Every so often my son gets a hankering for ice cream. But, being a health conscious person who is very aware of their own self control issues, I rarely have any ice cream in the house.
That is where Dr. Joel Fuhrman and frozen bananas come in handy. In his book "Eat For Health" Dr. Furhman gives a recipe for what he calls "Frozen Banana Fluff". This dessert is a wonderful alternative to fatty, high-calorie ice cream. Also this recipe grants you a great deal of versatility based on what you have in your fridge, freezer or pantry.
Here is what you need:
A strong food processor. This is really important. You don't want to make this in a lower powered food processor and kill it. I have a friend who did that and she wasn't too happy.
I use this food processor by Cuisinart. It is a lovely little machine that rarely lets me down.
Here are your ingredients:
1/4 Cup "milk"
2 bananas that were ripe when frozen
A dash of vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed (optional)
Any other elements for flavor*
To make this as easy as possible on your food processor, put in your s blade and add the "milk".
Then add the frozen banana pieces one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until you have a nice creamy texture that looks like this.
You can add the ground flax seed as a topping to add even more nutrients if you wish. If you have a nut allergy you may want to abstain from this. Also, if you grind your own flax seed in a coffee or spice grinder, keep the meal in your fridge but for about two weeks. Here is an awesome site full of wonderful information on flax seeds and their nutritional benefits:
*Let's get into the flavoring issue. I like to add fresh strawberries, or frozen, depending on what is on hand. You can also alternate what extracts you use. Get creative. Use raspberry or almond, or orange. Or just add some blueberries or real raspberries. Just note that if you add more solids you are going to have to compensate with more liquid. That means more "milk" and that could mean more points or calories. Just keep that in mind. You could also replace some of the banana with another fruit. But be aware that your creaminess is coming from the bananas.
If you don't mind adding some calories (and points), you can add some chocolate. A low calorie option for adding chocolate is to take a zester/grater and zest some semi sweet baking chocolate into the banana mixture.
Now another note, this one is concerning "milk". If you are vegan you can opt for soy or rice milk. Trader Joe's makes an amazing Grain Milk made from millet, amaranth, brown rice and quinoa. Talk about nutrients!!
I chose to use Trader Joe's rice drink, and fresh strawberries, to make the "ice cream" pictured above. I used about 1/2 a cup to compensate for the added strawberries.
Not only does it already have a nice vanilla flavor incorporated, but it is also enriched. Here are the facts on this beverage:
If you calculate the WW points on this beverage it is 3 points per cup. The points in your dessert depends on how much of the liquid you use to make the ice cream (which depends on if you add more fruit than bananas). Don't forget that with the new points plus Weightwatchers system all fruit is FREE!! So your only calories are going to come from your liquid in this recipe.
If you aren't a vegan and you choose to use skim milk you'll find yourself with even less points because one cup of skim milk is only two points.
Now, some advice on the bananas. Grab some bananas that are already ripe, and therefore on sale, at the grocery store. Take them home, slice them up and freeze them on a baking sheet with parchment, or a cooling rack. You want to freeze them this way or you will end up a ball of frozen bananas that are hard to separate in your freezer. Once they are frozen you can toss the into a nice thick reliable freezer bag for storing.
I reference this process on a more detailed level in this post:
My kid loves this stuff, as do I. I have impressed quite a few visitors to my house with this recipe. Just eat it right away b/c it doesn't keep that well.
So, get creative and enjoy some "ice cream" void of any and all guilt. And check out the book it came from. It is full of many other uber-healthy, tasty, creative recipes.s