Frozen banana on a stick
Going bananas over too complicated desserts? Good! Because a banana on a stick is all you really need to make this disarmingly simple crowd-pleaser!
The versatile banana is good for a great many things. When it comes to frozen desserts, bananas can be used as a flavour-ingredient but they can also be turned into an integral part of the very ice cream base itself. Actually, bananas can even be the ice cream base! And since they are so naturally sweet, bananas – unlike most other fruits – in ice cream will not require any additional sweetening themselves. And while eating bananas plain and natural is fine, there is actually also a super-simple way of serving them as a frozen dessert ‘just as they are’ – as Frozen banana on a stick.
Frozen bananas on sticks have – commercially speaking – been around since the early 1940’s, when they first were marketed in California, USA. At the time, the USA was technologically on the forefront of mass production. Still, widespread ownership of household-freezers would only begin in earnest in the years following the Second World War. So those early frozen bananas on sticks probably enjoyed quite a lot of novelty value. Today, when freezers are infinitely more widespread, and banana storage and global transportation have been refined and extended, many of us can luckily freeze bananas to our hearts’ content.
How to do it
Making ice cream does not need to take a lot of time, but the frozen dessert ‘Banana on a stick’ is probably unrivalled when it comes to ease of preparation.
In the simplest, purest form all you have to to is the following:
- Put a ripe banana on a stick (no need to peel it)
- Put the banana on a stick in the freezer
- After about two hours (or more), take out the banana (on the stick) and remove the skin: enjoy!
If you want to be more elaborate, add the following step(s):
- Melt or micro-melt some chocolate.
- Dip the frozen bananas in the melted chocolate.
- If you so desire, roll the chocolate-covered bananas in some attractive topping, such as crushed nuts, breakfast cereals or sprinkles.
- Put the bananas back in the freezer for about another 30 minutes to freeze the chocolate and/or the toppings.
To peel or not to peel (the skins)
I had no exact idea when I was going to serve my bananas on sticks. For that reason, I figured that my frozen bananas possibly would have to spend some time in the freezer before being served. And since the banana skin arguably is the best, ecologically sound and sustainable container available for bananas, I decided to trust Mother Nature. I left the skin on my bananas and did not peel them before freezing. This worked out perfectly!
Freezing the banana will blacken its skin, but this transformation is luckily only skin-deep 😉 . The freezing won’t affect the colour or the nice taste of the banana itself in any negative way. It might be a little tricky to peel them when frozen, however. The easiest way I found was to use a little knife and ‘slice’ off the skin (which was close to effortless, since the skin comes off very easily).
If, for some ecologically questionable reason you absolutely want to, you could peel your bananas before freezing them. If so, carefully wrapping them in plastic film to avoid ‘freezer degrading’ is a good idea. But who wants to stand and wrap bananas when they already come pre-packed? Keep the skin on!
Pure or with add-ons? (to add or not to add)
Healthy-minded as I (sometimes) am, I usually serve my kids the frozen bananas in their pure form. Just the bananas – no chocolate coating, sprinkles or other add-ons. But this is clearly an option which may elevate your frozen banana to even higher levels of dessert-sophistication.
If you add a layer of chocolate and some toppings to that, remember that the bananas will require some additional time in the freezer to maintain these add-ons and keep in shape. And when freezing these ‘pimped’ bananas, remember to put them on a waxed piece of paper or equivalent, so that they do not become too firmly attached to your freezer-shelf. If you do not intend to serve them very soon, you should also consider wrapping them up to avoid flavour degrading.
The easiest frozen dessert ever? Probably – and still sooo good!
Frozen banana on a stick has very few contenders when it comes to the award “easiest frozen dessert ever”. And they even turned out to be wildly popular! My kids loved them, and demanded that I promised to continue making them on a regular basis. And remember that I was only offering them ‘pure’ frozen bananas, without any added chocolate, sprinkles or the likes. A further proof of the frozen bananas’ genuine popularity stems from the fact that my children are anything but starved for choice when it comes to ice creams 😉 .
When asked for their opinion of the flavour, the comment that best summed it up was probably “It tastes like banana … only better”. And it is true that the frozen consistency of the bananas affects the flavour. While obviously still bananas, they seem to appear slightly sweeter than normal. Still, the main attraction is undoubtedly their frozen consistency, which makes sucking them quite ice popsicle -like.
Natural, cold, sweet and great – frozen banana on a stick.
- 1 ripe banana per serving
- 1 stick per serving
- Optional: some chocolate (to be melted) and any possible add-on you might want to add (such as crushed nuts, seed, cereals, sprinkles ...)
- Put a ripe banana on a stick (no need to peel it, unless you so prefer)
- Put the banana on a stick in the freezer
- After about two hours (or more), take out the banana (on the stick) and remove the skin: Ready to enjoy!
- Optionally, melt some chocolate and coat the bananas with it. Add any suitable add-ons you might like (they will stick to the chocolate). Put the frozen bananas in the freezer again to "freeze up" about 30 minutes or so before serving.
Looks like a fun to do! Great idea, Anders!