with my daughter I had a craving for a Dairy Queen Blizzard….every day.  Yes, every day, from 6 months to delivery.  That was 21 years ago, thankfully the weight I gained from that craving melted off my body pretty quickly.  And funny thing is that I never had the desire to eat another one after her birth!! 

It wasn’t really just the ice cream I craved but the crunch and flavors of all that was swirled in.  Using frozen bananas as the base for this soft serve treat, the possibilities are truly endless.  Simply adding in a single fruit such as strawberries or blueberries is delish.  For me though, the more the merrier. 

Banana Soft Serve Ice Cream

Perfectly ripe firm bananas– not the mushy, let’s make banana bread stage – peeled and frozen (about 4 bananas makes 2-3 generous servings)

Splash of vanilla extract or cream – just a little bit to get the bananas swirling, not liquidly, about 1-2 tablespoons – the idea is to use a spoon to eat, not a straw!  Other liquids might include a splash of liquor – rum, Kahlua, Frangelico,Chambord– depending on the flavor combinations

In a food processor or blender (I prefer using the processor), slice bananas into inch chunks and add to processor with a tablespoon or two of liquid (amount of liquid also depends on the amount of bananas).  Blend until the bananas become creamy smooth, it may take several minutes and stopping to mix together the blended with chunks helps.  Additional frozen fruit, such as the berries, can be added in and processed together.  Once the bananas turn smooth, it’s time to add in the extras.  I prefer to dump the “ice cream” into a large metal bowl to mix in the remaining ingredients so that they remain chunky, not processed finely.  I place the bowl back in the freezer to firm up before serving.  I’ve really not experimented in making this a day ahead as I normally make it and serve it!

My favorite variations include, but not limited to…

Pecan Crunch:  Chopped pecans, broken amaretto cookies, Amaretto liquor and a light swirl of caramel sauce

White Chocolate Crunch:  Mix of broken biscotti cookies, white chocolate chips or white Godiva liquor and chopped almonds

Espresso Soft Serve:  Kahlua liquor or chilled espresso coffee, crushed chocolate espresso beans and crushed biscotti cookies

Apple Pie: Swirls of cooled sautéed apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and broken ginger snap cookies or granola

Peachy:  Chunks of ripe peaches, splash of peach schnapps and crumbled amaretto cookie or biscotti

S’mores:  Chunks of chocolate, broken graham crackers, chopped walnuts and topped with a toasted marshmallow

Tropical Treat:  Swirls of coconut, chopped macadamia nuts and dried fruit mix pineapple, mango, papaya and a splash of rum!!

Chambord Berry:  Blueberries and Chambord… yum!

32 thoughts on “Johnny’s Bananas

  1. Oh my! I am bookmarking this post immediately
    I actually have a patch of banana icecream in the freezer…can’t wait to try some of the wonderful variations you listed

  2. Banana soft serve is a favorite of mine! And you have an amazing coworker, wish mine would bring in fresh bananas 🙂 Gonna try some of your combos, creative and delicious-sounding!

  3. I’ve never made banana soft serve before, but this looks and sounds delicious! When I was a kid I used to love eating mashed bananas as a snack – never thought to have it cold! I like the thought of adding rum…very nice.

  4. Fresh, ripe bananas right off the stalk have such a wonderful flavor. When we lived in Santo Domingo, I would stop each day during my walk around the colonial zone and buy one sweet banana from a sidewalk vendor. The bananas that you buy at a store just aren’t the same since they are picked green.

  5. Your pictures are so pretty!!! And I love your idea to mix in some kahlua! I have some frozen bananas in the freezer so I’ll make me some kahlua soft serve as you suggested! Brilliant idea! Thanks! 🙂

  6. I confess I´m not a huge banana fan but seeing how beautiful these bananas look before and after, I´m seriously tempted. And adding all those lovely flavours in…delicious. Yay for your pal Johnny!

  7. Don’t forget peanut butter! PB and banana is incredibly good, although the other variations sound equally delicious! So jealous that I don’t live in a climate where I can grow bananas!

  8. Who has bananas growing in their yard?! I’m so jealous!! Mmm… the endless extras… so much fun. What an inspiring post. Thanks Linda.

  9. Oh girl this is AWESOME! Oh how I love me some bananas and the fact that you have combined the best flavors in the world all in one little cup of heaven is amazing. I know my whole family would love this. once again- You Rock

  10. Just found your blog through Chefmom’s and….. so glad I did!

    I heard of this banana thing in the food processor, must try it – but your variations are amazing!

    Will be paying attention to your blog now that I found it!

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