I am an ice cream fanatic who also happens to be lactose intolerant. So when I saw Yonanas — an counter-top machine that claims to turn ordinary healthy fruit into a frozen substance that resembles ice cream in both taste and texture — I was immediately intrigued. And I’m not the kind of girl who gets excited about kitchen appliances. In fact, I rarely use my kitchen for much more than making coffee. But the promise of delicious frozen non-dairy desserts? Sign me up.
The device itself is something between a blender and an ice cream maker. The main part of the body is comprised of a chute that houses a spinning blade. There’s also plunger that’s used to push the fruit through the chute.
But while it resembles a blender in appearance, what comes out of the chute is simply not possible with a blender. Seriously, try putting a frozen banana in your blender — it will spin around pointlessly, and if you’re lucky, it will get chopped up into a rough mush. Either way, the texture will be nothing like what comes out of the Yonanas.
Here’s how it works: Drop pieces of frozen but slightly thawed (more on this later) fruit into the chute, switch it on, and push the fruit through with the plunger. Repeat as many times as you want. The result is a creamy, delicious blend of fruit that tastes damn close to frozen yogurt or sorbet. I didn’t conduct a formal taste test, but I suspect if you gave Yonanas to kids, they wouldn’t know the difference. It’s that good.
This counter-top machine claims to turn ordinary healthy fruit into a frozen substance resembling ice cream in both taste and texture.
The company recommends you use a banana as a base because it results in a creamier product, but you can put just about anything in it. You are limited only by the size of your bowl and what ingredients you have on hand. Slightly over-ripe bananas do seem to work best, but I also had success with strawberries, blackberries, pineapple slices, mangoes, and even a persimmon. If you want to mix things up a bit, you can throw in chocolate chips or pieces of cookies — anything, really. I have yet to find a combination of ingredients that’s not delicious.
A few nitpicks. The machine is noisy. Not obnoxiously so, but it’s noticeably louder than most blenders. You also need to let the fruit thaw slightly before you start. Otherwise, you won’t get the right texture, and it will be more difficult to get the fruit past through the blade. Admittedly, this was only an issue because I’m too impatient to get to the eating. But slightly thawed fruit definitely yielded better results.
A good amount of the fruit also gets trapped within the chute and stuck around the blade. Luckily, this isn’t that big of a deal, as it’s quite easy to disassemble the unit, scoop out the leftovers, and throw the pieces in the dishwasher for cleanup.
The whole experience is quick, painless, delicious, healthy, and guilt-free. It’s how ice cream should be.