Eleven delicious banana ice cream recipes to try — indulge often in this healthy and satisfying treat!
If you haven’t tried banana “ice cream” yet, you need to get out your blender and give this amazing stuff a try. When frozen bananas are blended, they develop a smooth, creamy texture a lot like ice cream (some call it “nice cream”). You can add all sorts of delicious flavors to make healthy frozen treats. Ice cream with no guilt? It’s true.
Even if you aren’t that crazy about the flavor of bananas, you should try some of these unbelievably easy recipes that mask it pretty well and reap some of bananas’ excellent health benefits. (Magnesium, B-6, and potassium for better sleep, anyone?)
Though I don’t particularly like bananas, I think these inexpensive, nutrient-filled fruits are worth working into your diet, especially as a replacement for sugar-laden artificially-flavored candies and ice cream.
I keep them around for my kids to eat when they’re on the go, but often they only want half. (Do your kids do this? It’s amazing how often I wind up with leftover banana halves!) I slice up the leftovers for frozen smoothies, and now that we know about banana ice cream, we’re using quite a number for that as well.
I think banana-based ice creams lend themselves best to fruity flavors like mango and peach, but chocolate can work as well. Making these treats is as easy as tossing some banana slices in the freezer and pulsing them in your food processor. What’s amazing is that before your eyes they transform from little chunks of banana to smooth, creamy deliciousness, and you don’t even need an ice cream maker.
Use only bananas and you have a one-ingredient ice cream, if you like banana flavor. I don’t really, so I think it’s worth the extra trouble to add an additional ingredient or two. Using some kind of milk or milk replacement helps it blend up more readily and can add additional nutrition.
We tried a bunch of combinations, including one with raw cacao powder (thumbs-down — too powerful, and somehow also not chocolatey enough) and another with carob (better near bedtime or if you’re sensitive to the caffeine in cocoa). Blueberry was also quite tasty. Peach banana ice cream was the winner of the options we tried, but the possibilities are endless, and we will certainly be trying more of the tempting banana ice cream recipe ideas below!
3-Ingredient Peach Banana Ice Cream Recipe
Prep time: 5 minutes
2 ripe bananas (riper bananas will make sweeter ice cream, so you don’t need added sweeteners)
1 ripe peach
Splash of coconut, flax, or dairy milk (optional, but it makes blending easier)
- Chop peaches into small chunks and slice bananas into coins. Freeze for several hours or overnight, till completely frozen. It’s easier to remove your fruit if you freeze them on a tray lined with a silicone mat before placing them in a freezer bag or container. But if your freezer’s as crowded as mine, you can place them carefully in a single-ish layer right in the bag. As long as they’re not piled up, the little coins break apart pretty readily. (Note: these little coins are also pretty delicious on their own, so you can pop a few in your mouth while you’re making ice cream.)
- Place banana and peach pieces in a food processor or blender with milk of choice and pulse. You’ll see the fruit start to break up.
- Keep blending. Pieces will get smaller, and eventually start to become creamy ice cream. Push chunks down and keep blending.
- Presto change-o! Suddenly it will turn into soft-serve ice cream! (This took about 2 minutes in my aging mini food processor.)
- Eat immediately or transfer to a container and freeze to harden (if you do freeze it, allow to sit out a few minutes to soften before scooping).
Here are a bunch more yummy-looking banana ice cream recipes to try!
A Virtual Vegan has a luscious-looking Mango Banana Ice Cream that she points out “is healthy enough to eat for breakfast!” So true!
Courtney at Courtney’s Cookbook adds golden milk to the banana-mango combo to get a hit of turmeric and ginger.
This recipe for avocado banana soft serve ice cream with pistachios from Divine Healthy Food looks amazing.
Chocolate more your thing? Check out this chocolate-banana soft serve from The Herbal Spoon.
If you like peanut butter ice cream, you might want to check out this peanut butter chocolate banana ice cream recipe from The Healthy Maven.
Kara Carrero has a beautiful Dairy-Free Red Velvet Ice Cream recipe that’s colored with beets!
Want even more flavorful ideas for banana ice cream? Check these out:
Pumpkin Spice Banana Ice Cream from Butterlust
Spice Banana Walnut Ice Cream from Tales of a Kitchen
Lemon Blueberry Banana Ice Cream from Worth Cooking
Banana Strawberry Ice Cream by Sweet and Savory
You can also jazz things up a bit by mixing in or topping with nuts, chocolate chips, or diced fruit. Yum!
Wait, don’t throw all those peels in the trash!
Did you know that banana peels make great additions to the garden? You can use them to deter aphids, and they will also add beneficial nutrients to your soil. (Apparently you can also eat them and whiten your teeth and polish your silver with them, but you’ll have to investigate those uses for yourself 🙂 )
Have you tried banana ice cream yet? What’s your favorite flavor?
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I add healthy treat ideas to my healthy treats Pinterest Board every day. Be sure to follow for more delicious and healthy recipes.
Photo credits: A Virtual Vegan, Kara Carrero