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10-Minute "Soft-Serve" You Can Make in Your Food Processor

Hilary Meyer, Associate Food Editor, EatingWell Magazine
July 25, 2012

Ever heard of yonanas? It's a one-ingredient frozen dessert made with ripe bananas that has the texture of soft serve ice cream without any added fat or sugar. Sounds pretty good to me, except that I'd have to purchase a $50 machine to make it and I've made a commitment not to buy single use appliances. But I am curious to try this wonder dessert.

With a little searching it appears as though you don't actually need the machine to replicate this fruity soft-serve-like goodness. (You actually don't need an ice cream maker to make creamy frozen yogurt either--your food processor does an excellent job of finely blending berries with yogurt. What about your blender? Although blenders can get a finer texture, blending thick frozen berries with yogurt is difficult. Air pockets form over the blade and you're left doing more stirring than you would using a food processor.)

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The secret to making creamy "soft-serve" without a special machine lies in the bananas--they're inherently soft and a little gooey when they're ripe. To make your one ingredient "soft-serve," slice a few very ripe bananas up, freeze them for 24 hours and process them for a few minutes in a food processor until they're nice and creamy. Note, you may have to scrape the sides down during the processing until it reaches the desired consistency.

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Want something a little more refined? I love EatingWell's recipe for frozen yogurt at home that has just 4 ingredients: fruit, sugar, plain yogurt, lemon juice. Here's a recipe for easy frozen yogurt at home and two tips that make this recipe work like a charm:

Instant Frozen Yogurt
Makes: 4 servings, 3/4 cup each
Active time: 10 minutes | Total: 10 minutes

We like to use chopped frozen peaches, but you can use frozen berries or whatever frozen fruit you have on hand in this ultra-quick frozen yogurt that is made without an ice cream maker.

3 1/2 cups frozen berries or other coarsely chopped fruit (about 16 ounces)
1/2 cup sugar, preferably superfine (see Note)
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine fruit and sugar in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Combine yogurt and lemon juice in a measuring cup; with the machine on, gradually pour the mixture through the feed tube. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides once or twice. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 159 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 1 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 25 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 24 mg sodium; 241 mg potassium.

More Recipes to Try: Peach Frozen Yogurt and More Easy Frozen Yogurt Recipes

Why It Works Tip 1: Use superfine sugar
Since you won't have the opportunity to cook or melt sugar it's best to use superfine sugar, which dissolves instantly. This way you won't end up chomping down on grainy sugar granules that haven't dissolved. Superfine sugar is available in the baking section of most supermarkets, but if you can't find it simply process regular sugar in your food processor or a clean coffee grinder for a minute or two until ground very fine.

Why It Works Tip 2: Add the yogurt with the machine still running
Part of the beauty of frozen yogurt is its light airy texture. Although it's easy to throw all the ingredients into the food processor at once, it's better to do it in stages. Start by blending your frozen fruit until it's uniformly finely chopped. Then add the yogurt with the machine running (you'll add it through the feeding tube in the top) to better incorporate the yogurt with the whipping action delivering more air into your dessert.

More Healthy Dessert Recipes to Try: Mocha Frozen Ice Pops and More 100 Calorie Desserts
Frozen Raspberry Pie and More Frozen Desserts

What's your favorite frozen dessert?

By Hilary Meyer

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer

EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

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