Last weekend I cleaned out my childhood closet and found all sorts of treasures: my favorite picture books, my middle school diary (which documents my several self-imposed hand written font changes), hand-braided lanyards from summer camp, my $300 ruby red, halter top prom dress (which still fits!), and many more cherished possessions. Among them, I found that my mother had stashed a very dusty ice cream maker.

When I was maybe 9 or 10, my parents got me a hand-cranked ice cream maker for my birthday. Can you imagine my delight? Ice cream, homemade, whenever I wanted?! We made a few recipes from the little booklet it came with, but then my dad started suggesting other things to put in there. Frozen sea foam green pistachio pudding and chocolate pudding, frozen yogurt with fruit. Churning a quart of creamy, frozen whatever made for an entertaining activity and impressive dessert for my friends and me.

After more than a few years collecting dust in my closet, I decided it was high time that my ice cream maker got a good workout. It started with a thorough washing and then the inner metal canister went straight into the freezer to chill overnight. The next day I scanned the kitchen and grabbed some spotty bananas, plain yogurt, and thick amber honey which I pureed together then poured into the machine. After twenty minutes of churning, the thin mix had become thick and creamy, so I packed it into a container and stashed it away only to unearth it few hours later from the depths of the freezer and scoop a nice helping into a little bowl. Topped it with some crushed toasted walnuts (bananas’ nutty little sidekick friend), the lightly sweet, the frozen yogurt melted quickly on my tongue  into smooth, aromatic ripe banana flavor. Oh boy. It seems rare these days that simple pleasures like this can make me happy as a kid again. 

Banana Frozen Yogurt

Don’t use nonfat yogurt or decrease the amount of honey or the frozen yogurt will be too hard.

Makes 1 quart of frozen yogurt


4-5 ripe bananas

2 cups plain yogurt, full fat

½  cup clover honey

¼ teaspoon salt

walnuts, toasted (optional)

Puree the bananas. In a food processor, pulse the bananas until completely smooth. Add the yogurt, honey and salt and blend until combined.

Churn the yogurt. Pour the banana yogurt mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to freeze into frozen yogurt. Scoop the frozen yogurt into a container and freeze for at least 2 hours to allow it to firm up. Enjoy topped with the toasted walnuts (if using). Keeps frozen for up to 3 months.