Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Easy ice cream, vegan and gluten-free

Banana soft-serve ice cream. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
Looking for a simple frozen dessert recipe? One that will please vegans, the gluten-free crowd, the lactose intolerant, diabetics and kids big or small? Try this one-ingredient frozen dessert that doesn’t even require an ice cream maker – banana soft serve.

It’s a tasty and frugal dessert that can be whipped up in just a few hours. Purchase over-ripe bananas from a local Atlanta supermarket, peel and slice them, freeze for a couple of hours and blitz in the food processor for a minute or two, until it’s fluffy and smooth. The soft serve dessert may be eaten right away or frozen for a scoopable texture.

Sliced bananas, ready for the freezer. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

In its purest state, this is an easy dessert to please guests with dietary challenges, but it’s also a blank canvas for culinary upgrades. A bit of honey (not vegan, though)  or agave nectar and lemon can perk up the flavors, and mix-ins such as chocolate chips dress up the dessert.

Super-ripe bananas. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream”

Serves 4 to 6

6 medium ripe bananas

Optional: Juice of ½ lemon, 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

Mix-ins such as chocolate chips, chopped peanuts or almonds, fresh berries.

1. Peel bananas and slice into 1-inch chunks. Place in a zipper lock bag and freeze for at least two hours.

2. Remove bag from freezer and place banana chunks into bowl of food processor. Add lemon and honey or agave nectar, if using.

3. Process for one minute, then check consistency of frozen banana puree. If mixture still has chunks, continue processing in 10 second intervals until it reaches the desired texture.

4. Serve immediately, with mix-ins. The banana soft serve may be stored in airtight container in the freezer.

If you have extra uber-ripe bananas, make my favorite banana bread or create an elegant and easy ice cream topping.

Best banana bread - ever! Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books


The Teacher Cooks said...

Love, love this idea! Thanks so much for the stumble.

Julie Quinn said...

Just made some with some peanut butter and mini chocolate chips - hoping my non-fruit/non-veggie child will eat this sneaky ice cream :-) Will gladly give her ice cream when she wants it if she'll eat this! THANKS!