When I was growing up, my mother was concerned with natural eating far before it was cool. We began each morning with a large glass of freshly made carrot juice, we mixed our own almond milk before it was ever sold by the carton, and we never ever kept sugar in the house.
On hot Texas summer days, when in need of something cool and sweet, we would pull out our large 25-pound juicer and snap in the special attachment that could homogenize frozen fruit.
We’d help mom feed through frozen bananas and strawberries, and we would feast on the closest alternative to ice cream we were allowed. On special occasions, we sometimes even got to eat “fruit cream” for breakfast.
Twenty years later, homogenized fruit has turned mainstream. The Yonanas Fruit Soft-Serve machine makes it easy to transform any frozen fruit into a healthy, creamy treat – no hefty juicing machine needed.
Just feed your frozen fruit of choice through the chute and you’ll have a bowl of soft-serve style “ice cream” or sugar-free “sorbet” ready to eat in minutes. While the name might fool you, this machine works with far more than just bananas – from berries to pineapple, peaches, and more. The options are limitless.
Without the need for any added sugar or cream, Yonanas is the ideal treat maker for anyone with allergies, or anyone looking to watch what they eat.
If your in the mood for a more traditional homemade sorbet, check out my post on the science involved in making it.
The Yonanas website offers dozens of ideas for fun combinations and non-fruit mix-ins. Here are a few of our own suggestions:
- Banana, pineapple, and coconut milk ice cubes. Fold in a splash of rum for some pina colada fun!
- Chocolate chips and banana
- Strawberry and kiwi
- Watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe
Yonanas is unbelievably simple to use. It comes with the base, chute, plunger, and blade kit. Except for the base, all of the parts are all dishwasher safe. And should they break or wear out, Yonanas provides replacement parts.
Simply snap the blade and chute into place, push frozen fruit through with the plunger, and you’ve got a bowl of frozen dessert cream that’s ready to eat, instantly.
Eat immediately for an ice cream-like experience, or explore the included recipe book for additional ways to use your frozen puree.
Priced affordably, the Classic works well for those that want a small machine for occasional use. It is 8x6x14,” weighs only 1.5 pounds, and comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer.
The Classic is made of sturdy plastic with a metal blade, and is available in ten vibrant colors.
The Elite is slightly larger, at 10x6x15”. The primary difference is the sturdier motor, which brings the Elite up to 7 pounds in weight, and the three-year manufacturer warranty.
The stronger motor allows the Elite to power through fruit more quickly and quietly than the Classic. With a sleek chrome finish, the Elite is available in black and red.
Both machines come with a recipe book to spark inspiration. Replacement parts are available to purchase directly through the Yonanas Company, and they are free within the warranty period. Shipping is always free, and if you are unhappy with your machine, they offer a full refund within 30 days of purchase.
Yonanas’ thousands of customer reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive. Of the few who disliked the machine, the most common complaint was that fruit simply does not taste the same as ice cream.
While the soft serve texture can serve as a healthy way to satisfy your need for sweet, don’t expect bananas to magically taste of rich cream, vanilla, and sugar. But they do make a satisfying frozen dessert nonetheless, particularly for those who cannot eat dairy or added sugar.
- Yonanas makes it quick and easy to create a nutritious dessert out of simple, guilt-free ingredients.
- The machine is simple to assemble, disassemble, and clean. The sturdy plastic pieces are dishwasher safe. And if they break, wear out, or get lost, Yonanas customer service is efficient in providing replacements.
- The Classic version can be quite loud. If fruit is not slightly defrosted before using, the motor sounds strained. These issues are resolved with the sturdier motor of the Elite.
- Some reviewers report that the included directions and recipes contain a few typos, and are a bit unclear. However, the machine is simple to use, and online tutorials are available to resolve any questions that might arise.
- A decent amount of the final product remains in the chute. Make sure to disassemble and scrape this down with a rubber spatula before it melts, so as not to lose any of your delicious snack!
While there are several similar products on the market, none have as vast or enthusiastic a following as Yonanas.
The closest alternative is the Magic Bullet Dessert Bullet.
The Magic Bullet Dessert Bullet Blender available on Amazon
At 8 x 10 x 14” and 5.3 pounds, the Dessert Bullet is slightly larger than Yonanas, and right in the same price range. It also comes with a recipe book, offering a range of dessert options.
While the machines are almost identical in size and technique, Amazon customers who have used both machines report a smoother texture from the Yonanas.
The Big Boss Swirlio and VonShef options, like the Dessert Bullet, are of similar design and price. The Big Boss is available in a variety of colors, while VonShef comes only in red.
Unlike the Yonanas and Dessert Bullet, the Big Boss model does not come equipped with a manufacturer’s warranty. VonShef offers a one year warranty, though you must make sure to register your machine online!
- Use ripe fruits for ultimate sweetness. Spotted bananas make the tastiest creamy treat.
- Let your fruit thaw outside the freezer for about 10 minutes before processing, so as not to strain the motor.
- For a non-dairy-free version, freeze yogurt, cream, or your favorite kind of milk in ice trays to add a creamy component to your dessert. After pressing your fruit and frozen dairy through the chute, mix everything together in the bowl to blend the flavors well.
- Be sure to disassemble and scrape out the machine with a rubber spatula so you don’t lose any of your precious fruit cream!
Because of its faithful following, responsive customer service, complementary warranty, and low price point, we recommend the Yonanas machine above all of the available alternatives.
As for which model to choose, it depends on how often you plan to use it. If you expect to make dessert every day, the Elite model is worth the extra expense. But if you are only looking for the occasional sweet treat, the Classic will do the trick.
Have you used one of these machines? What are your favorite fruit combinations? What other fun ingredients have you used? Let us know in the comments.
Photos by Nan Schiller, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Other images via Yonanas, Magic Bullet, Big Boss, and VonShef.
About Kendall Vanderslice
Kendall’s love of food has taken her around the world. From baking muffins on a ship in West Africa and milking cows with Tanzanian Maasai, to hunting down the finest apfelstrudel in Austria, she continually seeks to understand the global impact of food. Kendall holds a BA in Anthropology from Wheaton College and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University, and has worked in the pastry departments of many of Boston’s top kitchens. Based in Somerville, Massachusetts, Kendall helps to run a small community supported bread bakery and writes about the intersection of food, faith, and culture on her personal blog, A Vanderslice of the Sweet Life.