because sometimes one ice cream flavor just isn’t enough

Seems the blogosphere has been heating up. True, some bloggers are now enjoying a winter season (talking to you, Peckish Kiwi), but for the most part I read of folks pert-near melting from high temps. Becky, Deb, Lilly Sue, Cheri, and so many others have been advising us on how to stay cool. Even in Minnesota, where winter kicks in late October and sometimes stays put until April, we’re looking at high temps and dastardly humidity that make indoor cooking unfathomable. For my part, meals this week have been no-cook, grilled (thanks to the fine folk at Patrons of the Pit for teaching me there are few foods that can’t be grilled), or cooked up in the slow cooker.

The soaring mercury also has me thinking ice cream (though ice cream thoughts are always near regardless of what the mercury is doing) and plentiful fresh produce offers hosts of options. Nearly 30 pounds of pick-your-own berries (when local fresh produce shows up in Minnesota, we consume with a vengeance) and a neighborly gift of MORE BANANAS helped me narrow these options. My ice cream cravings would be satisfied in flavors of banana and strawberry.

First, those bananas. What to do with more bananas? I’d already baked bread, cakes, cookies, and bars. I’d made a smoothie. I’d roasted and pureed the flesh for mashed banana at a moments’ notice. But, I had yet to make ice cream. Stories of “healthy” banana ice cream had always intrigued me as it was purported to taste like ice cream, while being nothing more than frozen frappéed bananas. It seemed a good way to burn through the six bunches I had recently acquired, so I peeled, pureed, froze. I also mixed in chopped chocolate just because I could.

banana "ice cream" in the making

banana “ice cream” in the making

Verdict? Not bad. Though I’d compare it to an icy popsicle more than I would ice cream. In the end, the poor banana faux ice cream didn’t stand a chance as it was compared to my next project: Killer strawberry ice cream.

Turning again to Humphry Slocombe, I pureed 2 cups sliced fresh berries per instructions for Here’s Your D@mn Strawberry Ice Cream. (This wicked-cool ice cream has the same naming origins as does HS’s Here’s Your D@mn Chocolate Ice Cream, featured here.) A no-cook “custard” made this the perfect frozen treat to make on a sweltering day in a non-air conditioned kitchen.

berries + cream=bliss

berries + cream=bliss

And when I put these ice creams side-by-side for their deLizious facebook post

can you spot the imposter ice cream?

can you spot the imposter ice cream?

a clear winner emerged. The strawberry ice cream was rich, creamy, tart, sweet, and pink; a frozen ball of brown banana was going to play second fiddle.

Wanting to give the banana ice cream another shot, I thawed it slightly, then beat it with an electric mixer (a food processor was used the first round) to whip more air into it along with ingredients I hoped would enhance flavor: ground cinnamon, vanilla, peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, and bourbon (!). It was much improved with a stronger flavor profile and slightly creamy texture. But it was also still basically frozen banana.

creamier and a fuller flavor, but it still ain't ice cream!

creamier and a fuller flavor, but still not ice cream

If this were a contest, the strawberry ice cream wins. But there’s always room for more than one ice cream–real or faux–so will enjoy each flavor for what it is. The banana as a sweet and sort-of healthy treat (adding bourbon, etc zapped much of its nutritional merit) and the strawberry as a decadent summer I-shouldn’t-really-eat-this-whole-bowl-but-I-just-can’t-stop-myself sort of thing.

If you need a summer cooler, I’d recommend whipping up bananas (with beaters instead of in a food processor) and freezing the puree. Stirring in plain or vanilla yogurt would be a good move, too, adding creaminess. But don’t stop there. Go ahead and make HS’s sensational strawberry ice cream as well. It’s as simple as pureeing those 2 cups fresh hulled berries (straining if desired, though I did not) and whisking together with 2 cups cream, 1/2 cup condensed milk, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (!), and 2 teaspoons salt. Chill thoroughly, then process in ice-cream maker.

tastes like summer

tastes like summer

So, chill out, beat the heat, stay cool. There are more summertime clichés I’d like to use here, but that strawberry ice cream is melting and it’d be a shame to let it go to waste. Rushing off to catch it now, but will see you next week. Thanks for stopping by!

26 thoughts on “because sometimes one ice cream flavor just isn’t enough

  1. This all looks deLizious! (Sorry, my friend, couldn’t help myself). I love ice cream but am trying to cut back on dairy these days as a bit of a heath experiment (so far it seems to be making my tummy very happy!) So I really like the idea of jazzing up the frozen bananas with chocolate and booze and all manner of good things. YUM!

    • please throw “deLizious” about with abandon! am trying to make a name for myself 😉

      was happier with my second try on the bananas and wouldn’t even say the first was bad, but had higher hopes for the creaminess. The bourbon was a great addition–not enough to make it boozy, but made the flavor deeper. Same with the peanut butter–wouldn’t guess it was in there outside of the flavor being fuller. Funny how it all works together. Though putting it all together now, am thinking that I’d like a peanut butter-marshmallow-banana-cinnamon-bourbon cookie! And I’d make it dairy free so your tummy is happy.

  2. Have you floated the frozen bananas in root beer yet? While I’m not a root beer fan it looks like the colors would compliment each other and maybe the flavors as well. On a separate note I love the bliss. 🙂

    • I will try floating frozen bananas in root beer tonight–intriguing! I think I can also soak them in rum and light them on fire–flambé, right? 😉

      I wish I could share the strawberry ice cream. Certainly can’t (well, I can, but I shouldn’t) eat it all by myself. Thinking it’d go very well with a chocolate walnut torte!!!

