Gadgets

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