Raw Blackberry Banana Ice Cream
September 11, 2012
Not long ago I thought I had found the most delicious and easiest to make ice cream (see my post on No-Churn Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream). Recently, however, I wanted to see what all the hype was about the magical one-ingredient ice cream and that was a fantastic surprise. Frozen then puréed ripe bananas make the creamiest, lightest alternative to custard-based ice cream. It is rich yet feels light, it's naturally sweet and creamy and, when frozen, doesn't form all those nasty ice crystals. With no ice cream maker needed, this dessert is a breeze to make and the result spectacular.
All you need to do is peel and break a few bananas into 4-5 pieces, freeze them for a few hours or overnight, thaw for about 15 minutes, pop them in a blender or food processor and whiz to a smooth, velvety consistency. You can either serve it right away or store in an airtight container and freeze until needed. I prefer the soft serve consistency.
The unexpected thing about this ice cream is the colour. Fresh bananas have that pale yellow colour, but when frozen and puréed they turn beautifully, deliciously white. I enjoyed a few batches of this one-ingredient ice cream before I started playing around with flavours.
The blackberry-banana combination is tremendously delicious. The rich, fruity, slightly tangy flavour and the creamy, pleasantly grainy texture make it hugely satisfying and moreish.
This isn't exactly a recipe, rather a suggestion, since my flavour preference may well differ from yours, so feel free to experiment with other amounts until you achieve the desired flavour intensity.
A 1:1 ratio worked best for me (1 cup blended bananas to 1 cup blended blackberries). On another occasion, to serve 4-6 people I used 8 bananas and about 2 cups blackberries. What you do is freeze the bananas in an airtight container (if you don't have smelly foods stored in your freezer, you can just use some parchment paper to wrap them up like an envelope), freeze the blackberries as well separately (for convenience I prefer leaving them overnight), remove from freezer when needed and thaw for about 15 minutes uncovered.
If you have a large, powerful blender or food processor, you can just put everything together and whiz until smooth. I used the chopper container from a hand blender set (it's 600W, quite powerful for iced foods), so I made this in 2 easy steps. First I processed the blackberries into fine icy crumbs (see below), transferred to a bowl, then creamed the bananas (picture above) and finally added the blackberries, whizzed for a few more seconds and done. A bit of a messy job, but fast and easy still. It is important that you don't overbeat the ice cream or you'll end up with an ice-cold smoothie:)
Not only can you experiment with the taste, but with the colour as well. The ratio you choose can turn your ice cream pink, purple, burgundy, etc. Have fun with it:)
The quality of the fruit is decisive on the final taste. You want ripe, soft bananas (not brown and mushy inside). Freshly picked, fully ripened, sweet blackberries taste much better than the store-bought, so if you are able to pick them yourself, all the better. I only used hand-picked berries and was delighted with how the ice cream turned out.
If you are not fond of seeds, you can always strain the ice cream. I for one cannot wait to dig in, besides the blackberry seeds are tiny enough not to make a big difference.
Now think about it, with this raw ice cream you not only get a full blast of flavour and creaminess, you also get a whole load of nutrients. This simple 2-ingredient ice cream is packed with vitamin C and B6, potassium, magnesium and fiber, and also provides a considerable amount of iron and calcium, while containing no cholesterol and being virtually fat-free. There's no sugar added, no tricky and risky techniques, no guilt or worry about weight gain, so why not give it a try?:)
I would love to know what combinations you made (or thought of) to create other amazing flavours, so please drop me a line below with your suggestions.
Enjoy and spread the magic!:)
Like this recipe? Share it with your friends and come back for more!