Yonanas Review: Stupid Name, Amazing Dessert

Years ago I heard that you could make a delicious and healthy "ice cream" type dessert simply by blending frozen bananas. While the result was indeed tasty, it killed my blender and was really hard to scoop out. Yonanas is a machine custom-built for this purpose. But something that sounds that dumb couldn't actually work, could it?

What Is It?

It's a specialised contraption for mashing frozen fruit into an ice-creamy dessert.

Who's It For?

People who really like ice cream but who want to be healthy.

Design

It looks a bit like a small juicer. It has a plastic body that feels pretty solid. There's a base, which houses the motor, and has the machine's only switch: on/off. The rest of it is modular to make it easy to clean. It has a chute for loading in the fruit (a fruit-chute, if you will), and a spout that it comes out of. The blades in there don't look like blender blades, but more like little metal nubs on top of a cone.

Using It

It's super easy. Turn it on. Put chunks of frozen fruit into the chute. Push the fruit down with the plunger. Your soft-serve dessert is extruded out of the other end and into a bowl. Put that stuff in your mouth.

The Best Part

Holy crap this stuff is delicious! For everyone who is dubious that a dessert that is basically just frozen fruit could be this good, you've got to try it. Especially when you use over-ripe bananas as your base, it has the consistency of gelato, and it tastes really fresh.

Tragic Flaw

There are things, in this wonderful world, that are quiet. This is not one of those things. The motor is loud enough that you'll feel bad for your neighbours if you live in an apartment building. Not bad enough to stop you from eating this stuff every chance you get though.

This Is Weird...

Somebody in this universe actually thought that Yonanas was a good name for this product. I wince every time I hear it or think it.

Test Notes

  • You've gotta peel your bananas before you freeze them in a ziplock bag. I'd also recommend breaking them into quarters or thirds — makes it easier to get into the contraption. Get as much of the air out as you can to reduce the amount of (flavourless) ice crystals that will form. Freeze them for 24 hours before using.
  • You don't have to use bananas if you hate them. Yonanas (*cringe*) has heaps of recipe suggestions. I've had great results using just mango or raspberries. Other combinations include pineapple/blueberry, banana/raspberry, banana/mango and mango/pineapple.
  • This thing works way, way better than a blender for this purpose. Blenders have high RPMs and most will have trouble turning frozen fruit into a creamy paste, and the friction those speeds cause may melt the dessert prematurely. The Yonanas (*ugh*) spins at a lower speed but has more torque. Plus the fact that it's extruded directly into your bowl is way easier than trying to dig this stuff out from under blender blades with a spoon.
  • It's not perfect. Sometimes you'll still get a hard chunk of fruit in your resulting dessert. A fully frozen piece of slightly under-ripe mango seems to be the worst offender. This is hardly a deal-breaker (or a tooth-breaker) though. Letting it thaw a little generally remedies it.
  • It really is extremely easy to clean. Once it's stopped extruding, remove the top part from the base, unscrew it, and scrape the remaining desert in your bowl. Then just give the pieces a quick rinse under the sink and you're basically done.
  • Because you're putting nothing but whole fruit in, it is super healthy. Yes, if you're counting carbs it isn't the best, but no, I'm sorry, fruit is good for you. It's high in fibre, vitamins and other nutrients. OK, eating too much of anything is not good, but I refuse to feel guilty for eating fruit. The latest dietary guidelines call for five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This is a great way to take care of a lot of that (or trick your kids into it).
  • If your freezer is super cold you may want to let your fruit thaw for 7-10 minutes before putting it in the machine.
  • Freezing fresh fruit is of course an option (probably your only option for bananas), but you can just buy bags of frozen fruit from the grocery stores. They're generally very fresh, and they work just as well.

Should You Buy It?

Yes! I thought for sure this thing would be dumb and horrible because has such a dumb and horrible name. But it's the opposite of dumb and horrible. It's smart and wonderful. I've been using this thing several times a week for the last month and I am in no way tired of it. I've bought zero cartons of ice cream, and I haven't really missed it. Yonanas (*shoots self in face*) has officially won my heart. [Yonanas]

Yonanas Specs

• Dimensions: 19cm x 15cm x 36cm • Weight: 3.6kg • OS: an on/off switch • Price: $79.95 RRP in Australia


Comments

    Wow, it's actually in Australia!
    Hmm, now, how to raise this as a Chrissy present idea to my significant other?

