I know, I know. Another creamy, icy, indulgent treat. Don't be mad at me. It's that time of year. Besides this rich and delicious ice cream is completely dairy-free and can be made with no added sweetener. Its secret ingredient? Bananas! I happen to be a huge fan of banana ice cream, so when my sister-in-law forwarded me a year-old link to this recipe on Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn, I was excited to try it. Theirs called simply for frozen bananas whipped in a food processor, but I added a few extra ingredients in very small quantities—maple syrup, lemon juice, crème fraîche and cinnamon. Feel free to customize it according to your own flavor fetishes, but consider peanut butter, chocolate, cardamom, coconut milk and lime (but probably not all together). And remember, bananas are a great source of potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. They're also full of fructooligosaccharide, a prebiotic that helps colonize your intestine with good bacteria. As if you needed another reason to try this...
The process couldn't be easier and the results are actually quite stunning. This reminded me that about 20 years ago, I would often freeze cut-up fruit and then toss it into the cuisinart with an egg white, a little sugar or honey, some lemon juice and a couple of tablespoons of yogurt—voilà, sorbet! If it comes out a little too soft for you, just pop it in a covered container and let it firm up in the freezer. Pretty much any fruit works, but I recall strawberry, pineapple and melon being especially divine.
Banana Ice Cream
— 3 ripe organic bananas
— 1 tablespoon maple syrup, grade B preferred
— 2 tablespoons crème fraîche, optional
— juice of 1/2 lemon
— generous pinch ground cinnamon
Peel bananas, slice into 1" rounds and place in freezer, covered, on a platter or cookie sheet.
When frozen (about 2-3 hours later), combine with remaining ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth.
If you have any left over (and you won't, but you can always double this recipe), it may be too hard the next time you take it out of the freezer. Let it thaw just a bit, and then re-process to reclaim that creamy, smooth texture.