Food allergies suck. Hubs has a gluten intolerance, and both he and my youngest are sensitive to dairy. It sucks. Thankfully, neither of them have any life-threatening allergies, but it does mean they get deprived of a lot of yummy stuff, particularly at special events like birthdays and family get-togethers. Hubs gets really congested and Kay gets a bright red rash on her cheeks and chin whenever they eat any amount of dairy. I’ve asked for an appointment with an allergist to get Kay thoroughly checked out, but in the meantime we avoid giving her any milk or milk products.
Even for the rest of us, ice cream is a very rare item in our household. Partly because of allergies (it’s not nice to eat ice cream in front of people who can’t have any) and partly because of all the sugar, preservatives, emulsifiers, and artificial flavourings in commercial ice cream.
Last year I read about a machine that makes soft serve “ice cream” from frozen bananas. Just bananas. No dairy, no added sugar, no emulsifiers. Honestly it sounded too good to be true. When Yonanas gave me the opportunity to test out one of their machines, I jumped at the chance. On behalf of my poor deprived family, thank you!
How Does Yonanas Work?
It’s actually very simple. Peel and freeze overripe bananas (catch them when the skin is “cheetah-spotted”) for at least 24 hours so they’re solidly frozen all the way through. When you’re ready to make dessert, take the bananas and any other frozen fruit you might be using out of the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Then alternate pushing the bananas and the fruit through the machine, always starting and ending with banana. You can also use (unfrozen) nut butter, chocolate, or nuts in the mix.
Each Yonanas machine comes with a recipe book full of ideas like cookies & cream and coffee chocolate chip. Or if you don’t feel like bananas, try making strawberry pineapple sorbet. It’s the bananas that give it the creaminess though, so the no banana recipes are more like a sorbet. For the grown-ups, how about some pear, raspberry, and chardonnay yonanas? The Yonanas website has even more recipes, both banana-based and non. Half the fun comes from experimenting with different flavours and mixes!
For our very first yonanas experience, I used two bananas, 3/4 of a cup of frozen blueberries, strawberries, and cherries, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. I sprinkled the cinnamon on the bananas and berries, cut the bananas in half, and alternated banana, berries, banana, berries, banana, berries, banana.
How Does It Compare?
It’s really good! Now I don’t hate bananas, but they’re not my favourite fruit either. If you absolutely can’t stand the taste of bananas, then you may want to stick to the no banana yonanas recipes. Having said that, while I noticed the banana taste for the first few bites, I found that the more I ate, the less I noticed it. I would describe the texture and mouth feel of yonanas as closer to frozen yogurt than soft serve ice cream. Obviously, the banana taste will be more or less noticeable depending on what you add to the bananas.
So what did the rest of the family think? Hubs said, “It tastes like a cheat without being one,” and Tee literally licked the bowl clean. Kay said, “Yum!” and she didn’t get any rash! Yonanas has four new fans over here.
Bananas are high in potassium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and fiber. While they are fairly high in sugar for fruit, bananas have a lot less sugar than you’d find in ice cream. That makes this a paleo-friendly treat I’m happy to serve my family, and nobody has to miss out.
Disclosure: I received a sample item for review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links. This West Coast Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.