I have walked past the Yonanas machine in the store no less than 5 times and wondered about it. I mean, ice cream made from bananas? Is that even possible? Turns out, if you do a quick google search of “banana ice cream recipes” the answer is a resounding yes. So, when Yonanas and Walmart offered to send us a machine to test out as a part of my ongoing participation in the Walmart Moms, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out a healthier ‘ice cream’ – especially with warmer weather on the horizon.
The biggest thing to know with the Yonanas machine is that in order to make this fabulous frozen concoction, you must have frozen, over-ripe bananas. So, knowing that, I took a quick trip to Walmart to pick up some bananas. We also picked up some frozen mango, pineapple, and strawberries so that when our machine arrived, we would be all set to make our frozen treat. The bananas took about a week to become spotty and over-ripe, and once they were just right I peeled them and put them in a ziploc bag in the freezer.
Before long, it was time to make Yonanas! Audrey Grace decided that she first wanted to make the banana and strawberry kind. We took the bananas out of the freezer and waited about 8 minutes until they looked still mostly frozen, but also a bit softer. This is the tricky part, because the temperature of the bananas definitely affects the consistency of the end product, but just watch the clock and make sure not to go over 10 minutes and you should be fine. We started off by putting one banana in the top of the machine and pushing it in with the plunger. What comes out is a smooth and creamy banana ice cream – like you see in the photo above.
The directions suggest that if you want to add other fruit, you alternate between bananas and the other fruit to keep a creamy consistency, so that is what we did. So, after the banana went in, we added some frozen strawberries! Yum!
At this point, we had a small bowl full of strawberry-banana Yonanas goodness. Holy cow, is it delicious. The banana is creamy and so sweet, and the strawberry was also creamy, but more of a sorbet consistency. Audrey Grace didn’t want to wait – she wanted to eat it right then and there, but my recommendation would be to mix the two together really well and then pop it into the freezer for about 10 minutes to let it really have some time to blend and re-freeze.
You probably can also make bigger batches of this and store it in a freezer-proof container, and scoop it out like ice cream as needed!
I skipped the strawberry in mine and went straight banana, but I stirred in a teaspoon full of peanut butter, then I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes. When I took it back out of the freezer and finally tried a bite I literally made an “mmmmm” noise out loud. Absolutely delicious.
So, you might be wondering – why would you choose this instead of ice cream? I mean, it isn’t hard work, but it does take some preparation and time, not to mention you have to clean out the machine after you use it. Here are the top 3 reasons I feel investing in a Yonanas machine is worthwhile.
1) It’s a healthy alternative to ice cream. 200 calories in a cup of Yonanas versus 400 in a cup of ice cream and 0 grams of fat. Zilch. Zero. Nada. Also, no cream, added sugar, etc.
2) It was fun! We had so much fun doing this project together and brainstorming different Yonanas treats. This would make a great summer activity.
3) It is super duper easy. At 7, my daughter was actually able to choose her own flavor and make the Yonanas herself, with my supervision of course.
If you think you’ll love having homemade, creamy banana ice cream as much as we do, consider picking up a Yonanas machine in time for summer. Walmart carries the Yonanas machines for $49.95 in black and silver as well as fun, fresh colors like blue, purple, and pink, too!