Healthy Banana Ice Cream

Healthy Banana Ice Cream

Healthy Banana Ice Cream ready to be eaten

Healthy Banana Ice Cream ready to be devoured

Ok I know what you are thinking. Gross! How can Banana Ice cream taste good? Resist every urge you have to click away from my blog post and keep reading. It may not appeal to you yet, but it will once you try it. It will play mind games with your taste buds; it will make you want more; it will make your kids thinking ice cream is “healthy.” Don’t be afraid and try it.

A few years back, I found an article talking about the “1 ingredient ice cream.” The lone ingredient wasn’t cream or sugar; it was frozen bananas. I was shocked, how can frozen bananas taste anything like ice cream?  I finally tried it after months of not believing the very words I read and now I kick myself for not trying it earlier.

* DISCLAIMER: So I will be honest and admit that my favorite version of this banana ice cream has more than 1 ingredient but it is still healthier (and yummier and less processed) than the hundreds of “fro yo” places out there. So if I were you I would try it first without any “mix- ins” first and see if you like it plain. Then the world is your oyster. Some of our favorite ideas for our favorite mix- ins and banana ice cream concoctions (isn’t that such a silly word?!?!?!?) are almond butter, dark chocolate chips, dark chocolate cocoa powder, toasted coconut, pistachios, ground espresso beans, etc. The sky is the limit. Recently, I discovered Love Bean Organic Chocolate Fudge and I am obsessed. I put it on and in everything, to include fresh strawberries and of course my banana ice cream. They are a local Austin based company and have real ingredients. Check them out and I promise you will be hooked too. Let me know if you have any other good ideas to try.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews

Healthy Banana Ice Cream
 
Prep time
Total time
 
The best 1 ingredient ice cream EVER!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Paleo
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 to 1½ frozen bananas per person
  • Toppings/ “mix ins” of your choice (Dark chocolate chips, Love Bean Fudge Cream, scoop of almond butter, pistachios, toasted coconut, the list goes on…)
Instructions
  1. As soon as your fresh bananas start showing any small brown spots, it is time to conform them and move them to dark cold side. You may hear many people “saving” too ripe bananas for future banana bread. I am here to tell you to forget banana bread. Once you make this ice cream you will forget your grandma’s secret banana bread recipe for good. OK back to the ripe bananas, go ahead and peel them and then place them in a frozen ziplock bag. Bananas need to be completely frozen for the ice cream to have the best consistency so if you are planning on making this ice cream you need to plan ahead. I have bananas that are months old waiting to be made into ice cream and it’s ok because they hold up for up to 6 months, but at a minimum they should be frozen for at least 12-24 hours beforehand for this recipe to work.
  2. Chop frozen bananas into small pieces and place in blender or food processor. (* 2nd Disclaimer, I learned this the hard way but you need to chop the banana into small slices because if you place them in whole or in half, it will take longer to smooth the bananas and your blender can start smoking and before you know it the engine has burned out. I speak from experience when I tell you this step is crucial and clearly I want you to learn from my mistakes).
  3. Place the chopped frozen bananas in the blender/ food processor, hit chop, blend, start, puree, etc and watch your blender or food processor dance. After 30 seconds to 1 minute, you will see your bananas turn into little balls of chalky- like pellets. At this point you are thinking, Laura has no clue what she is talking about and you want to quit. Well talk yourself out of it. Keep going.
  4. Wait. This step is the hardest step. It takes a while (4-5 minutes) for the bananas to start transforming into the consistency of soft serve ice cream, but I promise you patience is a virtue and yummy things comes to those who wait. I will mention again and reiterate the importance of having your bananas chopped up from the start. It is these crucial ⅘ minutes that can burn your motor up or dull your blade if they were just dropped in whole.
  5. Once you see that all or majority of the ice cream is that yummy soft serve consistency, you have a choice. Finish up and eat your dairy free, gluten free, 1 ingredient paleo healthy banana ice cream OR you can go crazy, live a little and add a topping. Since I live on the edge, I usually add something but I will tell you a little goes a long way. To make ice cream for my crazy family of 4, I may use 3 or 4 bananas tops and all I do is put 1 hefty spoonful of almond butter and my kids think they are eating almond butter ice cream not banana ice cream. Almond butter was our favorite mix- in until recently Ben tried adding a few dark chocolate chips to the blender in addition to the Almond Butter and it is awesome too. Those are the pictures you will see below. The rest of the time, we usually add the almond butter to the blender and after we scoop it out into our cups we may top our ice cream with chocolate chips or toasted coconut or nuts. Again you can add whatever you want, like you would order at your local ice cream parlor. Does anyone really refer to ice cream joints as parlors anymore? I digress.
  6. Scoop and add toppings and be ready to be wowed.
Notes
The Special Kitchen Appliance Needed to make this amazing recipe: Heavy duty food processor or blender

 

Banana Ice Cream Ingredients and my mini chefs

Banana Ice Cream Ingredients and my mini sou chefs

Julian showing off his healthy Paleo ingredients for his favorite version of banana ice cream

Julian, a year later, showing off his healthy Paleo ingredients, Almond Butter and Love Bean Chocolate Fudge Cream, for his favorite version of banana ice cream. As you can see this is still a family favorite.

