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The Memory Dish - Banana and Nutella Gelato inspired by Rome

Friday, 28 March 2014



When I was 20, I spent a few weeks hopping around Italy, seeing Rome, Florence and Venice, before flying over to Barcelona. Many memorable things happened on that trip. A swift visit into a Roman A&E after a ferocious insect bite started to paralyse me. A heat wave so strong that the only thing I can recall from the Roman Forum is a powerful desire to faint.

But most memorable of all, the gelato. Each afternoon (and evening) we'd stroll the streets to find the windows of gelaterias piled high with multitudes of creamy delights. We'd get a little tub, sometimes double scoops, and watch others do the same, from tourists like us, to svelte Italian model types.

It's hard to replicate, of course. But I've discovered a banana ice cream recipe so easy, so quick and so delicious that it's become one of my favourite things. People won't believe you when you tell them how it's made, mostly because the prime ingredient is frozen bananas.

And that's IT.

You add other bits and pieces, if you like, but all you need is that one frozen food hero. So technically, it's a vegan dessert. Dairy free, sugar free, gluten free, fat free, everything free. With heaps of potassium.

But if there's one thing I like to do, it's taking a raw health food and making it piggy. It's a hobby of mine to eat something vegan and say "You know what would be great on this? Bacon."

I've made this before with just almond nut butter, and it was amazing. The same goes for peanut butter, and you can also add a dash of coco powder to make it chocolatey (though be light handed, as it can go a bit bitter)

Previous recipes I've seen include a sweetener, such as honey or agave. But honestly, it doesn't need them.

It also doesn't need Nutella but let's face it, there's nothing that can't be improved with Nutella. The banana/Nutella combination has long held a place in my heart. It reminds me of crepes in Paris, of ice cream milkshakes in Shakeaway, and of me regularly eating a banana dipped into the Nutella jar.

So here is your Roman inspired, easy as pie...

Banana and Nutella Gelato (no churn)

Ingredients
3 bananas
1 tablespoon Nutella

1. Slice your bananas and place in a Tupperware tub. Put in freezer for at least 10 hours. Those suckers need to be rock solid - don't do as my friend did and think a couple of hours will do it. You'll be left looking a fool.

2. Put your frozen banana slices into a food processor or blender. Blend.

3. At first, you'll think nothing is happening. You'll be worried that your blender is about to break. The banana will just look like weird chunks of wax. But keep at it. Check out the GIF below to see it magically take form...



4. ... And after a few minutes of blending, you'll be left with a smooth, whipped, vegan banana gelato. Taste a bit! Tastes good, doesn't it? There's nothing that could improve it. Unless...

5. Crack into that Nutella! Enjoy the moment when you break into the seal with a spoon, like it's a fancy creme brulee.

6. Dollop a tablespoon into the mix, and either pulse with the blender or beat in by hand. Lick the spoon.

7. Enjoy!



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