Sunday, September 1, 2013

Banana Ice Cream

I was talking to a friend the other day about healthy eating and she mentioned wanting to try this banana ice cream. The conversation gave me the idea to write about my experience with this recipe on my blog, so here you go!
I have been making this for a few months; ever since I started trying a lot of vegan recipes. This recipe does not have to be vegan, since it can be adapted to fit your tastes, but for people who are vegan or who are trying to stay away from dairy, this is a great ice cream alternative.
 I learned how to make banana ice cream from this blog post:
When I use bananas to make "ice cream," I usually make a peanut butter, banana ice cream because it is simple and healthy. If you are not a fan of peanut butter, you can make this with or without. Both my 3 year old and 14 month old love it! My 3 year old starts chanting "ice cream, ice cream" whenever I make it for him.

To make this ice cream and get a good, "soft serve" consistency, you need a high quality food processor. Personally, I  use the 9 cup Cuisinart food processor. Food processors can be a pain to clean, but I LOVE mine and use it a couple times a week. It opens up so many recipe possibilities! I actually didn't even own a food processor until 7 or 8 months ago, but this recipe is one of the reasons I decided to splurge on one.

You also need some cut up, frozen bananas. I keep a bag of frozen bananas in my freezer, so that I am ready to go whenever I feel the urge to make this. When I have bananas sitting on my counter that are turning a bit too brown to eat (and I don't feel like using them to bake), I peel them, cut them into 1 or 2 inch discs and freeze them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once they are frozen (after about an hour), I transfer them to a freezer, zip lock bag for later use. And don't fret if they turn a little brown after being stored in the freezer for a few weeks, they still work great for this recipe!
To make enough for 4 good sized servings of banana "ice cream," you will want to get your hands on about 3 or 4 bananas worth of banana pieces. Put the frozen banana discs in the food processor. I like to add a splash of almond milk or soy milk to help speed up the process. (You can use cow's milk or omit the milk altogether) Then, pulse the bananas until smooth and there are no more chunks. It will take a few minutes, so be patient and stop every once in a while to scrape the sides of the food processor.

 At this point, you could eat it as is! I like to add a tablespoon or two of PB2 for some flavor and protein without adding a lot of calories. This gives the "ice cream" a yummy peanut butter taste while keeping it pretty darn healthy! Haven't heard of PB2? Well, you are missing out if you are a peanut butter lover! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE peanut butter. But, I don't love all the calories in just two small tablespoons. I came across PB2 on It is powdered peanut butter made with peanuts and a bit of salt and sugar. 90% of the fat is removed.  PB2 is great to use in smoothies, recipes, whatever; definitely one of my favorite finds on Amazon this year.
Don't like peanut butter? That's cool too, you can be as creative as you want: cocoa powder, chocolate chips, mint extract, nuts, candy etc. Just add whatever you want to the food processor and pulse a few more times or stir the mix ins by hand.
 Once your mix ins are stirred in, eat it up before it melts! Here is my little girl enjoying her ice cream! (No, she is not two years old yet and YES, I did give her the peanut butter ice cream. Nut allergies don't run in our family, so I have been slowly introducing it to her.)

And, now it is time for me to eat some ice cream! No guilt, but still yummy! Be sure to let me know if you give this a try and share what mix-ins you use!


Banana Ice Cream

2 or 3 frozen bananas cut into pieces
a splash of milk
Mix ins of your choice

Pulse bananas in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides as needed. Add in mix ins by hand or by pulsing a few times. Eat and enjoy! You can try freezing whatever you don't eat right away, but I personally do not care for the texture when it is refrozen. So, I usually just make enough to eat right then and there.

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