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How is Yonanas different than a blender?

Yonanas and blenders are both kitchen appliances used to process fruits and vegetables, but they function in different ways and produce different results. Yonanas is a specialty appliance designed specifically for making soft-serve style frozen desserts out of frozen bananas and other frozen fruits and vegetables. Blenders are more general use devices made for blending, mixing and pureeing all kinds of foods and drinks.

What is Yonanas?

The Yonanas machine was invented by Mark Crane in 2007. It is a countertop kitchen appliance that uses a specially designed milling blade and chute to process frozen bananas and other frozen fruits and vegetables into a soft, creamy texture similar to soft serve ice cream.

Here is an overview of how the Yonanas machine works:

  • Frozen banana chunks are loaded into the top chute.
  • As they fall through the chute, a stainless steel milling blade with spiraling ridges shreds the bananas.
  • The ridges are specially designed to gently break open the cell walls of the frozen fruit to release the innate sugars and flavors.
  • The fruit puree is extruded through the chute as soft serve “nice” cream.

The Yonanas can also process other frozen fruits like strawberries, mangoes, pineapples, and frozen vegetables like zucchini and sweet potatoes. The resulting soft serve has a creamy, ice cream-like texture.

What is a blender?

A blender is a versatile kitchen appliance used for numerous functions including:

  • Smoothies – Blending fresh or frozen fruits/vegetables and liquids into smooth drinks
  • Purees – Blending cooked foods into smooth purees
  • Mixed drinks – Blending cocktails, milkshakes, etc.
  • Chopping/food prep – Chopping vegetables, making sauces, nut butters etc.
  • Batter mixing – Mixing pancake, muffin, etc batters.

Blenders use fast spinning blades at the base to finely chop and pulverize foods. Most blenders have multiple speeds allowing some control over texture. High power blenders like Vitamix can blend incredibly smooth mixtures.

Key Differences between Yonanas and Blenders

While Yonanas and blenders share some similarities, there are some key differences between these two appliances:

Yonanas Blender
Designed specifically for frozen desserts Multi-purpose appliance
Only processes frozen fruits/veggies Can blend all types of foods/drinks
Uses a milling blade for gentle processing Uses fast spinning blades to finely chop foods
Produces a soft, creamy texture Can make smooth or textured blends
Preserves innate fruit sugars and flavors Exposes ingredients to oxygen which can degrade flavors/nutrients
Slower processing method Very fast blending
Only one texture setting Multiple speed settings
Produces frozen desserts and sorbets Makes smoothies, purees, batters, etc.

As shown in the table, while a blender is a versatile appliance, the Yonanas is specially designed for making frozen fruit desserts. The milling blade and slower process preserves more of the natural flavor and nutrition of the fruits. The Yonanas also gives a richer, creamier mouthfeel than a typical blended smoothie.

Yonanas Benefits

Here are some of the benefits that the Yonanas offers over blenders and ice cream makers:

  • Healthier desserts – Yonanas treats are essentially just fruit. They have all the vitamins, minerals and fiber found naturally in fruits. Much healthier than ice cream and frozen yogurt.
  • User-friendly – Simple to use with no complicated settings. Just load frozen fruit and process.
  • Minimal noise – Much quieter than high powered blenders. Blades are designed for gentle milling.
  • Easy clean up – All parts are detachable and dishwasher safe.
  • Kid-friendly – Safe and easy enough for kids to make their own healthy frozen treats.
  • Versatile machine – Can make sorbet, nice cream, fruit soft serve, and more.
  • Timesaving – No need to freeze bananas ahead of time like with ice cream makers. Works with store-bought frozen fruits.
  • Automatic portion control – Produces treats one serving at a time through the chute.
  • Compact size – Small countertop footprint around 5 x 7 inches.

The Yonanas really maximizes the nutritional benefits of fruits while transforming them into a fun, tasty frozen dessert. Kids love it too!

Yonanas Downsides

The Yonanas does have some disadvantages compared to blenders:

  • Single-use appliance – only makes frozen desserts vs. blender multi-functions
  • Unable to adjust texture or add other ingredients
  • Requires bananas and fruits to be frozen first
  • Smaller batches – needs to be refilled frequently for large amounts
  • Only works with frozen ingredients, not fresh produce

The Yonanas texture and flavor are part of the appeal, but for custom blended smoothies and drinks, a blender offers more versatility. Yonanas also requires more prep with freezing produce ahead of time.

Popular Yonanas Recipies

The Yonanas is great for giving frozen bananas and fruits a creamy soft-serve twist. Here are some popular recipes people make with the Yonanas machine:

Recipe Ingredients
Banana Nice Cream Frozen bananas
Chocolate Banana Nice Cream Frozen bananas + cocoa powder
Peanut Butter Banana Nice Cream Frozen bananas + peanut butter
Tropical Fruit Sorbet Frozen mango + pineapple + strawberries
Mixed Berry Sorbet Frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
Sweet Potato Soft Serve Baked sweet potato + cinnamon
Zucchini Sorbet Frozen zucchini + mint

The Yonanas opens up lots of possibilities for healthy soft serve by using frozen fruits or vegetables as the base ingredient. Simply load them into the chute and out comes freshly made, creamy frozen dessert!

Tips for Using the Yonanas

Here are some handy tips for getting the best results when using a Yonanas machine:

  • Freeze fruits and bananas completely solid before using.
  • Cut large fruits and bananas into 1-2 inch chunks before freezing.
  • Alternate different frozen items when adding to the chute.
  • Add liquid ingredients like chocolate or peanut butter sauces slowly through chute while machine is running.
  • Use ripe bananas for more sweetness.
  • Combine fruits like mango and banana for a creamier texture.
  • Add extracts or spices to customize flavors.
  • Let the machine run for 30-60 seconds after adding the last ingredients to fully extrude all the texture.
  • Store Yonanas creations in airtight container in freezer for up to 3 weeks.

Allowing enough freezing time and cutting fruits into smaller pieces helps ensure even processing and consistency. Letting the machine fully clear out each batch gives the creamiest finished product. Combine fruits and add mixins to create your own signature flavors.

Cleaning the Yonanas

Keeping the Yonanas clean is easy, especially if you thoroughly rinse it immediately after each use. Here are some tips for cleaning the Yonanas:

  • Disassemble all parts – chute, lid, milling head, and collection cup.
  • Rinse removable parts under running water to clear out food debris.
  • Wash parts in warm soapy water using a soft brush or sponge to remove any residual stickiness.
  • Dry parts thoroughly before reassembling.
  • The collection cup and milling head are top rack dishwasher safe.
  • Wipe down the base with a damp cloth and avoid submerging it in water.

Cleaning each part separately makes it easier to clean the grooves of the milling head and interior of the chute. Let all parts air dry fully before reassembling so no moisture builds up inside the base. With regular cleaning, the Yonanas parts stay fresh and easy to use for years.


While the Yonanas appliance shares some functionality with blenders, it was uniquely invented for making soft serve style frozen desserts. The specially designed milling blade gently processes frozen fruits and vegetables to preserve nutrients and flavors better than blending. The Yonanas produces a naturally sweet, creamy frozen treat that rivals ice cream without artificial ingredients. It offers an easy way to make tasty soft serve at home. Blenders provide more versatility for handling all types of ingredients, but for fresh frozen fruit desserts, the Yonanas can’t be beat!