Healthy Frozen Yogurt
Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Have you ever heard of this banana trick? If you freeze a ripe banana and blend it, it comes out the texture of frozen yogurt! I’ve been doing this for years (in fact, I blogged about two ingredient chocolate ice cream in 2011) in my food processor, but there’s actually a machine called Yonanas specifically for making this healthy, dairy free frozen treat. Usually I’m not a big fan of uni-tasking appliances in the kitchen, but occasionally there is one worth the storage space.
Dole is hosting the Peel the Love Food Truck Tour this summer and invited me to host a party around the time of their stop in my city to try out Yonanas with some friends. To celebrate the end of the school year, my co-workers and I were already planning a progressive dinner party ending with dessert at my place, so this was the perfect opportunity to introduce everyone to a healthy and fun dessert.
So far I’ve only tried making Yonanas with a few kinds of frozen fruit (bananas, mixed berries, and cantaloupe), but I think there will be some fun experimenting in my future. I just glanced at the recipe section on the Yonanas site and found pumpkin pie, grasshopper pie, tiramisu, and more…time to have another party!
Everyone got to try out the Yonanas machine, which is very easy to use: insert a frozen, slightly thawed banana, and push down the chute. It comes out like frozen yogurt, as you can see in the photo above.
The next step was visiting the toppings bar, which included chocolate chips, cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, frozen berries, sprinkles, and sunbutter (an alternative to peanut butter made from sunflower seeds).
Everyone’s creation was unique, so it was fun to see what they each came up with. We also experimented with putting frozen berries and frozen canteloupe through the Yonanas, which reminded me of sorbet. My favorite combo was putting frozen bananas and frozen berries in the machine at once, which gave my dessert a creamy texture with the flavor of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
Everyone was pleasantly surprised at how good banana frozen yogurt could be – several said they would have it in place of ice cream (not all the time of course, but it really is good!). We also had a baby taste tester, who gave it her stamp of approval. She had actually just eaten a banana before coming over, so she was more excited about trying out Yonanas made out of berries.
I made some simple swag bags with a few miniatures from World Market, including a mini bottle of wine to cap our year-end celebration, and a coupon for Dole bananas.
The baby was particularly enamored with the gift bag. She studied the Dole coupon very carefully, then gleefully shook it and the tissue paper for several minutes. Dole, if you’re looking for a spokesbaby, look no further! I can put you in touch with her people
Be sure to see if the Peel the Love Food Truck Tour is coming to a city near you this summer. And next time you’re in the mood for dessert but want something a little lighter, give this magic banana trick a try… you can always smother it in chocolate syrup and whipped cream if it’s a little too healthy for you
I recommend having around 2 bananas per person
- Ripe bananas (look for brown cheetah spots on the peel)
- Optional mix-ins: peanut butter, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, frozen berries, etc.
- Optional toppings: chocolate syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, etc.
- Peel bananas and place in freezer for 24 hours.
- Remove bananas from freezer and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
- Process in a Yonanas, food processor, or blender until smooth. (If desired, add mix-ins and blend. I recommend other frozen fruit, peanut butter, or cocoa powder.)
- Serve with your favorite ice cream toppings.
Dole sent me a Yonanas machine and compensated me for throwing a party. As always, all opinions are my own.