Roasted Banana Ice Cream

Recently I volunteered at a health fair that was so well attended, I ended up bringing home bags of leftover apples and bananas from the healthy eating tables. Basically, I've been scouring the internet for ways to use these ingredients. Banana bread is the go to, but I have so many bananas, I know I'll have the chance to make plenty of that. So I wandered over to Elana's Pantry and found this recipe for Roasted Banana Coconut Ice Cream. I like several things about this recipe. One is that it uses no added sugar. Two is that I don't have to wait for my bananas to ripen before I start using them. Three is that the end product is easy to freeze (well, duh).

So, I had to make several adjustments because I don't have an ice cream maker, I don't use coconut oil, and I only had light coconut milk. Easy enough. Here is a resource for us old fashioned people without an ice cream maker, although I used an immersion blender, so it wasn't completely technology free. I was also worried that the ice cream would turn out too icy because of the low fat content, which happened when I had an ice cream maker in college. So I turned to one of my most trusted food writers, Mark Bittman, to explore the quality of cornstarch based ice creams. Creamy? Works with lower fat dairy? Awesome! As for the coconut oil? I substituted with olive oil, which has way less saturated fat. The result? Vegan banana ice cream!

Roasted Banana Ice Cream
Adapted from Elana's Pantry

5 medium bananas, chopped into 1" pieces
2 dates, chopped (I used Medjool)
1 Tb vanilla extract
2 Tb olive oil
1 (14-oz) can light coconut milk (I used Trader Joe's brand)
2 Tb cornstarch (next time, I might add more)

1. Toss the bananas, dates, vanilla extract, and olive oil together in a large Pyrex baking dish. Roast at 375 degrees until the bananas start to caramelize, about 30 minutes. You may want to rotate the baking dish 15 minutes in so the bananas cook evenly.

2. While the bananas are cooking, empty most (like 3/4) of the coconut milk into a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Mix the cornstarch with the remaining coconut milk and add to the pan once it starts simmering. Stir until the mixture starts to thicken. When it coats the back of a wooden spoon, take the coconut milk mixture off of the heat.

3. Dump the bananas and dates into the coconut milk and process, either with a food processor, blender, or immersion blender.

4. If using an ice cream maker, freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. If processing by hand, pour mixture into a freezer safe bowl and place in freezer. Stir with egg beaters, an immersion blender, or a good old fashioned whisk and spatula every 30 min to 1 hour until it becomes ice cream. Yay!

I put together these loose nutrition facts. I am not a professional, so I can't guarantee these are 100% accurate. What I do is enter my recipe into and then adjust the values for ingredients I used that they don't have listed. It does not account for differences in nutritional value due to the cooking processes, but it does give you a ballpark estimate of what you would be enjoying.


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