Friday, August 10, 2012

Ice Cream Without a Machine--or Guilt!

Here's a quick test.

Take a look at the picture and tell me what you see.

Is this:

A)  A rich scoop of chocolate mousse

B)  A dollop of chocolate pudding

C)  A creamy bowl of full-fat chocolate ice cream

D)  None of the above

In fact, D is the answer. The above is my latest dessert experiment:  healthy, low-fat, and quite delicious ice cream made with frozen bananas.

The method couldn't be simpler. For each serving, peel a banana, cut into about four chunks, and freeze for several hours. (I tried freezing it in the peel and had a devil of a time trying to get the peel off.) If you want a fruit flavor, like blueberry, cherry, strawberry, or tangerine, freeze several chunks of those as well.

When you're ready, get out your food processor and toss in the banana chunks and flavorings (which could include cinnamon, as they did last night, or a heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder, as above, or maybe some delicious extract), plus a scant quarter cup of fat-free milk and some sugar or sweetener to taste. Whatever the flavor, you need to use the frozen banana to make your creamy ice cream base.

Churn, churn, churn, until the ice cream is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust flavorings, and then you're done. You can also store the ice cream in the freezer, but let it sit for a bit on the counter before eating to soften.

The ice cream doesn't have the tang of dairy product or the richness of egg yolks you'd find in Ben and Jerry's, but it does have a light, fresh taste that surpasses some of those weirdly chalky "soft-serve" 99% fat free concoctions they sell in shopping malls. Plus, it's easy, fun, and inexpensive to make at home.

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