As a child, one of the highlights of summer was making homemade ice cream. My mom would prepare the ice cream mix, warming it on the stove. My dad would pick up the rock salt and bags of ice. We had a manual ice cream maker, requiring my sisters and me to take turns cranking and cranking the handle. I have sweet memories of the metal container spinning occasionally in layers of ice and salt, of cold water trickling out of the drain hole, of the clank clank clank of the handle as it turned…and of our excited squeals when the handle became too difficult to crank, signifying that the ice cream had solidified. It was almost ready. How difficult it was to wait as the ice cream chilled for a bit and ripened.
No wonder making ice cream at home is considered a summer hygge activity. It involves connection, simple pleasures, and being outside, unless a sudden summer shower forced the whole production into a garage.
By the time I had children of my own, we had an electric ice cream maker. The kids didn’t have to turn the handle but rock salt and bags of ice were still required and the end result was the same…cold, creamy soft ice cream.
I no longer eat dairy products or eggs or sugar, which means I no longer eat tradition ice cream. However, I was excited to draw this activity today.
Make ice cream.
The memories of making ice cream in the summer, as a child and as a mother with children, warmed my heart as I thought about carrying out this fun activity. There is a simple and healthy plant based alternative to ice cream. I just needed some overripe bananas.
Frozen Banana Treat
4 overripe bananas, sliced and then frozen for at least 4 hours.
Place frozen banana slices in a food processor or high speed blender. Blend in 30 – 60 second increments, pausing to push banana mixture down off of the sides of the blender and onto the blades. Continue blending and scraping, until mixture changes from coarse to smooth and creamy, about 5 – 6 minutes.
From slices of frozen banana…
…to smooth, thick, creamy ice cream.
The secret of frozen banana treat is to not give up! It looks like the mixture is not going to change. Keep going. Keep blending for 30 seconds, and then 60 seconds, pausing to scrape down the sides and push the mixture onto the blades. Suddenly, the mixture begins to get creamy, along the bottom of the blender first, and then the creaminess spreads upward until the entire contents look like soft serve ice cream.
Stop blending when that happens. The frozen treat can be spooned into two bowls and eaten immediately or popped into the freezer for an hour or more, to harden. I enjoy the soft serve consistency and eat my treat as soon as it is finished. I don’t have to wait, like I did as a child!
Before I began the process of blending the frozen bananas, I sliced fresh strawberries and combined them with local blackberries and frozen wild blueberries and set aside. This delicious mix would serve as topping for my treat.
I enjoyed making my own version of homemade ice cream tonight. After a veggie bowl of steamed zucchini, slow cooked green beans and new potatoes, and fresh tomatoes, this cold delectable banana treat was the perfect end to the evening meal. No sugar. No dairy. No eggs. No rock salt or bags of ice either. Just the simplicity of frozen bananas with a mixed berry topping. It was wonderful.