      The Homer Simpson bowling ball strategy. Tell the significant other that it's a present for her/him. That's what I'm going with.

    Is there anything special about this or can you achieve the same result with frozen fruit, some milk/cream and a blender?

      I think the whole point is to eliminate the need for milk/cream, hence creating a 'healthier' frozen dessert... (and as mentioned in the article, straight frozen fruit in a blender is problematic).

    Awesome.
    I had not heard of this before and I think you've just solved one of my biggest Christmas concerns about what to get someone.
    "Yonanas" ... I've heard worse, but this name is a bit .. err.. bananas.

      Also... I love the description for the OS in the specs :)

        Hahaaa, I didn't pick up on that. Perfectly logical though!

    Where can we buy it in Australia? I can't find anywhere

      http://www.yonanas.com.au
      Click " where to buy"

      Thanks mate, I was on the yonanas US website. Cheers

      Last edited 21/11/12 11:52 am

    Love the OS reference :) I heard it runs on electricity and the on/off switch was just the GUI.

      Add one or 2 more diodes, a capacitor, a resistor and an LED, and you've got yourself linux.

        There's bound to be some empty space in the casing somewhere, you could probably mount a raspberry pi

          Just don't freeze and then try to make raspberry pi icecream

    Looks pretty damn tasty, but eating heaps of fruit isnt' as healthy as people presume it is.

      Nothing wrong with eating 3 pieces of fruit a day. Daily late night snack/dessert sorted!!

      whilst this is true...eating crushed frozen fruit is far better for you than ice-cream or even frozen yoghurt

      This thing will make a great XMAS present!

      True, but at least you get the fibre of the fruit and not just the flavoured sugar-water you get if you were to go to somewhere like Boost Juice. Plus it also eliminates the dairy requirement from a smoothie (even though full-fat dairy products help you excrete fat). As always, everything in moderation!

    I'm surprised at how cheap it is!
    Are there any fruits that might not work with it?
    I wonder if you could use it to make vegetable purée?

    Can do the same thing in a food processer...

    Just sayin'

    ummm why don't you just mash the banana up first, then freeze it?..... *Cue Old' el Paso Music*

      THis was the closest I could find.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqgSO8_cRio

    Actually they're not specifically designed for that kind of work.

    However I do the same thing with my Thermomix. Granted, it's a $2,000 piece of kit but it pays for itself. The motor spins to 11,000rpm. It can weigh, cook, steam, mix, blend, grind, and pulverise. It makes the most amazing frozen fruit ice cream and the best mashed potato you will ever make - literally 5-star restaurant quality stuff. George Calombaris uses these in the Press Club to make some of their soups, and they featured in Masterchef this year.

    Since buying it I've sold my blender, processor, juicer, mortar & pestle, steamer, and rice cooker. Of all weird things, my recycling bin is never full anymore because we cook so much more fresh food rather than packaged stuff. It's an amazing device.

      You just said you paid 2G's for something that makes.... Mashed potato? Like what you make with potatoes, milk and butter right? Next time you need spuds mashed, Ill do it for a four pack of V and a bowl of mash, hows that? My TV didnt cost two grand, and it can decode signals from outer freaking space.... Can your kitchen cyborg do that?....

        My kitchen cyborg can't, but she thinks she can.... So cute!

    I like the idea of saying it like a gangsta talking about going to someone else's grandparents house.
    "Where are you going tonight"
    "Yo Nana's"

    the only place that i found it in the adelaide CBD was myer and that was at $89.95. target and harvey norman don't have it. anyone else actually found this in store?

      Their online price is the same https://www.yonanas.com.au/shopping/
      I have a feeling their RRP is not $79.95 as gizmodo reported.

      thanks, iordeb, you've saved me a lot of driving around tomorrow night.

      Bought one yesterday in the Whitfords Target (Perth). Shelf was full of them! You might need to hunt around.

    I'm calling this a Frozer. Frozen Blender. Lame, but anyting is better than Yonanas.

      What about Frender?

      I've gotten into the (sometimes awkward) habit of calling any device you stick fruit into a Fruit Fucker, after the Penny Arcade character.

      Edit: sorry, I didn't realise this was an ancient article. It was in the list of featured articles at the bottom of the page for some reason.

      Last edited 19/09/13 9:59 am

    I dont wait for the fruit to soften, but run it through the machine twice - get a creamier effect.

    Great review. But can you add something like coconut cream if you feel like being decadent?

    BTW: "Yonanas (*shoots self in face*)"...haha!

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