Thursday, February 28, 2013

I'm Bananas Over All-Fruit Ice Cream

Did you know you can make ice cream out of frozen bananas? I knew it could be done, but for some silly reason I though I needed a Vitamix to make the magic happen. I'm still waiting patiently for my Vitamix to appear, but maybe it's a good thing I don't have one yet, so I can show you that you don't need to spend $500 on a blender just so you can make the world's easiest, and dare I say, most delightful ice cream.

If you have a food processor, you can whip up this treat in mere minutes. I have to say, it was a little bit like riding a mechanical bull (which, yes, I have in fact done - once). The food processor jumped all over the counter while I held on tight. But unlike the bull, after a little bit of coaxing, the bananas and berries surrendered, and low and behold, we had the most luscious, smooth, creamy bowl of ice cream you could ever imagine. We ate it all up, right there on the spot, forgetting that we had chocolate sauce to pour over it. Dang. I guess I'll just have to make some more.

Banana-Berry Ice Cream

2 bananas, sliced and frozen
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 pitted dates, soaked in about 1/2 cup water for 30 minutes or more (keep a jar of dates soaking in the fridge, so you'll have them for emergency ice cream binges)

Place the bananas, berries, vanilla, and dates in the food processor, saving the date water to add if needed. Blend until smooth (or leave it a little chunky if you like), stopping frequently to scrape the sides of the bowl. If it seems too thick to blend, add the date water a little at a time. The finished ice cream will be kind of a soft serve consistency.

This ice cream can be frozen for later, but I think it's best eaten right away. And since it's all fruit, there's zero guilt. Eat it for breakfast if you want to. I won't say a thing.

Variations: Try any kind of frozen berries or fruit in place of the strawberries. Add nuts. Add cocoa or cacao powder and extra dates for more sweetness. Add chia seeds for extra nutrition. Stir in chunks of chocolate, fruit, or nuts.