Simply Bananas. I’m sharing with you all today one of my favorite sweet treat recipes, BanaNO Cream. We all love ice cream…right? Right! If not, most of us enjoy a nice cold treat to satisfy our sweet tooth and cool us down especially in the warm and sunny weather. I’ve always loved ice cream, especially as a little me, mint chocolate chip and classic vanilla were some of my favorite flavors, and this BanaNO Cream is simply delicious!
I often have memories of celebrating birthdays with ice cream cones in the summer, watching movies curled on the couch with family and bowls of ice cream, running after the ice cream truck with friends, visiting my hometown ice cream “shop”, and all the fun toppings that go along with “decorating” your favorite flavors. Wow, recapping all these memories is really solidifying the fact that I have a thing for ice cream (ha). Typically ice cream isn’t the best for our beautiful bodies especially store-bought ice cream which lacks quality ingredients especially in the form of dairy. With that being said, there are some great local and organic brands out there who take their time using good quality organic ingredients (grass-fed cows milk used), unfortunately these are the minority in the ice cream business.
When you browse the freezer isle for ice cream, you may see all types including; fat free, sugar free, high fiber(?), probiotics, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and more. When you’re shopping for ice cream, question the ingredients! If it’s marketed as low-fat or 1/2 the fat, ask yourself this question, “What is the fat being replaced with?”, most likely your answer is good ole’ sugar or some variant filler. What BanaNO-cream will NOT contain any ingredients on my personal hit list: cows milk, refined sugar, corn syrup, malt flavoring, cream, whey, mono and diglycerides, bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, tara gum, sucralose, cellulose, sorbitol, “natural” flavors, and/or added vitamins/calcium, stabilizes, emulsifiers, artificial colorings//flavorings of any kind.
Why bananas are rockstar fruits? Not only are they packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and electrolytes (potassium), but they’re also one of natures “convenience” foods due to they’re natural packaging (a.k.a. peel). Bananas are great at providing cardiovascular protection due to the potassium and fiber content, as well as regulating bowel movements, ulcer healing/stomach lining protection, kidney health, eye/vision health, and bone health. Bananas are also touted by athletes and fitness enthusiasts everywhere as the perfect muscle fuel for quick replenishment before, during, or after a workout. They’re one of my absolute favorite fruits to add into The Stripped Smoothie when I need extra carbohydrates and calories after some good ole’ weight training, yoga, walking, etc. Let’s not forget the best thing about bananas, they’re extremely affordable, culinarily diverse, and have a fantastic creamy texture and taste!
Nutrient breakdown of BANANAS |
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Fiber | mostly pectin, a soluble fiber and resistant starches depending on their degree of ripeness (i.e. the greener the banana->the less ripe->the more resistant starches; the more spotted->the more ripe-> the less resistant starches)
- Energy (a.k.a. calories)
BanaNO cream toppings |
- Fruit | berries, tropical fruits, dried goji berries, dried apricots, banana chips, etc.
- Nuts & seeds | raw varieties of almonds, walnuts, crushed cashews, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, etc.
- Extras | cacao nibs, raw cocoa powder, spirulina, shredded unsweetened coconut, maple syrup, orange/lemon zest, etc.
- 2 frozen bananas (super ripe!)
- ¼ cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other varieties you choose)
- ¼ cup of unsweetened coconut milk
- a pinch of sea salt
- dash of cinnamon
- Simply combine all ingredients in Vitamix//high speed blender or food process and blend until thick and creamy (it will resemble frozen soft serve yogurt).
- At this stage, you may eat as is or you may freeze for 1-2 hours and use an ice cream scooper to create a "harder" consistency.
- Choose spotted and very ripe bananas! This will not only help to naturally sweeten the recipe, but will also provide a better texture when blended.
- I typically will buy extra bunches of bananas each week for the sole purpose to allow some to get very ripe so I may freeze them for banana ice-cream.
- Once ripened, simply peel and store in a freezer safe storage bag or container and keep in the freezer.
- Use a high speed blender to make this thick and creamy, I use my Vitamix.
- If you choose to make the ice-cream “scoops”, note that there may be some ice crystallization forming (as this happens naturally when frozen). If you don’t like this texture simply eat it as soon as it’s blended like a “frozen yogurt”.
- You may add protein powder to this recipe if you’d like something more filling (I’ve often eaten this post workout).
What’s your favorite way to eat ice-cream? Cone or sans cone? Leave your comments below, I love hearing about it!