Sunday, May 23, 2010

Banana "Ice Cream"

How many recipes that you know of have exactly one ingredient? Not many I would suspect. Even if you are just sauteing some spinach, you still need oil, salt and other seasonings to make it interesting. Well I have finally found a one-ingredient dessert that is as healthy as grabbing a piece of fruit.

Banana "Ice Cream"
Makes approximately 4 servings

4 bananas

Frozen Banana Slices

When the bananas are to the ripeness you like, slice them up. Either place them in a plastic container or lay them out individually on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer. With the baking sheet method, you obviously need more space, but you will also avoid the problem of the slices sticking together. After the bananas are frozen, be sure they are moved into an airtight container until you are ready to make dessert. This is also a good method for preparing bananas for smoothies that avoids adding tons of ice to the mix.

When you're ready to finish the recipe, remove the bananas from the freezer. Transfer the slices to a large food processor. Turn on the food processor and let it run until the bananas form a smooth paste. This will be very loud at first as your food processor struggles against the icy bananas, but soon it will chop them into a lot of small bits that will start to melt and meld together into the final product. Remove the pureed frozen bananas, place them in an airtight container and place back in the freezer to firm up, at least 30 minutes.

Banana Ice Cream

Remove the "ice cream" from the freezer and scoop into bowls. I recommend one scoop as a good serving size since it seems that you get four servings from pureeing four bananas. The one drawback of this very simple method is that the ice cream can be a little dense and icy. Since we did not use an ice cream maker to slowly freeze and churn the bananas, larger ice crystals can form. But if you let the ice cream sit out for a couple minutes, it will soften up. Other than that, this is one of the healthiest desserts I've ever made. It involves no addition of other sources of calories and it is 100% fruit. You taste nothing but unadulterated banana goodness. No fake flavors here (think Laffy Taffy) or strange additives. This is the perfect treat if you are watching your calories or if you want a break from overly processed foods.

Banana Ice Cream with Strawberry Jam

If you do want to add some interest, feel free to doctor up this recipe as you wish. You can make a sundae out of it or just add your favorite ice cream accompaniment. I added some of my homemade strawberry jam, but you can use chocolate sauce, whipped cream, nuts, maybe even peanut butter if you're so inclined. Granted, this does deter from the healthiness of this dessert, but you start with a healthy base so a few more calories won't hurt, right?

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