  3. I am much too lazy (and don’t have an ice cream maker!) to make the frozen banana ice cream. My version involves cutting the peel off of half a frozen banana, sprinkling it with cocoa powder, and topping with a few walnut pieces. Soooo good. (And still pretty darn healthy!)
    I admit, it isn’t the same as some luxurious, decadent ice cream, but I like it. The strawberry looks great too. I wish I had an ice cream maker!

    • no ice cream maker needed for the banana “ice cream,” and I’d bet you could make a winning recipe out of it.

      I bought my first electric ice cream maker only last summer. (lots of posts on it if you want to look back and see what I bought) Before that had the soccer ball-style–have you seen? Need to kick the ball around for a half-hour to make the ice cream, so burning calories.

      Your frozen banana sounds good. Have seen them dipped in chocolate, too–yum. I’ve eaten them straight from the freezer and enjoy that as well. Just not thinking frozen mashed banana should be called “ice cream.” Thanks for coming by 🙂

  4. Nothing like a dish of good ice cream on a hot Summer’s day. Your strawberry looks like it would be perfect for such a day, Liz. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us.

    • hey, thank YOU, John for your visit. The strawberry ice cream would still be perfect even if it was zero, though yes, better on a hot day!

  5. That strawberry ice cream is so gorgeously pink! I’m sure it was delicious too. I have never believed that frozen bananas can taste like ice cream any more than cauliflower can taste like pizza crust. (Have you seen that recipe floating around?) Maybe I should learn to be more open minded! Stay cool, my friend. I’m currently running the heater and trying to stay out of the cold fog!

    • Oh that strawberry ice cream is divine. The red wine vinegar takes it over the top. Cauliflower in pizza crust? Hmmmm. Maybe wouldn’t be bad, but let’s not get carried away and call it “pizza crust.” Classics should not be tweaked and then given the same name. (exhibit A: Beet Brownies 😉 ) Though you do a good job messing with the margarita.

      So California is chilly while Minnesota is melting? That’s funny. I remember being at a wedding in San Fran in August and freezing because we had only packed summer clothes. At least you don’t go sub-zero in the winter, though I’m sure everything is a trade-off. You’re going to fall into the ocean 0-: haha.

  6. Yes!! Their d@mn strawberry ice cream rocks! I was so pleased with that one. And you know, I tried that faux banana thing once and all it did was make me bitter. Mine was gross — I tried to make it better with peanut butter but it was a total fail. However, I love your immediate idea to add fluff as an enhancement. =)

    • have been wanting to make the HS strawberry ever since your post, J. And loved that it was as simple as stirring ingredients together.

      Funny thing about the fluff–it didn’t mix in well as I was beating frozen banana. So I ended up with clumps of marshmallow throughout–yum! More than one blog sang the praises of this banana “ice cream,” but I was disappointed (it’s no more ice cream than beet brownies are brownies) and am glad to hear you weren’t impressed either.

  7. Pingback: Funny Names in the News: A Very Special Birthday Edition! | The Blog of Funny Names

    • Their book explains how they made the strawberry flavor for a community event–Tranny Smackdown, if you can believe that–because it looked like smudged makeup. They claim it’s not something they normally sell at the store, but easy enough to make at home. Though HS is worth visiting for all the other flavors. The book is a hoot if you like edgy prose. Let me know if you make a visit! I was only there once.

      • I have been twice, loved it. But Bi-Rite and the liquid nitrogen place are also good. Competition seems to keep everyone on their toes.

        I can believe the tranny smackdown… all good fun…

  8. I would never have thought I’d get into a food blog, but that was before I knew Liz.

    Great food, and your writing here is full of snap, crackle and pop. You should do it for magazines.

    But the grilling sounded intriguing, too. Have you posted about that before?

    • Wow–thanks, diddy! The “snap, crackle, pop” is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about my writing–am thrilled if it comes off that way. I am officially a “food writer” (and editor and recipe developer, etc) by trade, so do some writing for pay. Though I’ve never gotten into the magazine circuit. Think of it often, though.

      I’ve written the occasional grill post, though Patrons of the Pit (linked above) are the masters of that kingdom.

      My husband occasionally goes smoker-crazy and have put that out here as well. http://wp.me/p2dvv9-bs and http://wp.me/p2dvv9-vQ

      PofthePit sold me on grilling planks, so maybe will see that here. And also recently grilled bacon (!), though will probably put that up on deLizious facebook instead of here. The bacon was amazing and I never would have thought to grill had it not been for those Patrons.

  9. Thanks for the shout out! And it is crazy how much summer keeps us away from our kitchens at least as far as cooking/baking. Ice cream is definitely a great alternative. I am actually going to finally make a batch! I think I said that at the beginning of summer and am just now getting to it…urrr. Liz, you made me want ice cream now! 🙂

  10. I’m impressed…..so many variations of ice-cream! A thought, what about “fruit salad” ice-cream? Not an actual salad, but an ice-cream blended composite of about 8 different ice-cream flavours in one bowl? A salad variation of Neapolitan ice-cream? If anyone could master this…..I think the genius of Liz would prevail!

    • Your mind is always on, Steven 🙂 Fruit salad ice cream? We’re talking a seven-layer salad salad sort of thing? Intriguing! Do you mean swirled around and marbled or spread in distinct layers? Are you considering this for one of your “corporate snacks”? Will never turn away and excuse to experiment with ice cream. Thanks for the comment!

      • Liz you ask some very astute questions about this salad ice cream concept – my initial thought was marbled. However, I then thought, what about a flavour layered ice cream tower to simulate a corporate building? Clear jelly layers could be used for windows with that transparent look, a corporate swirl could be on the top layer to brand the building appropriately? A flag pole in the form of a fork could adorn the summit? Cheers, Steve

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