Last summer, I stumbled across a recipe for one-ingredient ice cream. The recipe, if you’ve never tried it and don’t feel like clicking through, calls for whipping frozen bananas in a food processor until they turn creamy and silky. Since I’ve loved frozen bananas since I was a kid and since I’m always looking for healthy snack options, I gave it a shot. Honestly, I was shocked when it worked. The finished product tasted for all the world like good ice cream. It turned into one of my kids’ favorite summery treats, but I kind of forgot about it once summer was over.
Fast forward to about a month ago, when something on Pinterest caught my eye — a pin about banana-Nutella ice pops* that called for blending the two ingredients together to make a low-cal treat. Well, of course, I had to try it. I immediately put Nutella on my grocery list, but then kept finding myself too busy to haul out my Cuisinart.
Today, though, I finally bit the bullet and got it done:
Cut the bananas into bite-sized chunks and throw them in the Cuisinart (note: Do yourself a favor and ALWAYS peel bananas before you freeze them. As you can see, I had one banana I’d just thrown in the freezer unpeeled and it was an enormous pain in the tuchas to deal with. I had to cut the peel off, all the while trying to hold the slippery, ice-cold banana steady. Not worth the trouble). Turn on the Cuisinart, and watch it go.
Now, every single time I’ve made this dessert, I become convinced about halfway through the blending process that this cannot possibly work. See, before they become creamy, the bananas more closely resemble crumbs:
Another few moments of blending, and sure enough, the bananas have become creamy and smooth. Sadly, I couldn’t get a decent photo of them at this stage, but trust me, it worked.
I added two heaping spoons full of Nutella (I’m guessing a good 2T), about 1/3 cup of milk and let it blend some more. I was cautious about putting too much Nutella in because it makes for a soft pop and I didn’t want to have trouble removing these from the Zoku. I ended up having far more base than I needed to make three pops, so I actually blended a whole lot more Nutella into the leftovers and put that in the freezer for later.
I got worried when I poured my pops, because the base was very thick. In fact, I was so worried that I froze these pops in two batches, making just one pop at first to make sure that it wouldn’t stick in the mold. It didn’t, so I made the other two:
These pops were delicious. The banana flavor definitely dominates, but not in a bad way. It’s actually a pretty mellow, almost nutty flavor. I couldn’t really taste the Nutella in these pops (though to be fair, I just tried the ice cream I froze with about triple the proportion of Nutella and while I could taste the Nutella, the banana still dominates). The texture was light and soft.
Overall, I liked this pop but it feels more like a banana pop with some Nutella flavor mixed in than a Nutella pop that includes a little banana. I think for the latter, my best bet will be to make the Nutella pops I’d made before and add slices of banana.
* one good reason actually to read the posts linked to Pinterest Pins: I had only pinned this recipe and never actually clicked through until I sat down to write this post. The actual recipe calls for blending fresh bananas with the Nutella, then freezing the whole shebang. I’d just assumed that I was supposed to start with frozen bananas. The pops turned out just fine either way; it was just a little chastening to see that I assumed incorrectly. I hate being wrong.