I love making ice cream. When you make it yourself, you have complete control over the ingredients, the flavors, the texture–you are the mastermind here, no longer subject to the whims of big brand manufacturers and the stores that stock their freezers with them. Anything you dream of can be made a reality–it’s all in your hands. The only problem: you need to plan ahead.
There isn’t a lot of active work involved in ice cream. Aside from the custard, if you make a custard-based variety, there isn’t a lot of skill involved either. (And the custard is debatable, once you get the hang of it–it’s not *that* hard…) But you need to chill your ingredients fully after you cook the custard and usually the spin in the ice cream maker (even with a fully-frozen canister in play) isn’t enough to give you the consistency you desire–which means more time chilling in the freezer. You really need to start it the night before or the morning of the anticipated enjoyment. Bah humbug.
Banana “ice cream” is a neat way to get around this whole planning thing. Especially if you have a tendency to stash your overripe bananas in the freezer anyway, just waiting for the right project and a rainy day to bring them to their full glory. All that lies between you and bliss are frozen chopped bananas and a food processor. If you didn’t pre-freeze your bananas, they’ll need a couple hours in the freezer before you get to work. You can eat it as-is straight from the food processor, or mix in other options. Super easy and not too bad on the time requirement either.
In this case, I chose to make things a little more difficult. When I was my daughter’s age, I remember desperately wanting a readily-available ice cream with a peanut butter ripple through it. Lacking such at the time, I would melt peanut butter in a sauce pan on the stove and stir it into my vanilla ice cream. It got the job done and I was a happy little girl. Since bananas and peanut butter are best buddies, I decided to give my banana “ice cream” the 9-year-old-me treatment and swirl some melted peanut butter into it. This does then require popping the finished product into the freezer for a bit to firm it up (or not–you *could* eat it right away if you’re in a hurry–I always did!), but you’re still saving oodles of time over making traditional ice cream in the ice cream machine.
Let your imagination run wild! What else do you think would make a great companion here? Mix it up and mix it in–and I’d love to hear all about your renditions!
- 4 medium ripe bananas
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons canned light coconut milk, shaken before opening the can
- Peel and slice bananas, put on a plate, and freeze for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to make ice cream, melt peanut butter either in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds or in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Set aside once liquid.
- Place sliced bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut milk in the bowl of a food processor and process until creamy and smooth.
- Transfer to a lidded container, layering the banana ice cream and the melted peanut butter so you get a ribbon of it when scooping later.
- Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving to set fully.
The riper your bananas, the sweeter this will be--it relies entirely upon the bananas for sweetness, after all. Select the bananas with freckles and let them brown up for best flavor.
It’s Thursday and that means another week of Food Network’s Summer Soirée, a celebration of all the deliciousness of summer!
The theme for this week was frozen treats, just in time for the heat and humidity that’s on the rise!
Get more frozen treat recipes for friends and family:
Feed Me Phoebe: Coconut Mojito Popsicles
Dishing With Divya: Strawberry Sherbet
The Lemon Bowl: Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream (No Machine Required)
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Healthy Fruit Punch Popsicles
Virtually Homemade: Minty Pina Colada Popsicles
Weelicious: Fruity Lemonade Ice Pops
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chai Green Tea Popsicles
Red or Green: Spiced Rooibos Tea Popsicles
Dishin & Dishes: Heath Bar Crunch Ice Cream
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Homemade Eggless Vanilla Ice Cream (No Machine Required)
Domesticate Me: Slutty Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Devour: 5 Frozen Finales
Swing Eats: Grapefruit, Pineapple, Basil and Coconut Milk Gelato
Daily*Dishin: Dark Chocolate Sorbet
Cooking With Elise: Frozen Blueberry Treats
FN Dish: 6 Reasons to Brave Brain Freeze
For a savory frozen treat:
Taste With The Eyes: Frozen Alaskan Cod, Mediterranean-Style