Friday 20 January 2012

Pineapple and Banana Yoghurt Gelato - Donna Hay Inspired

Music that helped me cook: Chammak Chalo from the film Ra One starring Sharukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor.

With the holiday season well behind us and under our, slightly tighter belts, it's time to tuck into January's bountiful harvests. And January offers copious varieties of fresh and rich produce, waiting to be turned into cosy and comforting recipes.

Bangalore is cold with chilly winter breeze and what better way to blend in than a nice cooling and refreshing ice cream! My hubby used to be a huge ice cream eater which resulted in me venturing into ice creams too. (well, I'll let you onto a li'l secret, I hated ice cream since I was a kid. I know, I know, that's highly abnormal, but it's true!) Anyway, that didn't last too long because of the tremendous amount of weight we were putting on! But recently I was watching Donna Hay - Fast, Fresh and Simple (yipee we both have the same first names!) and was drawn to this yummy gelato recipe. Donna Hay's original recipe calls for fresh ripe mangoes but since mangoes are a seasonal fruit and will require a few more months for fresh produce, (I'll definitely be trying that soon) I thought why not experiment with fresh juicy pineapple.

Pineapples, in addition to their delicious taste and intoxicating smell, has many nutritional benefits. They contain useful digestive enzymes, several essential minerals, vitamins and fibre. They are also low in calories, rich in carbohydrates, fat free and versatile. Raw, juiced, cooked or canned, pineapples offer tremendous nutritional value.

Anyway, putting aside the heavy duty stuff, they make you feel fresher and by the way, taste fantastic.

I'm sure many of you out there simply adore ice cream and slurp ice cream kilowise. But after a while, the calorie meter definitely puts you off. But what would you say if you made healthy yet tasty yoghurt gelato (low-fat ice cream, you may say) at home?! Sound good? Well I'm sure this one is going to be different. As especially when there are kids and hubbies who enjoy yummy cool ice cream and you really DO want to treat them to ice cream but DO NOT want to feel guilty about the additional sugar they take in. This way you can control what goes into their dessert and have no guilty conscience whatsoever! Of course, you can experiment with different flavours, especially fresh berries like strawberry and such.

Soo... back to the gelato. I chose to do a yoghurt gelato instead of custard to keep with the low-fat, healthy theme. I chopped pineapple and banana and pureed it along with thick yoghurt to add flavour in the ice cream and to accentuate the texture. You could also fold in some pineapple juice for extra flavour.

I'm almost embarassed by how easy this recipe is. All you need is chopped fruit, lovely thick store-bought yoghurt and a blender or a processor. Now, how easy is that?! The recipe itself is quick and a glance at the ingredient list shows it to be a very starightforward and fuss-free dish. Do not let that fool you though. The gelato is simply exquisite and offers a great mix of refined flavours. It's meltingly luscious texture makes your mouth water. This was my very first attempt at making gelato and, I tell you, it was so easy and such a perfect quick dessert or little in between snack.


Bananas (peeled & chopped) - 2
Pineapple (peeled, cleaned & chopped) - 1 (big)
Thick & Natural Yoghurt or Vanilla Yoghurt - 1 cup
Sugar - 3 1/3 tbsp (optional)


Place the banana and pineapple in a sealed container and freeze for 2 to 3 hours or until frozen.

Place the frozen fruit, chilled yoghurt and sugar (optional) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Serve immediately as a refreshing smoothie or place in a sealed container and freeze. After freezing allow to soften for 5 minutes before serving.

To give the dish that glamorous look, you can top it up with lovely caramelized nuts or praline.

So here is my take on Donna Hay’s Mango & Banana Yoghurt Gelato with a twist of my own.


1. You can also use low fat yoghurt instead of full fat or vanilla yoghurt and avoid using sugar.

2. You can also avoid the bananas and go with just chopped pineapples and yoghurt.

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