My frozen banana stash

My frozen banana stash…I told you it is no joke

Frozen Banana in food processor

Frozen Bananas in the food processor

Frozen Banana Ice Cream Chalky phase

Frozen Banana Ice Cream in it’s Chalky phase

Banana Ice Cream in the midst of becoming soft serve

Banana Ice Cream in the midst of becoming soft serve

Banana Ice Cream Smooth as silk

Banana Ice Cream Smooth as silk

My little helpers

My little helpers adding their favorite topping…Almond Butter (or Peanut Butter if you are not Paleo)!

Toppings for the Healthy Banana Ice Cream

Toppings for the Healthy Banana Ice Cream…Almond Butter and dark chocolate chips

Final product of healthy Banana Ice Cream

Final product of healthy Banana Ice Cream

Kid approved

Kid tested AND kid approved

So next time your kids want Dairy Queen, make this for them and you will be amazed not only the money you saved but the extra pounds you saved them from adding by eating this healthy version of a “special treat.”

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9 Responses to “Healthy Banana Ice Cream”

  1. JulieSeptember 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    This stuff is the bomb. It’s crazy how creamy it tastes! I haven’t tried any additions yet but will definitely try peanut butter! Yum yum!

  2. AmySeptember 20, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    I have made this and it really is superyummy.

    • LauraSeptember 21, 2012 at 3:05 am #

      Yay!!! So glad you tried it! Let me know if you think of any other yummy mix in or toppings!

  3. ChrisJanuary 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    I’m going to try this with some coffee powder (decaf, of course) – Coffee ice cream, YUM! Also, can I just cut up the bananas first and then freeze them? I would think it might be easier for me than trying to cut up frozen bananas – I’m a terror with a knife. ;)

    • LauraJanuary 15, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      Chris, what a great idea! I never thought to put coffee in it. You might have just stepped up my fave dessert to another level. Question though, when you say coffee powder do you mean regular ground coffee or instant? I just bought some decaf ground coffee for a brisket crock recipe (If you are a coffee lover you should try it and let me know what you think: http://ourfullplate.com/recipes/crock-pot/brisket/) and I was wondering if I could use that. Let me know how it goes, I am dieing to try it. Again, who needs an excuse to “try” banana ice cream?!??! Thanks for commenting, keep it coming.

    • LauraJanuary 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

      Chris, I got so excited with the possibility of making coffee “ice cream” that I completely forgot to answer your question. I think for sure you can chop up the banana while it is still fresh and it will work BUT when you store it in your freezer friendly Ziplock bag the pieces might “smush” together and become a big ball and you might have to cut a piece off anyway with knife. Honestly, cutting the banana while frozen isn’t too hard, even for someone like you said who is scary around sharp objects. The frozen banana is not as hard as an ice cube where it is THAT impossible to cut it safely. Let me know what you try. Good luck!

  4. footsiejonesJanuary 24, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    This is amazing! I tried adding cacao nibs (that’s what I had in the house) and it was okay but not as chocolatey as I thought it would be. Still… I enjoyed it immensely!

  5. Mary EllenJanuary 26, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

    I found this “recipe” last summer when my husband and I gave up most dairy (we still use butter from organic pasture fed cows and organic parmesan cheese). We fell in love. The frozen bananas are the “base”… we love banana ice cream by itself, but I often throw in frozen strawberries and it is heavenly! I use 1 1/2 bananas per person, so for two people it’s 3 bananas and about 4 frozen strawberries (8 total). I also started freezing it in small 1 cup storage bowls. I only use glass containers, but if you leave at least 1/2″ of room at the top of anything, you can safely freeze stuff. I freeze homemade coconut milk, too. The ice cream obviously doesn’t have that creamy consistency anymore, but I let it sit out for a little while and it has the consistency close to what regular ice cream does when it’s not soft. Maybe a little “ice milky”, but not too much… still good. I like being able to pull stuff out of the freezer on occasion without having to get out the food processor. Although, freshly made is best… it’s incredible!!! I am going to experiment with vanilla next…

    • LauraJanuary 27, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

      Mary Ellen, what a great tip about adding the frozen berries you had! I actually saw your comment this morning so you inspired me to make a Paleo Smoothie with some of the frozen bananas from what I call my “banana ice cream stash.” I did not have frozen strawberries but I did have frozen blueberries and it was great. I will post the recipe soon but it was pretty standard, frozen fruit, almond milk, almond butter, flax and chia seeds. Thanks also for sharing the coconut milk tip. Isn’t coconut milk just amazing and so versatile? I read another Paleo cook who whips it and make their own whip cream from it. Amazing! I love the internet. Come back and let me know if you try anything else girl! Laura

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