Welcome to Ice Cream Week here at Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy!
Ice cream is the topic of the hour, all week long. I’ve got some sorbets to share, plus some fun ice cream flavors I’ve been experimenting with, and some other ideas for what to do with all the ice cream you make.(Note: All the recipes are intentionally dairy-free; but with the exception of the sorbets can be made with regular old cow’s milk and cream should you desire.) Come back every day this week for a new recipe!
Ice cream that baby can eat? Ice cream that is completely devoid of cream of any sort? Ice cream without sugar? Creamy ice cream? Ice cream that is all those things and also delicious?!?!
Why yes, my friends. And once again, you need go no further than the humble banana. (Maybe I should have called this Banana Week instead of Ice Cream Week!) Except this time, instead of just exploiting the banana’s attributes to make a regular ice cream even better – whether by flavor or by texture – we’re just going to use the banana. Just the banana, that’s it.
OK, you can add in some things if you want. For instance, cocoa comes to mind, or chocolate chips. Or maybe a big spoonful of peanut butter (or non-peanut substitute). Coconut, maybe? Some berries or berry syrup?
All right, now I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself. First, let’s make the “ice cream”.
Baby’s First Ice Cream, aka Banana Ice Cream
- slightly overripe bananas*
- splash of vanilla
- freshly grated nutmeg
- Peel the bananas and slice them into 1/2″ rounds. Place the rounds in a single layer on a pan and freeze for an hour or two. Remove from the freezer and put into a blender (or put in a bowl, and use an immersion blender, in which case, don’t freeze them rock hard – they should still be a tad moist). Blend, blend and blend some more until you have a creamy ice-cream-like consistency. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, if necessary to help the blender run. Stir in vanilla and nutmeg. Serve immediately soft-serve style, or place back into the freezer for a harder ice cream. I found the ice cream tasted better the next day after the flavors had some time to blend. *There are no specific quantities. Each banana makes about one serving, so adjust to however many servings you want to make.
Instead of the vanilla and nutmeg, consider other flavor combinations, such as:
- dried ginger and candied ginger
- cinnamon and cardamom
- almond extract and coconut flakes
- grated semisweet or dark chocolate
- small chunks of fresh mango
- a drizzle of honey or maple syrup
- a tablespoon or two of peanut butter
- a tablespoon of cocoa (you may want to add a little honey or sugar, too, to offset the bitter)
Take the simple to the sublime by topping it with:
- fresh berry syrup
- chocolate chips or chocolate shavings
- homemade chocolate syrup
- dulce de leche
Bet you never thought ice cream could be so QUICK!
Or so EASY!
Or so CHEAP!
Or so HEALTHY! I didn’t feel the least bit guilty offering it to my Certain Little Someone just now as a mid-morning snack.
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