Banana Floats

The Reader Recipe: An old-fashioned dessert, part Orange Julius, part root beer float.

Orange Floats ♥, an old-fashioned dessert, part orange julius, part root beer float.

Kitchen Parade loves! loves! loves! recipes from readers!!!

This recipe comes from a reader in South Dakota: “This is an old recipe I grew up with. It is light and served in a sherbet glass. At my home, we always had it after a big meal with roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, gravy and lots of vegetables. In those days, we didn’t worry about fat!”

Thank you, Marilyn! Banana Floats are a perfect treat for this will-it-be-cold-or-warm-today? time as late winter slopes into early spring.

The days are noticeably longer, leafy daffodil tendrils burst lightward, knobby hyacinth bulbs nudge aside the dirt. Even if snow falls again, spring will soon don its flowery bonnet.

But speaking of fat, is your coffee shop abuzz with questions about the new study that says a low-fat diet doesn’t prevent breast cancer? and the one that suggests chocolate lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of death?

Research flaws are being revealed – isn’t reducing the risk of death from 100% to even 99.9999999999% preposterous? But more than that, for all the research, we understand precious little about the relationship between food and health. One study says X, another contradicts X but posits Y except Z.

So how about sticking to Plan A: lots of vegetables, some fruit, some grains and beans, some meat and fish? And of course, the occasional treat. Banana floats, anyone?

What is a Banana Float, anyway? Well, it's a cousin to a root beer float.

Instead of root beer, fresh-squeezed orange juice.
Instead of ice cream, bananas mashed until creamy with sugar, cream and a little vanilla.
On top? The same squirt of whipped cream!

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Fresh winter citrus with hints of spring
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Serve immediately
Serves 4
  • 2 cups just-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Sugar to sweeten, to taste
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1/2 cup half ‘n’ half
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Combine the orange juice, lemon juice and sugar, then divide among tall chilled glasses.

With a fork, mash together the bananas, sugar, vanilla, almond flavoring and half ‘n’ half. Divide among the glasses and refrigerate while whipping the cream.

WHIPPED CREAM Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form, then dollop atop the banana mixture.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

ALANNA's TIPS I have the idea that "vision" for a Banana Float is a "scoop" of banana floating atop a glass of chilled orange juice. Me, I haven't been successful realizing that vision so I just toss all the ingredients (except the cream and powdered sugar for the Whipped Cream) into the blender and let it fly. How many oranges does it take to squeeze out 2 cups of orange juice? Wow, does it ever depend on the oranges. Once, it took a full dozen medium-size oranges, another time just 3 large honeybells. Just keep squeezin' until you get those two cups of juice! To my taste, Banana Floats are quite sweet, especially with sweet oranges. To compensate, I usually mix all the ingredients except the sugar, taste, then add sugar a little at a time. And the orange color isn't especially pretty so think ahead, you'll want to garnish these glasses with some pizzazz. Stripe-y straws, anyone?

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 328 Calories; 14g Tot Fat; 9g Sat Fat; 51mg Cholesterol; 25mg Sodium; 48g Carb; 2g Fiber; 36g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 7 & PointsPlus 9 & SmartPoints 16

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.