Every summer, my family gathers at the beach for a week of fun in the sun. Quickly becoming one of our favorite traditions is to get out the ice cream maker and mix up a batch of homemade ice cream. The kids love it, especially the growing selection of Grandma-approved candy toppings!I decided that this year I would introduce my nieces and nephew to a healthy alternative that just might fool them into thinking it is the real deal: frozen bananas! Yes, believe it or not, after a few minutes in a high-powered blender, frozen bananas are a great substitute for ice cream!During other parts of the year, your overripe bananas may be destined for banana bread. But in the sizzling hot days of summer, peel them and put the bananas in the freezer to be used for “nice cream” later!
Here’s how you make it:
Step 1: When your bananas begin to turn brown, peel them and place them in a freezer-safe container in the freezer. You may choose to slice them before freezing, but keeping them whole is okay, too. Resist the temptation to use yellow bananas. They just will not taste right!Step 2: Once frozen, toss them into a high-powered blender and whip until the texture resembles soft serve ice cream. It may take a while and some tinkering with the settings on your blender to get it just right. Add a small dash of liquid if needed, but keep in mind that liquid will make your “nice cream” thinner! Add in a fat, like some nut butter or avocado, to increase the satiety of your nice cream and thicken it.Step 3: Once it is all blended, you can serve it right away or pop it back into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to firm up.
You can always add ingredients to change the flavor! My personal favorite is a tablespoon each of peanut butter and dark cocoa powder. It tastes just like chocolate ice cream! Or, get creative with some of these variations:Mint Chocolate Chip: Use 2 bananas and a pinch of salt. Add 1/8 tsp pure peppermint extract and stir in chocolate chips after blending.Very Berry: Blend in 1 cup frozen berries of choice and 1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract.Strawberry: Use 2 bananas. Blend in 1/2 cup frozen strawberries. Add 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract.Pina Colada: Make the original recipe below, using 1/4 cup canned coconut milk or milk of choice. Blend in 1/2 cup frozen pineapple.Once my nieces and nephew tasted my “nice cream,” they were impressed and immediately started coming up with recipe variations of their own to try. It was the perfect way to top off a hot day at the beach and stick to my healthy eating values!Which is your favorite variation? Share it with us and it may end up in a Wellview recipe book!Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– HEATHER FUSELIER, CHWC, CFP, TTS
Health Advisor | Email Heather