Cooking Spree: Skinny Banana "Ice Cream"

Consider my mind blown.

A few weeks back, when I was still on the wagon and trying to eat sensibly, Stephanie told me about skinny banana ice cream. You just blend a frozen banana in a food processor, she said, and voila! You have a dessert-like treat with the consistency of soft serve. Nah, I doubted. There’s no way a measly frozen banana can trick my brain into believing I’m eating ice cream.

Then I tried it.

The result is everything she promised — smooth, creamy, sweet, icy. You totally feel like you’re eating banana ice cream, but with zero guilt.

I heard recently that bananas and mangoes are the only fruits that maintain a creamy consistency when frozen, so the science does make sense. And I suppose that means frozen mangoes are next on my shopping list.

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Skinny Banana “Ice Cream”

1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon milk
Honey or sugar, to taste (if you’d like)

Equipment: small food processor or blender

Peel a medium banana (or a few bananas) and place it in a large ziploc bag. Freeze for a couple of hours until solid.

Remove a banana from the plastic bag and, (carefully!) with a sharp knife, chop it into chunks.

Note: I stress again — be careful! The banana may be hard to chop while frozen. You could chop the banana before you freeze it but I didn’t because I wanted to easily see a one banana portion. You could portion banana slices into different bags or bowls before freezing, though. Hey, I’m lazy. 

Add the banana to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add the milk. At this point, you could add sweetener — a touch of honey, sugar or sweetener packet, though I didn’t. I suppose you could also add some yogurt — plain, vanilla or Greek — but you do need the liquid of the milk to help the banana blend.

Blend the banana and milk in the food processor/blender for about a minute. The consistency will change and it will become smooth and soft, like frozen yogurt or soft-serve ice cream. Working quickly, pour the “ice cream” into a bowl and eat.

 

 

Summertime Happy Hour: Skinny Margarita Spritzers

While you’re enjoying summertime appetizers at happy hour, you need a cool cocktail, right? This is my new favorite.

I’ve watched Bethenny Frankel on TV since Martha Stewart’s “The Apprentice,” so I was intrigued when she began bottling her signature “skinnygirl margaritas.” A regular margarita can have more than 800 calories, and they’re sometimes a little syrupy and cloyingly sweet for me. Skinnygirl Margarita rolls in at about 38 calories per 1.5 oz serving. So, I bought a bottle and was delighted to learn that it actually tastes great. It is a bit more tart, but I find that refreshing. Continue reading