There’s this thing people at my fruit shop seem to do in abundance that I’ve never understood. Maybe they do it at yours too, or maybe you are even one of these people and can explain it to me? When buying a bunch of bananas, these people become dissatisfied with the number of bananas on the bunch. Maybe there’s 5, but they wanted 4. So instead of just buying the whole bunch of bananas and eating an extra banana, they’ll tear one or two off until it’s the number they want. Nobody else wants the solo rejected bananas, so they sit there, ripening until they’re too ripe to sell.
Fortunately my fruit shop is one of those that has a whole section devoted to the less desirable fruit sold for a large discount, and here’s where these rejected bananas finally find a home. You can usually get a bag of a dozen assorted over-ripe bananas for $2. They’re perfect for baking banana cakes and bread, or for mashing up and adding to a pancake flour mixture for something a little different. If I’m not using them straight away, I’ll pop them in the freezer for when the opportunity to bake arises. But since we’re in the middle of such a hot summer, baking is a no go at the moment. But there was an idea I was introduced to by one of my deviantART watchers during the winter that I’ve been dying to try out: making ice cream using only frozen bananas.
I had to admit some skepticism at the idea of doing nothing but blending up a banana and getting ice cream, but the results are truly surprising.
Prepping the bananas is simple. If, like me, you’ve all ready got some bananas in the freezer, you can just pull them out and peel them, then cut them into chunks. If you haven’t frozen them yet you can either peel then freeze then cut up later, or peel them, cut them up and then freeze. It’s probably going to depend on what freezer space you have. You do want to make the chunks fairly even in size, and not too large so the blade cuts up everything properly.
Then it’s simply a matter of throwing it in a food processor and pulsing it until you get a smooth, creamy ice cream. It will turn from tiny chunks to a smooth texture very quickly. You don’t want to blend it too much, as if you keep going the heat of the blades will start to melt it. Just look for the texture, taste a bit to make sure it’s not grainy and you’re done. You can eat it immediately, or put it in a container and keep in the freezer.
Of course, there’s no need to stop there. Once you’ve turned a few bananas into ice cream, you can add whatever you want. No recipe, no measuring: throw whatever you like in the food processor until it tastes how you want it to.
I blended the raspberries completely so they’d lend their colour to the ice cream, but if you want them chunky you can just quickly pulse it or even fold it through the ice cream.
And with the last batch of bananas, I kept adding teaspoons of nutella until it was chocolatey enough.
If you’re adding any unfrozen ingredients in, you may want to quickly refreeze the ice cream before serving. It probably owed a little to how warm room temperature was here, but it needed an hour back in the freezer before it was okay to serve.