I’m bananas over you!

FROZEN BANANA ICE CREAM, 4 FLAVOURS

It’s Valentines Day tomorrow, an occasion that brings together two of my great loves; anthropomorphised fruit and food puns! Below are a couple of puntastic vintage Valentines Day banana cards, dredged from this flickr collection.
While we’re on the subject of bananas, may I slip (‘scuse yet another pun) into a beautiful natural banana ice cream recipe? It’s a departure from my usual 1=2 theme, but I just had to share it.
You’ll no doubt have a few over-ripe rock hard bananas lurking in your freezer, and once you’ve tried this ice cream, banana cake will be a thing of the past. It’s even better than a Barney Banana, and it has no added sugar.
Processing frozen bananas isn’t my original idea; in fact you can even purchase a special machine for the job. A hardy food processor will perform the task perfectly though, and adding a touch of yogurt or coconut cream makes for a smoother, creamier consistency.
A whipped frozen banana is a thing of great beauty, so rich and silky. Quite honestly, it tastes exactly like ‘real’ ice cream. We’ve been experimenting during Melbourne’s heatwave and have come up with some fab flavour combinations. Methinks the pink one in particular would make a sweet Valentines Day treat for your loved one. My lovely 6 year old, and chief taste tester along with his older brother, can attest to how delicious this stuff is, and one serve contains a whole banana. So ap-peeling!

Natural banana ice creamBanana and mango ice creamBanana and pineapple ice creamBanana and raspberry ice creamNatural frozen banana ice cream, 4 ways

Tips: Peeling and cutting a frozen banana is an easy way to lose a finger. Be careful! I like to cut them in half first, which provides a flat base for easier removal of the skin. Use a sharp knife to take off the skin in downward slices. Bananas can also be peeled first, and frozen nude in a ziplock bag. I tend to throw them into the freezer whole though, as their skin functions as natural packaging!
The riper the banana, the sweeter the ice cream.
Ice cream can be eaten immediately, or popped back in the freezer for an hour for extra firming.
Frozen banana ice cream is best eaten on the day it is made as it will begin to discolour. Frozen leftovers are a lovely addition to a smoothie though.
There are beautiful vanilla yogurts with no added sugar available in Australia; my favourites being Jalna, Evia and 5:am.

Number 1: Banana ice cream (2 ingredients)
4 frozen very ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
½ cup vanilla yogurt (frozen, if time permits)
Place bananas and yogurt into food processor. Whiz until smooth. Serve as is, or spoon ice cream into a plastic bag with the corner cut off, and pipe into an ice cream cone (pictured). Serves 4.

Number 2: Mango Tango ice cream
1 mango, peeled, chopped and frozen
4 frozen very ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
½ cup vanilla yogurt
Shredded coconut to decorate
Chop up the frozen mango pieces, and place into food processor with bananas and yogurt. Whiz until smooth. Sprinkle with shredded coconut. Serves 4–5.

Number 3: Tropical ice cream (vegan)
1 cup chopped frozen pineapple
4 frozen very ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
½ cup natural coconut cream, frozen in an ice cube tray
Chop up the frozen pineapple pieces, and place into food processor with bananas and coconut cream blocks. Whiz until smooth. This blend takes a little longer to become smooth. It’ll look quite dry to start with, then will miraculously begin to swirl into a heavenly creamy concoction right before your eyes. Serves 4–5.
Note: Check coconut cream ingredients – many tinned varieties contain thickeners and preservatives. Look for ‘100% natural’ on the label.

Number 4: Banana Berry ice cream
1 cup (125g punnet) frozen raspberries
4 frozen very ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
½ cup vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
Place raspberries, bananas and yogurt into your food processor. Whiz until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add maple syrup if desired. Whiz again. Serves 4–5.

Vintage Banana Valentines