Monday, January 23, 2012

coconut milk & banana "ice cream"

this is the message that greeted me this morning. thanks, bananas, way to advertise.*

i never liked bananas growing up. the blandish taste did not make up for the weird, icky texture. rather than just owning up to my general banana-dislike, however, i guess i thought my dislike would seem more serious to my parents if i found something concrete to hate about them. thus began my years of claims that i hated potassium. somewhere i'd heard that they had potassium all up in there and so i figured it was as good a reason as any.

but lo, i have seen the error of my ways, and now bananas and i are ... friendly acquaintances. i still don't buy them that often, but i do eat them occasionally and i definitely take seriously the messages that appear on the ones in my kitchen.

i read about using frozen bananas to make an ice cream-like concoction a while ago, but it didn't particularly appeal to me, being a relatively recent banana convert and all. all banana, all the time is a bit much.

but i bought a can of coconut milk at the asian market the other day (because even i know that "roxy" means premium quality ... and i liked the can) as well as some palm sugar. sugar, coconut milk (ROXY) and bananas are definitely something i can get behind.

this requires a couple of preparatory steps, such as peeling the bananas and freezing them and also putting the can of coconut milk in the fridge (you want everything to be nice and cold). but that's not too onerous. just do it before you go to work or whatever.

once the bananas are frozen, just blend them up (i used a food processor, but i think a blender would work too) with the can of cold coconut milk and maybe 4 or so tablespoons of palm (or brown. or whatever) sugar. i started out with just half a can of the milk, blended for a bit, then added more. the sugar you'll have to adjust to your tastes. start with just a couple of tablespoons and go from there. i also added a teaspoon or so of lime juice just to balance it out with a little acid.

once it's smooth, it will be kind of a milkshake consistency. this is also a good consistency, but if you want it to be more ice cream-like, you can put it in the freezer for awhile. if you go that route, i would stir it around every half hour to an hour for the first couple of hours, so it stays creamy. i actually ended up freezing it down more in my ice cream maker attachment thing, so if you have an ice cream maker, i think it would give you the best texture. but it will still taste good if you don't. i hope.

there are a lot of things you could add in as well - chocolate comes to mind, either in chip or stracciatella form, also any kind of nuts would be great. or candied ginger. the world is your oyster!

i don't think oysters would be that good in it.

whether you're a banana lover or merely a banana well-wisher, this is a delicious and relatively healthy and wholly vegan dessert. it also received an enthusiastic dog seal of approval when i accidentally spilled a little. so that kind of tells you all you need to know.

except, of course, which of these mascots/logo characters is more disturbing.

of course, mr. number one (last in a line of palm sugar magnates) has a grotesquely enlarged right hand and his neck seems to end as the knot of his tie. however, mandy the soccer-playing clementine appears to have only applied blush to one cheek. also, she's a clementine. also, her hair? and i think she has claws.

mandy wins!

4 regular-sized bananas. or like 5 or so. it's no big deal.
1 can coconut milk (or you can use coconut cream if you want to be all rich about it. use less sugar if you do, though)
2-5 tablespoons palm** (or other) sugar
~ 1 teaspoon lime juice (i used a slice that was about 1/6 of a lime)

blend everything up til smooth, then either drink it up like a milkshake or freeze it (stirring occasionally) for a few hours or freeze it in an ice cream maker.

*i learned this trick, like all important life lessons, from the bloggess.
**yo, seriously, palm sugar is delicious. if you see some around, you should try it.

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