Disclaimer: I received a free product for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity..
I admit it, ice cream is one of my weaknesses, especially while pregnant. Unfortunately, ice cream is chalk full of sugars and fat. I am happy to announce, however, this exciting alternative that allows you to have your ice cream and stay healthy too! It’s called Yonanas and you make it with bananas.
Now, you may have seen Dole’s Yonanas (click here to view their site) on TV or in stores and wondered what it was. Basically, Yonanas is an ice cream maker/juicer that makes “soft serve ice cream” out of frozen Dole bananas and other fruits! This is a great option for those of you who are lactose intolerant or have children whom you don’t want having too much sugar as it is made out of just fruit (though you can always add peanut butter and toppings are always an option as well to spruce it up.) So how does it work? First, you will need to freeze over-ripened, cheetah spotted bananas (you know, the ones that are still yellow but have brown speckles all over them,) NOT bananas that are green, perfectly yellow or all the way black. Why is this you ask? Cheetah spotted bananas are supposed to be the sweetest and have the perfect consistency for making sweet, creamy Yonanas ice cream. Keep in mind that bananas take about a week to reach cheetah spotted status, and you will need to peel and freeze the bananas at least 24 hours ahead of time then when you are ready for some Yonanas, just thaw your fruits (bananas and any other fruits you would like to mix in) for about 10-15 minutes (when using fruits besides bananas, thaw for only 7-10 minutes or until they begin to sweat for a gelato-like consistency.) Be sure not to over or under thaw as it will turn into either melted goo or will be too cold to properly pulverize. You can also add room temperature peanut butter (I also tried a spoon of Cool Whip.) You can try all types of frozen fruits in Yonanas, however, do not use nuts, fruit with pits, or ice cubes in the machine. Once your fruits are thawed, turn on the machine and start making your Yonanas ice cream! Simply stick in a banana to start and push it down the chute (applying even pressure) with the plunger. You can use all bananas or alternate between bananas and other frozen fruits. The first time I tried my Dole Yonanas machine I did not like the consistency, it seemed a bit loud, and the plunger seemed to vibrate too much so my hand went numb. Each time since, my experience has gotten better, however, and the consistency is smoother, the vibrating is not as big a deal now that I “plunge” it correctly and the loudness is about the same of a blender so as long as my son isn’t napping I have no problems with it! I tried the original Yonanas machine, but they now offer a Yonanas Elite machine that is quieter as well. My Yonanas dessert tastes better and better with each use as well! I also like how easy it is to clean my Yonanas. As long as you rinse it off right away with warm water, you will not have to scrub to get off food. It separates into 5 pieces to clean every nook and cranny and easily. I do not personally use a dishwasher, except for a drying rack, but if you are like most and do, Yonanas is top-rack dishwasher-safe! Each box comes with a recipe book as well and you can find more Yonanas recipes online. Check out the recipes I created below:
Yonanas Pineapple, Banana, Orange Punch
1) Make the Yonanas by alternating a banana, a half cup of pineapple, a tablespoon of Cool Whip for creaminess, and another banana. Stir together in the bowl.
2) Pour equal portions of orange juice and 7UP into a glass and add in a scoop of Yonanas. Enjoy!
Chocolate-Covered Cherry Bon Bons
1) Make the Yonanas by alternating a banana, a half cup of black cherries (or try frozen maraschino cherries for a different taste,) and another banana. Stir together and stick in a freezer container for a few hours or overnight to stiffen.
2) Once your Yonanas is a firmer consistency, you can start making your bon bons. The first step is to scoop a small amount of frozen Cool Whip into a cookie dough scoop.
3) With the Cool Whip still in the cookie dough scoop, scoop the Yonanas cherry mixture to fill the scoop the rest of the way. If needed, use a butter knife to flatten the bottom.
4) Flip the scoop over and release onto your serving plate (or a separate plate if you do not want the messy spill-over when you serve.)
5) While the scoop of Yonanas is still frozen, drizzle over some Magic Shell topping and let it harden.
6) Serve on this plate with the extra chocolate spilled over or once the chocolate is hardened move to a separate serving dish. If you have it, add a mint leaf or cherry stem for extra decoration.
- frozen bananas (as many as you want for serving size)
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp rum extract
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 an under-ripe banana, sliced thinly
- waffle ice cream cone
1) Take out frozen bananas and begin the thawing process. 2) In the meantime, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Add the brown sugar and nutmeg then stir and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Add the thin slices of banana and stir for a couple minutes. Take out the bananas and set them to the side. Add the rum extract to the sauce (you can try to light this as extract has a small amount of alcohol and burn until the flame is out, otherwise just simmer and stir for a few minutes until the sauce is syrup consistency.) 3) Make the Yonanas and stir to the proper consistency. 4) To plate, put a scoop of Yonanas into a bowl. Spoon over the sauce and banana pieces then decorate by sticking in a piece of broken waffle cone. You can also try making peanut butter cookies and adding straight up banana Yonanas in the center and freezing to harden for a twist on peanut butter and banana sandwiches and frozen ice cream cookie sandwiches! This will be a fun activity to do with your kids! Dole Yonanas machines can be purchased starting at $50 from several retailers listed here. If you choose to order online from any of the retailers, be sure to check out Ebates to see if your order qualifies for cash back! Check out Yonanas on Facebook and look for them on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram (all links are listed on their website.)
-What would you make with Yonanas? Leave a comment below or on my Facebook wall!