Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Yonanas Review

*Disclaimer: I received a free product for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity..

yonanas maker
I admit it, ice cream is one of my weaknesses, especially while pregnant. Unfortunately, ice cream is chalk full of sugars and fat. I am happy to announce, however, this exciting alternative that allows you to have your ice cream and stay healthy too! It's called Yonanas.
Now, you may have seen Dole's Yonanas on TV or in stores and wondered what it was. Basically, Yonanas is an ice cream maker/juicer that makes "soft serve ice cream" out of frozen Dole bananas and other fruits! This is a great option for those of you who are lactose intolerant or have children whom you don't want having too much sugar as it is made out of just fruit (though you can always add peanut butter and toppings are always an option as well to spruce it up.) So how does it work? First, you will need to freeze over-ripened, cheetah spotted bananas (you know, the ones that are still yellow but have brown speckles all over them,) NOT bananas that are green, perfectly yellow or all the way black. Why is this you ask? Cheetah spotted bananas are supposed to be the sweetest and have the perfect consistency for making sweet, creamy Yonanas ice cream. Keep in mind that bananas take about a week to reach cheetah spotted status, and you will need to peel and freeze the bananas at least 24 hours ahead of time then when you are ready for some Yonanas, just thaw your fruits (bananas and any other fruits you would like to mix in) for about 10-15 minutes (when using fruits besides bananas, thaw for only 7-10 minutes or until they begin to sweat for a gelato-like consistency.) Be sure not to over or under thaw as it will turn into either melted goo or will be too cold to properly pulverize. You can also add room temperature peanut butter (I also tried a spoon of Cool Whip.) You can try all types of frozen fruits in Yonanas, however, do not use nuts, fruit with pits, or ice cubes in the machine. Once your fruits are thawed, turn on the machine and start making your Yonanas ice cream! Simply stick in a banana to start and push it down the chute (applying even pressure) with the plunger. You can use all bananas or alternate between bananas and other frozen fruits. The first time I tried my Dole Yonanas machine I did not like the consistency, it seemed a bit loud, and the plunger seemed to vibrate too much so my hand went numb. Each time since, my experience has gotten better, however, and the consistency is smoother, the vibrating is not as big a deal now that I "plunge" it correctly and the loudness is about the same of a blender so as long as my son isn't napping I have no problems with it! I tried the original Yonanas machine, but they now offer a Yonanas Elite machine that is quieter as well. My Yonanas dessert tastes better and better with each use as well! I also like how easy it is to clean my Yonanas. As long as you rinse it off right away with warm water, you will not have to scrub to get off food. It separates into 5 pieces to clean every nook and cranny and easily. I do not personally use a dishwasher, except for a drying rack, but if you are like most and do, Yonanas is top-rack dishwasher-safe! Each box comes with a recipe book as well and you can find more Yonanas recipes online. Check out the recipes I posted over on my blog Arts & Crackers, including Yonanas Pineapple, Banana, Orange Punch, Chocolate-Covered Cherry Bon Bons, and Yonanas Foster.

You can also try making peanut butter cookies and adding straight up banana Yonanas in the center and freezing to harden for a twist on peanut butter and banana sandwiches and frozen ice cream cookie sandwiches! This will be a fun activity to do with your kids! Dole Yonanas machines can be purchased starting at $50 from several retailers listed here. If you choose to order online from any of the retailers, be sure to check out Ebates to see if your order qualifies for cash back! Check out Yonanas on Facebook and look for them on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram (all links are listed on their website.)