Banana “Gelato”

I was recently reminded of this healthy and delicious dessert by my brother–thanks, Jordan!  It is amazing in its simplicity and how closely it resembles gelato in texture.  Yet, it is as healthy as eating whole bananas and therefore doesn’t have to be reserved for special occasions. It does taste like bananas (not a bad thing in my book), but if you prefer to disguise the flavor a bit, add your favorite extract or fruit to the bananas.

Bananas are a go-to food for me.  Not only do they taste great and go well with peanut butter, but they also offer a serious punch of energy and potassium which helps me recover from workouts faster and get back out there!

This “gelato” is delicious plain, but playing around with different add-ins keeps the dessert fresh and offers a little more room for those times when you truly want to indulge.  Banana gelato is on my list as a top pick when I get a dessert craving!

Banana “Gelato”

Ingredients:

◊  very ripe bananas
◊  vanilla extract
◊  dash of salt (optional)
◊  other add-ins (see below for ideas)

Directions:

Slice bananas into disks.

lay in single layer on a cooling rack or wax paper-lined tray and freeze for at least 30 or until almost frozen solid.  If not using immediately, transfer frozen bananas to a ziploc bag and store in freezer for up to one month.

When ready to make gelato, remove bananas from freezer and place slices in the bowl of a food processor (a blender or immersion blender will also work, but not as easily).

Let banana sit for 5-10 minutes to allow slices to soften a little.  Then pulse on low. Add small amount of milk or milk substitute if using.

As banana breaks up, it will become mealy.  Continue to pulse, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary with a spatula.

Banana will start to become creamy.  At this point, switch to processing on high-speed until very creamy.

Add spices, flavorings and mix-ins and pulse until fully incorporated. If banana has become to runny, place back in freezer for 10 minutes, then quickly pulse to break up any clumps. Serve immediately.

Flavor Combinations

Vanilla

(add a touch of vanilla extract and a smidgen of salt to the bananas. You can also add a touch of milk if desired)

Graham Cracker

(a favorite flavor from a local ice cream parlor– add crushed graham crackers and a splash of vanilla)

Mexican Chocolate

(Add in a 1/2 T of cocoa powder and a 1/2 t of cinnamon)

Peach Cobbler

(stir 1/4 c chopped peaches after processing bananas. Mix together 3 T graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 t cinnamon, 1/2 t sugar, 1 t melted butter until mixture is uniformly combined and crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over peach gelato)

Coffee

(mix in a dash of vanilla and 1-2 T strong black coffee. Top with a few chocolate covered espresso beans)

Cinna-nut

(mix 1/2 – 1 t cinnamon as well as a dash of flavored extract of your choice. Mix in or top with chopped mixed nuts– the ones pictured are cinnamon and toffee coated nuts. Try serving atop healthy pancakes as a brunch treat)

These are just a few ideas. I hope you play around with extracts, fruits, spices and add-in ingredients. The flavor combinations are only limited by your imagination… and your stomach! If you come up with an amazing flavor, please share it in the comment section.

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