You've probably seen plenty of ads for the Yonanas machine. I know I have. And although this gleefully named gadget sounds a little bonkers, the promise of a machine that will turn almost-bad fruit into ice cream was too hard for me to ignore. My kids love fruit, but they also love variety, so it can be hard to finish up my weekly fruit purchase before it starts to go bad. (Especially when I shop at Costco — using up all that fruit can prove to be very hard!)
So getting a Yonanas machine seemed like a no-brainer. Here's the premise: You take your fruit that's just about to go bad, and freeze it. Obviously, as the cheeky name implies, bananas are the starter fruit here, and the company is very specific about saying that the bananas should be frozen when they're quite ripe (aka cheetah-spotted, as they say). When you're ready to make your fruit ice cream, you pull out your frozen fruit, let it soften for a few minutes, then run it through the Yonanas machine. It churns the mostly frozen fruit into the consistency of ice cream, which your family will gobble up!
Buy: Yonanas, $50
Needless to say, when I told my children they could have ice cream for breakfast, they were enthusiastic. The night the machine arrived, we chopped up just about all the fruit in our fridge — bananas, plus a bunch of kiwi fruits, strawberries, and some avocado — and stuck it in the freezer. In the morning, we pulled it all out, let it sit for the excruciating seven to 10 minutes as recommended, then got to ice-cream making.
The kids were just as excited as I expected. The machine was a little loud for before coffee. But the result — strawberry-kiwi "ice cream" for the girls, and banana-avocado "ice cream" for me — was pretty great. The consistency was more ice cream-like than I thought it would be and the flavor was obviously great. The kids consumed more fruit in one sitting than they sometimes do in a day. Success!
We've used the Yonanas a decent number of times since then. The biggest issue I have is just that I have to remember to freeze fruit — well before we want a cool treat. Luckily, I'm starting to get into the habit of freezing leftover fruit — especially if I cut it up for breakfast and my kids didn't eat it.
I love having this as a nice, healthy option. Two key things I've learned: Berry based "ice creams" taste great served on top of cheesecake (not exactly healthy, I know) and if we don't eat it all at once, I can refreeze it and serve it later or throw it into a smoothie.
Of course, I know that you can technically turn frozen bananas into ice cream using a food processor, but this machine was designed just for this task and it feels safer, which matters a lot, considering I use it with my kids. It doesn't take up a ton of extra cabinet space, so while I'm typically not a fan of appliances that only do one thing, I'm willing to make an exception for this guy.
Oh, and it's a little easier to clean than my blender or food processor: The blades are smaller, so I'm less worried about cutting my fingers off. And the pieces are also dishwasher-safe.
I hate wasting food, and having the Yonanas machine around as an option makes me feel even better about all the fruit we buy. So now every time I fill up one of my freezer bags of fruit, I announce that it's ice cream for breakfast. Yay!
Have you ever tried a Yonanas machine? How did you like it?