Today as I was posting something on my Facebook page about banana ice cream, I realized I should make a comprehensive guide for people who have never made or are just starting to make banana ice cream. I make this dessert often and feel as though doing so would be beneficial because it’s a healthy and delicious treat I hope more people can enjoy and learn about. It’s even more fun experimenting with it; I have never made the same batch of banana ice cream twice!
Here is your guide to enjoying banana ice cream TO THE FULLEST! 😉
What is banana ‘nana’ ice cream?
Banana ice cream is a frozen raw vegan dessert made primarily from processing frozen bananas in a food processor (using the ‘S’ blade) until they reach the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. There is no sugar or sweetener added to the ice cream because the sweetness of the bananas alone is enough (with the exception of molasses, which is more for flavor). Depending on how ripe the bananas are when you freeze them will affect the sweetness of your ice cream. The more ripe the banana, the sweeter the ice cream.
Can I make banana ice cream without a food processor?
Yes and no. It depends on how good of a blender you have. You will probably have to add a decent amount of non-dairy milk to get it to blend, and it would probably make it more like a milkshake (which would be nonetheless delicious and you should still do if you don’t have a food processor!). Food processors are what make the frozen bananas into an ice cream consistency because you really don’t need any liquid. I do sometimes add a very small amount of non-dairy milk to the bananas in the food processor because it speeds up the process, but it’s not really needed. I’ve also mentioned this in another post, and my tidbit of advice for those of you who really don’t have much extra money to spend on fancy kitchen appliances but really want them: ask for them for Christmas or your birthday. That’s how I got my juicer and food processor and couldn’t be happier to have and use them both!
I have this food processor and am so pleased with it:
The person who got this for me did his research and found this particular one to be a great appliance for the money, and it definitely has been. Not only does it look very sleek, but it’s durable, the motor is powerful, and the blades are nice and sharp.
How do I add flavors to my banana ice cream?
The possibilities are endless. For real. The sky is the limit.
Fruit– You can add either fresh or frozen fruit; it just depends on how soft you want your ice cream to be. With adding fruit, I like to make more of a sorbet by squeezing a little bit of lemon or lime juice to give the ice cream a tarter (more tart?..I definitely don’t want to give you the image of tartar sauce while discussing ice cream varieties 😉 ) flavor.
Some ideas: cherries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, peaches, plums, kiwi, pear, mango, oranges (or orange juice), pomegranates, açaí berries or powder
Protein and Healthy Fats– I love adding some sort of protein and/or healthy fat to my ice cream because while the sugar from all the fruit will provide you with some quick energy, protein and fats will give you some longer-lasting fuel (as well as other benefits). Also, adding a good protein powder makes for a great pre- or post-workout snack! With nut and seed butters, I tend to do a more chocolatey-flavored ice cream rather than a fruity-flavored one. I’m sure it would taste fine mixing the nut/seed butters with fruit, but it’s just my personal preference.
Some ideas: different nut/seed butters like peanut butter, almond/cashew/pecan/walnut/hazelnut butter, sunflower seed butter, and pepita seed butter, protein powder (try to look for ones that are organic, non-GMO, don’t contain artificial sweeteners or other artificial ingredients, and are from grass-fed cows if choosing whey.. I like this one, this one, or this one).
*I haven’t really experimented with putting in coconut oil and coconut butter, but I really like consuming either of these two regularly because they are a healthy source of naturally occurring saturated fat. Just an idea you could experiment with if you like coconut too!
Flavoring– Woohoo! It keeps getting better! Adding different flavors has been the funnest part for me because it allows you to be creative and really cater the ice cream to your liking. Think spices, powders, and extracts. Also, if you are looking to have small pieces of fruits, nuts, or any other ingredient, add them at the end and process them only a couple times to break them up and incorporate them into the ice cream. I did that once with cherries, and it was sooo good.
Some ideas: raw cacao powder, carob powder, molasses, vanilla, dates, shredded coconut (on top), cinnamon, sea salt, any kind of flavor extract like chocolate, hazelnut or peppermint, espresso powder (I made my own by grinding and toasting organic coffee beans!)
Bottom line: don’t be afraid you’re going to mess up the batch by experimenting. As long as you use ingredients in moderation and ones you like together, you should be good as gold. From my experience, banana ice cream is pretty hard to mess up; it always tastes good. And you’ll figure out what you like. I’ll definitely be posting recipes for inspiration so stay tuned!
Well, there you have it. I hope this has been educational and you develop some sort of love or appreciation for this yummy frozen treat..and when you do, you won’t believe how fast this happens:
Do you have any other questions about banana ice cream? Leave them in the comments section below!