Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Ice cream that has no white or brown sugar (although it does contain maple syrup), doesn’t contain heavy creams and doesn’t need to be churned (meaning no ice cream machine required!).
About a year ago, my vegan sister (love ya, sis!) mentioned she makes a banana ice cream without any cream. She just whipped up the banana, froze it and viola! – ice cream! What a brilliant idea! I kept that in mind and had meant to try it myself, as bananas are a staple in our home and there’s always a stash of frozen bananas (still in their peels), taking up space in part of my freezer.
Earlier this year, the talented folks from Donna Hay’s Fresh & Light Special Issue featured several banana-based, light ‘n’ healthful ice creams that were just too beautiful and delicious looking to pass up.
Instead of using a thick and full-bodied yogurt, I’m using a plain, low-fat variety without compromising its smooth texture. If you look closely at the images, you’ll see specks of the vanilla bean.
The maple syrup and cinnamon lends fantastic flavors without being overdone. It’s good stuff and even better if you optionally (it really shouldn’t be optional) drizzle some of that maple sweetness on top of your fresh and light, homemade ice cream. Serve it with or without the drizzle of maple syrup, but don’t say I didn’t warn that IT’S GOOD! MAKE THIS ICE CREAM!
Need to cut down on the dairy or don’t do dairy? Easily omit the yogurt and add another banana!
…ON A PERSONAL NOTE
My Dad would’ve just loved this ice cream. He was about homemade and eating healthier. One of my many favorite Dad-isms is something he always used to say about desserts and sweets in general…“It’s just a taste, don’t make it a meal.” He’d say this with a smile in his voice and laughter in his eyes. He knew the temptations and the enjoyment of good food. I miss him, every single day – and there truly isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him.
Dad was low-key about his birthdays and was not one for wanting any fuss over him on this day, so I’ll sign off on this post without making a fuss and whispering to my confidant, my true friend, my cheerleader – my Dad. Happy Birthday.
- 4 large bananas
- 1½ cups low-fat, plain yogurt
- 1 vanilla bean pod, vanilla beans scraped from pod
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup maple syrup, + more to drizzle on ice cream
- Peel and slice bananas into rounds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in freezer and freeze until frozen through (about 4 hours to overnight).
- Place the frozen bananas, yogurt, vanilla beans, cinnamon and maple syrup, in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process or blend until smooth, about 4-5 minutes.
- Transfer to a loaf pan or ice cream container (enough to hold 1.5 quarts or a little over 6 cups). Freeze for at least 4 hours to overnight.
- To serve: Drizzle with maple syrup! © Images & content: Cristina A-Moore for TeenieCakes.com.
- I’ve used low-fat yogurt here, but using full fat will work too.
- Alternatively, if you have frozen bananas in your freezer already, you can slice them up and use it for this recipe and save the extra step of freezing up slices.
- Make it dairy free by omitting the yogurt and add another banana.