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Banana Cherry Healthy "Ice Cream" - less than 200 calories

>> Friday, July 1, 2011

Don't get too excited, it's not actually ice cream.  But, this recipe is super healthy and very, very good in my opinion.  This one came about because I'd seen (through Pinterest) that you can make soft-serve like ice cream from frozen bananas only.  I tried that and decided you definitely had to have some kind of liquid.  First I tried water and it was ok, but then I tried coconut milk and decided it was the way to go. I'm not much of a measurer, so when I come up with a recipe myself I have a hard time pinning down amounts.  Feel free to adjust these as you like.  I had some cherries in my freezer so I made this version, but I can think of lots of other flavor combos.  You need the bananas because the texture comes 100% from them.

Here are some other ideas I had for flavors, although some of these would probably up the calorie content a good bit:  Banana-Chocolate (cocoa powder and sugar or splenda), Banana-Mocha (cocoa powder or choc syrup or even Nesquik and some instant coffee), Banana-Strawberry, Banana-Split (strawberries, pineapple, choc syrup on top), Banana- Coconut +/- chocolate.  Hmmm....can you tell I kind of like chocolate?  For now, I am loving the cherry version and I've been craving one of these every day since making the first one.

1 banana, sliced and frozen  (very important that the slices are frozen!! I put the slices in a bag and lay them flat to freeze so that the slices can be separated and blend easier)
4 frozen cherries
1 tsp vanilla extract (pure vanilla is so much better)
coconut milk, amt varies

Start with 1/4 cup coconut milk (you could use whatever milk you prefer but I love the flavor that comes from coconut milk) and put the milk and all other ingredients in your blender or food processor.  I use a magic bullet, and this is such a small amount that you definitely couldn't use a huge blender or processor.  Add more milk as you blend until you get to the desired consistency.  Basically you want all your bananas blended, but you don't want to start getting a liquid consistency (which mine actually did in the photo).  I have to shake my magic bullet as it's blending and sometimes stop and stir.  In the picture, I have some Cool Whip on top.

My estimate is that the calories on this are about 160 without Cool Whip (depending on the size of the banana and type of milk. Coconut milk is 45 cal per half cup.)

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