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Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker Review

Great substitute for ice cream

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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Updated July 24, 2012

Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker

Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker

Courtesy of Pricegrabber
Bananas are a natural recovery food after a workout. With the Yonanas gadget, I can turn frozen bananas into a great non-dairy substitute for ice cream or frozen yogurt in seconds. It's quick. It's a little noisy. The resulting frozen treat doesn't need any added sweetener and has the creamy mouth-feel of ice cream. Although I dislike buying single-task gadgets, this is one that can help keep your diet on track.

For those who are eating dairy-free and gluten-free, this is a way to enjoy a creamy frozen sweet treat without ingredients that disagree with you.

Yes, You Need Bananas

To use the Yonanas, you need two frozen bananas. Although you can add other fruit in between the two bananas, you need something frozen and banana-shaped to push through the Yonanas machine.

You first let the bananas get nice and ripe. The best point is when they are generously brown-spotted but before they start turning mushy brown under the skin. That is the point where the consistency is best for a producing a creamy treat that is naturally sweet enough to taste and feel like ice cream.

I made the mistake of letting one bunch of bananas go to brown inside and out before I froze them. While they still work and the resulting Yonanas dessert was sweet, the result was not as creamy.

Remove the bananas from the skin and freeze them for at least 12 hours before you use them in the Yonanas machine. You want them to be hard frozen. You can freeze them in a container, freezer bag, or just on a cookie sheet.

If you want to add other fruit, it should also be hard frozen.

You really need two bananas to get the treat to emerge from the spout. If you only want to have one banana, it is best to have a friend or family member handy to share the treat with.

Operating and Cleaning the Yonanas

I like gadgets that are simple and fast to use and simple and fast to clean. The Yonanas machine weighs little (unlike my heavy Cuisinart) and the parts are all dishwasher-safe. But I also found that they were easy to clean just rinsing with soapy water.

The machine has five parts, but they go together and come apart easily for cleaning and assembly. I only had to refer to the instructions the first time.

Ready to make Yonanas? First, warn your household you are about to make some noise. This is a noisy machine, but it's over with in a few seconds. Find a spatula to use to get the last bits of Yonanas out of the machine at the end.

Wash your hands, as some of this will involve touching the bananas.

Assemble your two bananas and a bowl to go under the lower spout where the Yonanas treat will emerge. Stick the first banana into the top of the Yonanas machine and turn it on.

Now you'll need some muscle to press down on the banana. Although the plunger seems to be for that purpose, you'll probably have to use your hand to push it down until it reaches the point where you can use the plunger. This can be a problem if you have any shoulder problems, weak arms due to surgery or impairment, etc. The Yonanas machine does require being able to press down hard.

The frozen treat emerges below. After the first banana is mostly down the tube, you can add other frozen fruit, chocolate squares, or start the second banana down the tube.

Finish pushing the second banana through and turn off the noise.

Now, I disassemble the Yonanas machine and use the spatula to wisk out the frozen banana that is still in the unit. Usually it is several tablespoons of frozen banana and well worth recovering to enjoy.

Once I have recovered all of the Yonanas, I quickly rinse the parts in the sink. They rinse off very well. You need to take care with the sharp cutting surface of one of the interior parts. I haven't had any problems with it, but you probably don't want a child cleaning that part.

Adding Other Flavors

If you used other fruit between the two bananas, you then want to stir the Yonanas treat to mix and serve.

You can add other flavors to the Yonanas, but if they can't be hard-frozen, you need to stir them in afterward. I stirred in peanut butter, various flavors of jam, topped it with caramel sauce, etc.

You can add chocolate squares during the chopping process, between the two frozen bananas. I didn't try that myself.

I love banana flavor. If you don't, you probably shouldn't buy a Yonanas machine. All of the desserts you produce will be either "banana" or "something plus banana."

Nutrition and Calories

The beauty of Yonanas is that you can have a creamy dessert that is simply a great, healthy banana. As our Nutrition Guide points out, a banana has only about 100 calories and includes 400 mg of potassium. Bananas are often recommended as a post-workout snack to replenish potassium. Adding in a little peanut butter for protein can give the body what it needs to repair and build muscle after a workout.

Even if you gorged on a two-banana serving of Yonanas, you would probably be eating less than half of the calories of the same amount of ice cream or frozen yogurt, and you would be enjoying it without the fat, stabilizers and other additives.

Bottom Line on Yonanas
Although you can use any food processor with frozen bananas to make a frozen treat, I was pleased with the simplicity of the Yonanas. It works as advertised and the result is creamy, tasty, and satisfying. It's easy to use and easy to clean. I love being able to enjoy a non-dairy creamy treat that fits into most diet plans.

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