07 June 2011

A Real Summer Game-Changer

I'm not talking writing tips here. I am talking dessert. Summery frozen dessert that will blow your mind with its simplicity, deliciousness, and brain-freeze potential. I don't care if you come here to read my thoughts on writing: I would be remiss and probably karmically damaged if I didn't share this with you.

Here's what you do: you know those bananas that are sitting in your kitchen and getting brown spots way too soon because the weather is getting warmer? There's no way you can eat all those before their skins turn black and they taste overripe and too sweet. You my friend are going to take those bananas and turn them into PURE MAGIC.

Peel the bananas and cut them into chunks a couple of inches thick. Place the chunks in a container - I use a stainless steel bowl - and nestle that container in your freezer. In a few hours, the bananas will be frozen enough for you to work your will on them.

Your will, and your blender or food processor.

Take the frozen banana chunks and pile them into the motorized chopping device of your choice. Chop or blenderize wantonly. If the chunks are reluctant to blend or chop, you can add a tiny skootch of some kind of liquid - milk or soy milk or almond milk or even a bit of water or juice will do - but just a tiny skootch, like a couple of tablespoons. (If you're using a blender, it helps to press down on the top of the banana chunks with something so that the blades can get to them. I use my potato masher, press and blend for a few seconds, then stir everything with a spoon. BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET THE MASHER GET DOWN TO THE BLADES. You will end up in the ER and miss eating your delicious frozen treat.)

See what's happening as you blend the bananas? They are taking on a creamy texture. A frozen, creamy texture that is a heck of a lot like ice cream. That's right. You didn't expect that, I bet.

Yes, you can blenderize any frozen fruit. The higher the banana quotient, however, the greater the proximity to ice cream rather than sorbet.

I keep a bowl of frozen banana chunks in the freezer at all times once the weather gets warm, so I can make this dessert any time. Apparently you can refreeze the pulverized banana cream after you're done blending, and it will scoop like ice cream. I haven't tried this myself - I usually make just enough to go around at a time - but I am intrigued, to say the least.

The more ripe the bananas, the sweeter your dessert will be. I find this recipe doesn't need extra sugar, but you can amp up the deliciousness by adding a few frozen berries or a big scoop of cocoa into the mix. I recently found a recipe online that suggests adding peanut butter - I think I'll be trying out some almond butter or cashew butter and see how that goes.

I won't point out the obvious benefits of having fruit for dessert, but if you have someone in your life who is vegan (use only water or juice in the recipe) or has dessert-limiting food allergies (ditto), you will probably make them very happy with this. I find this treat more satisfying - texturally and flavour-wise - than ice cream. Plus you can eat a giant bowl of it and feel great instead of gross.

You're welcome.


Deborah Walker said...

I'm going to make some right now, thanks Elizabeth.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I always keep frozen bananas on hand for smoothies or shakes. This recipe sounds like banana ice cream!

cookie said...

That is a good idea!
I love eating frozen berries on their own, right out of the freezer.

Elizabeth Twist said...

Hope you enjoy it, guys. Karen, the idea is the same - without the liquid you add to a smoothie, though, the bananas remain much more coherent.

Unknown said...

I believe you that it's delicious ... but the whole time I was reading I kept hearing the Chiquita Banana song in my about bananas are from the equator, and should never go in your refrigerator hehe :)

Suze said...

I love it! I love bananas, it was a nickname of mine as a kid-- Susanna Banana. This is great, thanks!

(Yes, I see you've already said 'you're welcome.' :))

Unknown said...

I've made a couple of them now and they do taste delicious! Although the first time around I just threw the banana in the freezer. The whole banana. I can now say I am among the select few americans who have peeled a frozen banana with a knife.