Simple. Easy. Delicious.
I have tried many vegan ice creams and the best recipe I have found thus far is also the easiest and healthiest – and it contains zero added sugar! Everyone loves this in our house and lately we have been eating it every night at dinner time. It is perfect for the summertime. It is so simple to make. It can be made in a Vitamix or a food processor, and you do NOT need an ice cream maker! The texture is perfect and is similar to soft serve ice cream. Plus, it is a GREAT way to use those over ripe bananas that are doomed for the compost pile. We really can’t ask for anything more.
What is the secret here? Frozen ripe banana chunks. Have your kids peel ripe bananas, break them into small pieces and put them into ziploc bags. Then you freeze them. When you want to make the ice cream, you simply put the bananas into your food processor or Vitamix, and off you go. Throw in some add-ins for a variety of flavors, and you are done (Well almost done. Be sure to sit back and enjoy a zen moment when your kids are all full of smiles and giggles while eating the ice cream!). Plus, your kids will be so excited asking “are these the bananas I made?”.
Full disclaimer: I’m not a huge banana fan, and I detest ripe bananas. However something magical happens when you freeze them. They lose that smell and flavor that turns me off. Yes, the ice cream does taste like bananas but in a good way. If “plain banana ice cream” is too banana-ish, then you can add in anything you like to dull the banana flavor. For instance, add in raw cacao powder and you make a mildly chocolate ice cream. Add in frozen strawberries, and you now have a cute pink strawberry ice cream. You could also add in the nut butter of your choice. Many people like matcha green tea powder in it, but I have not tried that yet. Better yet, scrape the inside of 1 vanilla bean into any of the flavors of ice cream to make it even more flavorful. The flavor possibilities are endless with this banana based ice cream.
Trust me, the kids will be so excited to eat ice cream a few times a week at dinner! And, give them the choice of strawberry, chocolate, yellow peaches, etc., on any particular night, and they will feel they are having a special desert customized for their taste.
Enjoy, The Mama
- Frozen banana chunks (3-4 bananas) (see notes)
- Optional add ins: scrape the inside of 1 vanilla bean pod, 1/2 cup or so of frozen strawberries (or other frozen fruit), 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder. Or just make it plain!
- For the food processor, fit with the S-blade: Put the frozen banana chunks into the food processor and turn it on. It takes about 15 minutes in my food processor to make the ice cream. The food processor works pretty hard and makes a bizarre noise or two. You will have to stop it a few times and scrape down the sides but don’t loose hope! When the ice cream is almost finished, put the add ins into the food processor and continue until finished.
- For the Vitamix: Put the frozen banana chunks into the Vitamix. Use the tamper to push them down into the blades. It takes 2-3 minutes to make the ice cream. When the ice cream is almost finished, put the add ins into the Vitamix and process until finished.
- Serve the ice cream immediately. It does not stay frozen very long at room temperature. If you aren’t going to serve it immediately, store it in the freezer.
- It keeps well as leftovers too. Just remove it from the freezer for 10 minutes or so, then stir it with a spoon and serve.
- How to make frozen banana chunks: (Hint, this is a great job for little kids!). Peel the bananas and break them into 3-4 chunks. Then put the chunks in a ziploc bag and put in the freezer. It is important to make them small chunks, or it is more difficult to use in the food processor and Vitamix.
- The first time I ever tried this recipe, I was a huge skeptic. In fact, while watching the frozen bananas almost work my food processor to death, I almost gave up. Don’t give up! Creamy soft serve ice cream is within your reach.
- If the bananas are ripe, the ice cream is sweet enough on it’s own-there is no need to add any sugar to it!