Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Yonanas with cherries!
You might have heard of Yonanas. I certainly knew the concept before I was sent a unit to test. You freeze bananas and you run them through the machine and you end up with something that's the consistency of soft-serve ice cream but that is 100 percent bananas.

Well, it's 100 bananas until you start adding other things. I tried both frozen cherries and frozen pineapple and I ended up with something like a sorbet. And then I tried them mixed with banana. There's a cookbook included with even more ideas, and not all of them are desserts. And some are pretty surprising.

Yup, Yonanas isn't just for bananas.

But then again, Yonanas is named for bananas, so ... the key to the perfect Yonanas banana is to make sure the bananas are speckled with brown before you freeze them. This makes sure you get something with the right texture and some sweetness. Freeze the bananas too early and, since cold dulls the sweet flavor, you get something that's not very sweet at all.

Of course, that doesn't mean you can't stir in some honey or maple syrup or chocolate or a pinch of salt. I also mixed banana with yogurt to add more of the dairy "feel" to the dessert.

The Yonanas machine certainly isn't a must-have item, but it's fun. And since the blades are deep into the machine, it's pretty safe for kids to use. Since the food dispenses into your bowl or cup, kids don't need to pour or scoop as they would with something like a blender or food processor, so they're less likely to make a horrendous mess.

Adults should be in charge of taking it apart for cleaning, which is pretty simple. Parts just twist off and you can get to every surface to do the cleaning, then put it back together so it's ready for the next use.

The one cleaning tip I have is that it's smart to remove the mechanism from the machine right after you're done. I left mine unattended while I sampled, and as the frozen residue melted, it dripped on the counter and dripped even more as I took it apart. Not a major disaster, but it doesn't drip at all if you deal with it right after using.
Photo courtesy of Yonanas

After I was done testing the yo-machine at my house, I brought it to my neighbor's house to give it a test run with my faux-grandchild.

They unboxed it immediately and grabbed some frozen fruit they had on hand. Mixed berries and mangoes went into the maw of the machine. The little man, with a tooth or two not yet emerged, was delighted.

What sorcery is this?

While I was there, they brainstormed what else they might throw into the machine. Frozen peas, perhaps?

Oooh, how about cooked carrot sorbet? 

I left the machine with them to see what the longer-term review would be, and so far it's been a big hit. Unlike throwing fruit into a blender where you need a certain quantity for optimum blending, this can make small, baby-sized single servings. Which means it can be a different flavor each time. Or obviously you can keep throwing fruit into it for bigger adult-sized servings. It's easy to clean. The result is super-healthy, since it's just fruit. And the little guy loves it.

Who's it for: This one has two major markets where I think this hits the sweet spot - families with babies and kids, and also dieters who want to make sweet, simple, small desserts on the fly. Of course, non-dieters who crave slushy fruit desserts would also like it, but the kid market is probably where it's most useful.

Pros: Works well. Flavor options are endless. Easy cleaning. Great for kids. Littlest kids can eat it, and older kids can use it to make their own desserts. And everyone can have a different flavor.

Cons: It's another countertop appliance that will compete for space. Fortunately it's small and lightweight so you can find space for it in cabinet or in the pantry, but households with kids might find themselves using this daily. Move over, coffee maker.

Wishes: A slightly wider feed tube might be nice. But if it's being used by kids, I can see why you wouldn't want it too large.

Source: I received this from the manufacturer for the purpose of a review

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