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!!