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Chambord Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Spekulas Cookie Butter Yonanas

I have been using my Yonanas machine constantly since it got here and I have to tell you, I love it. My only regret is that I didn't have this thing when the kid was little because, if I did, I would have made him this stuff every day of his little life.

I used to try to make "ice cream" from frozen bananas with a blender and a food processor but it would get over whipped and gummy and I just gave up and kept buying the Haagen Daz. I do have a soft serve ice cream machine as well as the attachment for my kitchen aid but the main drawback to those machines, apart from all the cream and sugar, is the fact that I have to make room for the big drum in my freezer and I have to know I want to make ice cream 24 hours in advance to make sure the drum spends that time chilling in the freezer, where I have had to remove a turkey to make room for it so every time we make ice cream, we eat turkey dinner.

With this thing, you just plug it in. That's it. You make sure to always have fruit in the freezer, which I do because we love smoothies and that's it. You can peel your bananas and pop them in freezer bags and just take a couple out every time you want ice cream. Throw in about a cup of frozen berries or mango or whatever other fruit you have in there and that's all you have to do. You can get fancy and add crushed up cookies, chocolate chips or peanut butter but it's really delicious with nothing but banana and strawberries, to be honest. There is no sugar, no dairy, no egg, no custard - just fruit. It's rich and creamy and the first time I served it to the boys, neither of them would believe that there was no cream in it.

In our house, the only sweet that is always around is ice cream. All three of us love ice cream and Shack, my picky toddler, is very particular about his. He is a Haagen Daz Strawberry addict.It's a problem. So far, he has been so satisfied with a bowl of straight up strawberry banana yonanas that we haven't bought ice cream in weeks, so, so far so good. Is it fatty and creamy like ice cream? No, of course not but I am telling you, I am not missing that aspect one bit with this thing and that means I can eat "ice cream" every day. I can eat it for breakfast since it's just fruit in there and if you care about such things, it's vegan too. So far, we have eaten every batch as soon as I make it and I can't really vouch for how well it holds up upon putting it in the freezer for later but I will be making some things that will require freezing so I will let you know as I go along.

In the spirit of coming up with some fun flavours, I have been playing around with adding all kinds of things. Fresh mint is quite nice but I was not so happy with my attempt at adding coconut milk frozen in ice cube trays. Chocolate is always good so if in doubt, throw some chopped dark chocolate in.

Instead of just scooping it into a bowl, I used these little chocolate lined wafer cups that I was given called Chococup from Chocobella . Originally intended as an edible cup for espresso, they make great, single serving cups for desserts. Once you finish your yonanas, you can eat the cup. No bowl to wash, no waste - it's a double win.

I will be getting fancier in over the summer and I have plans to make yonanas sandwiches and do something fun with a waffle but, for now, I will just share two of my favourite combos that we have all agreed on.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that because it's nothing but frozen fruit


I received my Yonanas machine free to try out and review. All opinions are my own, I can't be bought yadda yadda yadda.

Chambord Dark Chocolate Yonanas

serves 2

170g (6oz) raspberries
2 tbls chambord
2 frozen bananas
50g dark chocolate, chopped and frozen
soak the washed raspberries in chambord for about an hour and then put them in a freezer bag, with the chambord and juices, lay it out in the bag in a single layer and freeze overnight.
the chocolate and whole bananas must also be frozen at least overnight.

When it's time to make ice cream, remove the berries, bananas and chocolate from the freezer and let sit out ten minutes. Turn on the yonanas machine. Chop the bananas in half.  Insert one piece banana and then a bit of the berries and use the reamer to push down. Now add some chocolate, then banana, then berries, alternating until all the ingredients are used up but ending with the banana. Give the "ice cream" a good stir to blend well and serve.

Cherry Spekulas Cookie Butter

serves 2

150g (approx1 cup) pitted cherries
2 frozen bananas
1 heaping tbls spekulas cookie butter (from Trader Joe)

Remove the cherries and bananas from the freezer and let sit out for ten minutes. Turn on the Yonanas machine, half the bananas and feed in half a banana and a quarter of the cherries. Use the reamer to push the fruit down. Add the spekulas cookie butter, another half of banana and more cherries. Alternate the cherries and banana until all the fruit is gone, give it a good stir to mix well and serve.

Don't have a cherry pitter? Me neither. If you have a chopstick and a clean, empty beer or wine bottle (or in my case, a gin bottle) you just pop the cherry on the mouth of the bottle, stem up, pluck out the stem and then plunge the chopstick through the spot where the stem was attached. Out pops the pit into the bottle and you have a pitted cherry.
It's even more fun because you have to drink whatever was in the bottle first.

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