An experiment in dessert-making: My Yonanas experience

The Yonanas Maker ($50) is available at Target, the Home Shopping Network and www.yonanas.com.

If frozen yogurt is a healthier option than straight-up ice cream, then soft-serve frozen fruit must be the healthiest of them all. Always on the lookout for a sweet treat that doesn’t cause remorse, I recently tried making my own “ice cream” with a machine called “Yonanas” — a blender-like contraption that gives frozen bananas an ice-cream-like frozen consistency. Here’s how the experiment went down.
 
Trial #1

1.    I open the package to find a 2-foot, mostly intact machine, along with recipe ideas and surprisingly simple instructions. I’m excited to get going.

2.    Upon reading the manual, I’m bummed to learn that all bananas being used must be frozen for 24 hours beforehand. Whoops. I proceed to stick some bananas into the freezer for a quick freeze.

3.    Impatient as I am, a couple of hours later I give up on waiting and decide to give this thing a shot. My boyfriend is on hand for support (and the extra benefit of dessert).

4.    We peel the frozen bananas, which proves to be an extremely arduous task because they are painfully cold to the touch. I make a mental note: Next time, we’ll peel them before we freeze them. Shoulda followed those directions …

5.    Once the machine is plugged in, we insert the bananas, press down and out comes yellow mush. We repeat with other bananas. The end product doesn’t look as pretty as it does on the package (which I take entire blame for, since the bananas hadn’t been frozen for 24 hours). We add Nutella, thinking it will help.

6.    All that Nutella doesn’t add nearly as much flavor as we thought it would. Was that mix-in a bad idea?

7.    About halfway into eating, my boyfriend and I give up. This does not taste as good (or look as good) as we had hoped! Refusing to quit, however, we decide to try again at another time — maybe the frozen bananas do make all the difference.

8.    The boyfriend takes care of the cleaning (very thoughtful of him) and says it’s actually pretty easy, despite much of the machine having to be disassembled beforehand. Multiple parts to clean + banana mushiness = I’m not too impressed right now.

Trial #2

1.    With frozen, pre-peeled bananas, the setup is a cinch. We simply plug in the machine and load in bananas and (unfrozen) strawberries— then we’re on our way.

2.    Jeez, this thing is LOUD. How did I not recognize this last time?

3.    The fruit gets kind of jammed in the machine, which calls for some disassembly and scooping-out.

4.    The end product is way creamier this time around. THIS must be what they intended. It doesn’t taste exactly like ice cream (just…frozen fruit), but it’s not too bad.

I found Yonanas to be a very clever way to rethink your intake of fruit. But for all the work that was involved, I’d rather just pop some grapes or slice up a peach and call it a day!


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