I always have been and always will be a banana-lover. Yes, yes, I know that many people will tell you that bananas are starchy fruits that are quite high in sugar, and some nutritionists practically consider them taboo, but they just have too many good things going on to be removed from your (or at least my!) diet. Slightly under-ripe bananas actually have a much lower glycemic index than ripe ones (meaning that they digest more slowly and won’t cause as much of a blood-sugar spike) and are full of probiotics. While super ripe bananas have more quickly-absorbed sugar, they also are rich in cancer-preventing antioxidants. Basically, you win either way. (And no, I promise that a. this isn’t going to become a nutrition blog, and b. I am not being compensated by any banana company or anything of the sort to say a bunch of wonderful things. I just really love bananas.)
And that’s not all! Bananas are also a great source of electrolytes (I almost always have half a banana after a long run), mashed banana is a great substitute for oil/butter/etc. in many recipes, bananas’ natural sweetness lends itself to baked goods (meaning that you can cut down the refined sugar when creating a recipe with bananas) and they also give baked goods a soft, moist texture. Not to mention their delicious flavor! Now that we’ve established that I really really love bananas, let’s bake with them! Roasted Banana Ice Cream is on the menu for today, and it’s one of the most delicious ice creams I’ve ever made. The roasting bananas made my kitchen smell like bananas foster, and the resulting ice cream was perfectly thick, smooth, and full of caramely-banana flavor. It comes together much more easily than custard-based homemade ice cream, and has a considerably less sugar and fat than many ice cream recipes due to the sweet, thickening bananas. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is healthy ice cream, but that’s not really the point when it comes to ice cream. At least not in my opinion.
Celebrate the first month of summer with a bowl of Roasted Banana Ice Cream! It would be amazing drizzled with caramel sauce, hot fudge, melted peanut butter (omg), or chopped nuts. Or in another delicious form, which may be coming soon to Emma’s Baking Addiction (hint, hint…). I need to roast bananas more often, because when I do, amazing things happen. Happy eating! Roasted Banana Ice Cream
Yield: about 1 quart
3 medium ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small chunks
1 & 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the banana slices in an 8″x8″ baking pan and toss them with the brown sugar and butter pieces. Roast uncovered for 25-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the banana slices are lightly browned and caramelized.
Place the bananas (and all the syrupy mixture from the pan) into a blender or food processor. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl or large (4-cup) measuring cup and chill for at least 8 hours. Then pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Serve immediately (at a soft-serve consistency) or freeze the ice cream until firm.