I'm a huge fan of ice cream, as is my son, and although I’m not a very gadgety person, my ice cream machine is very well used. Lately I’ve been looking for some more fruit-forward formulas, experimenting with chunks of frozen mango, raspberries and bananas, to see if I could come up with a delicious alternative to the heavy ice creams we could both eat by the bucketful. And so when I was asked to come up with a recipe using Yoplait whole milk yogurt, it got me thinking.
I’ve heard over the years how delicious straight up frozen, pureed bananas are, but I’ve never given it a try — partly because I didn’t trust my blender or food processor to do the job without burning out, and partly because I never believed that ripe bananas could ever be an acceptable substitute for ice cream. But having just acquired a Vitamix I decided to give it a go — and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t quite up there with ice cream, but was tasty, if you like all things banana. I wanted to give mine some added creaminess though, and so decided to experiment with a small quantity of yogurt to give it that ice creamy mouthfeel.
Not needing a lot, I played around with single serving yogurts — Yoplait whole milk yogurt, because we all need some fat in our lives, especially in our frozen desserts. It’s still only 3.4%, keeping the final product far below your average ice cream. The sweetness comes from the ripe banana and the yogurt itself, but mostly from the banana. I love that you can make this in small quantities — enough for one or two to have a little something sweet — or make a bigger batch and have some to stash away in the freezer. I experimented with various flavours — vanilla, mango, blackberry, coconut, all which pair wonderfully with banana, but found I liked the vanilla-banana best.
It even allows you to add a spoonful of cocoa and/or peanut butter to change things up. But we all loved the combination of banana-mango-coconut as well. It makes a small batch, enough for two or three — and if you don’t have a powerful blender, you can puree the whole thing and freeze it in your ice cream machine or in a loaf pan, stirring it once in awhile to break up any chunks as it solidifies. For a larger batch, just use more bananas and yogurt — the ratio doesn’t matter much, but ripe bananas are best for sweetness and mouthfeel.
Frozen Banana Yogurt Sherbet
I called this sherbet because it has a small quantity of dairy from the yogurt — but you could always call it banana fro-yo. It has the consistency of soft serve unless you freeze it further in a loaf pan or other container.
2-3 ripe bananas, cut into chunks
1 single container Yoplait Whole Milk Yogurt, any flavour
Freeze the bananas in a single layer in a zip-lock bag or on a cookie sheet. When you’re ready to make sherbet, transfer the pieces to a powerful blender or food processor. Add the yogurt and blitz until it’s as smooth as you can get it. Serve immediately or transfer to another container and freeze until the mixture solidifies further. Serves 2-4.
* Thanks to Life Made Delicious for sponsoring this post!