Saturday, April 6, 2013

Banana Ice Cream

I originally wanted to post this a few weeks ago (you know, when I actually made it), but then Passover started before I had a chance, and it seemed more timely and imperative to share my KFP recipes.  Then, Passover finished, but I got sick, and the thought of food made my tummy do lots of weird and unmentionable things.

Today, I'm finally feeling better and want to talk about something I've seen on Pinterest.  Supposedly, according to the pseudo health-gurus on Pinterest, you can make your own banana ice cream at home, without the use of an ice cream machine.  I was skeptical, but since all you needed were some overripened bananas, I was game - especially since I wasn't really in the mood for banana bread.

All you do is peel your bananas and slice them into coins, then stick them in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up.  I was looking for recipe ideas and saw that you could do this with strawberries, too, as long as you added them to the bananas.  As luck would have it, I had some strawberries in the fridge too that needed to be used quickly (thanks, old man winter).  After looking online, you slice and freeze those, also.

To make the ice cream, you just put your bananas into the food processor or blender until they cream and resemble soft serve.  This is pretty much where I started having problems.

I do not have a food processor, but I do have a blender.  A semi-working blender.  I love my mom, but she gave this blender to Joe and me for... some reason that I forget.  Anyway, I'm pretty sure this thing was on her registry when she married my dad because this thing is OLD.  It works, if your patient and don't really mind lumpy frozen margaritas or lumpy shakes and smoothies.  Actually, now that I think about it, I think she got a new one and said "here, have my old blender, it still works!".  Which, I guess technically it does "work", since it does turn on when I press the button. 

At any rate, I had to add the bananas only a few slices at a time, and I could only add a couple of strawberries at a time.  It finally got mixed, and I decided it needed to be thickened a little, so I added one of those individual go-packs of peanut butter.  Strawberry banana peanut butter ice cream sounded good, but strawberry banana peanut butter chocolate chip sounded better (go big or go home, peeps), so I stirred in some mini chocolate chips, too.

Since the aforementioned blender is almost assuredly from the 1980s, this took a lot longer than expected.  When I finally got everything mixed up, I was pleasantly surprised at how good it looked! It looked like too-soft soft serve (probably because it had been out for so long), and I had seen online that you could freeze it and it would be like hard ice cream.  So, that's what I did.

Only, when it came out of the freezer, it wasn't really like hard ice cream at all.  The texture was really grainy and was more like italian ice than anything else.  It still tasted really good, but I ended up throwing it away because it was too difficult to get it out of of the container, even after leaving it to sit on the counter and soften up for 10 minutes.

I don't really want to call this a fail, because I don't feel like it was, but it was definitely a learning experience.  I'd definitely be willing to try this again, with the proper equipment.  I still don't have a food processor as I don't really need one in my regular day-to-day cooking, but if I can find one for cheap, I'll get it.  If she's reading this, maybe mom will let me borrow hers so I can gave this another go.  I think I'd also try to find CORRECT ice cream storage containers.  Even though my container that I used was/is freezer safe, I think the fact that it's not really designed *for* ice cream impacted the texture of the final result.

Homemade banana ice cream without an ice cream maker definitely has potential, but I'm also not going to put too much stock in it.  Truthfully, I feel like this was all hype with nothing to special to show for it. I have some recipes for homemade frozen yogurt that use Greek yogurt as a base, and those seem like they have much more potential than this.

What's the last thing you made that didn't quite come out the way you expected?

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