I have a deep, dark secret hiding in my freezer. Not the collection of severed heads, I kind of like showing those off. No, I have about half a case of the limited edition Elvis Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. You know, peanut butter and banana. I was so excited about these things that my friend Brian bought me an entire case when he first spotted them.
But they didn’t quite live up to my expectations and a case of peanut butter cups is a lot to handle, so I started feeding them to anyone that came over to my apartment. I chopped them up and put them in brownies. Anything. Eventually I forgot they were there, and they pretty much just serve as a ledge to put my frozen veggies on. Maybe someone will eat them someday.
Peanut butter and banana is one of my favorite combinations. Peanut butter is one of my favorite things to put in ice cream. Ice cream is one of my favorite foods, period.
So I thought I’d give the soy ice cream another try. I would really, really like to get a soy ice cream made that doesn’t turn to a rock in my freezer. I mean, it’s fine, just let it thaw for a little bit and it’s still creamy and good. But I really like attacking the ice cream in my freezer at random moments, spoon in hand. I can’t do that if the ice cream is too hard to eat.
There’s two problems with homemade soy ice cream. 1) You need a high fat content to get it creamy. Soy cream doesn’t quite have the fatty fatness of heavy cream from cows. 2) When making ice cream, it just gets whirred around in the ice cream maker for a half hour or so. Any longer and it would probably turn back into ice cream liquid. So you don’t get a bunch of air mixed in.
So I wanted to use half soy cream and half soy milk, and hoped that the peanut butter would add enough fat to make it creamy enough. The grocery store near me has stopped carrying soy cream (jerks!), so I had to use all soy milk. To even things out, I decided to add a couple of teaspoons of canola oil to the mixture. And I hoped for the best.
Fresh out of my ice cream maker, it had the usual soft serve consistency. It tasted awesome, but I let it get a little more solid in my freezer. After a few hours it was firm enough to scoop nicely. Look!
Holy cow, that’s some nice looking ice cream. Since I really like peanut butter a lot, I would up the amount to maybe 3/4 cup next time. The banana overpowered it quite a bit. It’s not an incredibly sweet ice cream, even though there is a lot of banana.
After a whole day in my freezer, it did turn to a brick. Less of a brick than other soy ice creams have, but still very hard. Oh well! I haven’t had a chance to feed some to anyone yet, but I’m bringing a container of it to Bret’s this weekend so hopefully it wont kill him.
Okay on with the recipe!
3 ripe bananas
2 cups soy milk or 1 cup soy milk and 1 cup soy cream or any combination you want, I suppose
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 – 3/4 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla (or less, I don’t think it needed that much)
1 – 2 tsp. canola oil or flax oil (optional, I’m not actually sure it did much)
Put your bananas (peeled!) into a blender and blend with the soy milk/cream until there are no chunks left. At this point you’ll be tempted to drink your banana soy shake, but resist temptation and pour it into a saucepan.
Add the brown sugar and the peanut butter to the saucepan, and heat it over a medium-low heat. Stir it all up until the peanut butter and sugar dissolve. Take it off the heat and add the vanilla and the oil if you’re going to use it. Go ahead and lick the spoon that you’ve been using, because it’s gonna taste real good.
Let the mixture sit until it’s cool, then transfer to a lidded container and stick it in the fridge for a few hours. Once it’s cold, process it in your ice cream maker.
Eat it right away or let it harden a bit in the freezer. Once it’s frozen for more than a day, you’ll need to soften it up in the microwave for like 10 – 15 seconds so it’s scoopable.