Learn the secrets to making perfect banana ice cream! Banana ice cream is an awesome sugar-free, dairy-free dessert. You’ll love it!
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Banana ice cream (that is, “ice cream” that is made out of bananas—frozen ones) is the perfect sugar-free dessert. It’s been in my life for a looong time now… probably close to 15 years.
I first stumbled upon it when I started eating a lot of raw foods. (I was a “raw foodist”—the term for people who eat only raw fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds (yes, really)—for a little while many years ago.) Facing the idea of never eating ice cream again, I was thrilled to discover a raw option to one of my favorite desserts. And, go figure, after my raw foodist days I developed a dairy sensitivity, so banana ice cream became even more important to me. (Yes, I could have gone out and purchased those ridiculously expensive pints of coconut ice cream or other dairy-free ice cream, but this stuff is inexpensive, delicious, and easy to make, so why bother?!)
Needless to say, after making hundreds of batches of the stuff, I’d like to think I’ve perfected the art of banana ice cream. 🙂
At first, I just loaded a bunch of hard-as-a-rock frozen bananas into my food processor and hit the “on” button. I actually followed this “technique” for quite a while, which was pretty dumb because my food processor would always overheat (and shut off), and I actually cracked a blade once.
Over time, I discovered there is a super easy way to make it come out PERFECT every time with minimal food processor strain. And in this post I’m going to share that method with you!
One thing before we get started: banana ice cream doesn’t really taste that much like bananas. I am actually not a huge banana fan and I absolutely hate banana-flavored anything, but I love banana ice cream. Plus, banana ice cream serves as an excellent base for a variety of additional flavorings, mix-ins, and toppings, so if you’re not a big banana fan, just remember that you can “upgrade” your banana ice cream in a million different ways.
Okay, let’s get started!
Step 1: Freeze very ripe bananas without the peel.
You know when you see a banana and say, “Oh man, I’m going to have to eat that now before my kitchen is filled with a swarm of fruit flies”?
Those are the bananas you want to freeze. They should look like these guys (or gals):
Peel your bananas and freeze them in an airtight freezer bag. I usually peel and freeze a bunch of bananas at once, in the same freezer bag. Unlike some fruit, they separate pretty easily when frozen.
Step 2: Let the frozen bananas sit in the food processor for five minutes before turning it on.
When you’re ready to make your banana ice cream, break your bananas into 2″ to 3″ chunks and place them in the food processor… and then wait for five minutes. It’s critical to let the bananas thaw a little before you process them; otherwise, things just get too crazy in the food processor.
To make a single serving of banana ice cream, one-and-a-half to two bananas makes a good amount. (I recommend processing no more than three bananas at a time.)
If you’ve frozen super ripe bananas, you shouldn’t need any additional sweetener, but if you’d like, you can toss in a pitted date (soaked in water for 60 minutes prior) or a pinch of stevia. I also like to add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract at this point.
Step 3: Alternate between pulsing for 20 seconds and running for 20 seconds.
Start by pulsing for 20 seconds (or just count 20 pulses). Then turn to “on” for 20 seconds… then back to pulsing. (Warning: this might be a little loud at first when the bananas are still in big chunks.) After you do this sequence for 60 seconds, open up your food processor, scrape down the sides with a spatula, and break up any large chunks with a fork.
After a few rounds, your bananas will start to look like this:
At this point, you might be questioning this whole thing and thinking that this will never turn into ice cream. You might also be tempted to add liquids to speed up the process. Trust me on this one: do not add liquids ever! I cringe when I see banana ice cream recipes that include liquids. You don’t need it and it just messes up the consistency. Trust the process!
Also, and this is very important, do not be afraid to walk away for a few minutes if you feel like your food processor is heating up too much. You should be okay if you’re doing it the way I prescribe and you have a good food processor (I use this one), but sometimes even the best food processor needs a little break.
Step 4: When it starts to resemble soft serve ice cream, process for 30 to 60 seconds.
Suddenly, your banana ice cream will start to come together. Yeah! It’s almost the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ll see it start to bunch up around the blade like this:
At this point, turn your food processor to “on” for 30 seconds. If it’s not completely smooth by then, go for up to another 30.
You want to end up with this:
Better yet, you want to end up with this because you can put that spoonful of deliciousness in your mouth:
Step 5: Serve and enjoy!
Banana ice cream doesn’t freeze well (if you freeze it, you’ll have to reprocess it), so you’ll want to eat it immediately. At this point you can fold in mix-ins or add toppings. Or, you can just eat it plain because it’s plenty good that way too.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering… banana ice cream, as long as you eat it in a reasonable time frame (within 20 minutes is a good idea), is not some runny, thin stuff. I held up a spoon of it sideways to demonstrate:
No drips! 🙂
Now that you’ve been introduced to banana ice cream…
Banana ice cream truly is one of the best sugar-free desserts you can make! It’s one of my favorites and it’s also one I love to get creative with. I will be adding many of my banana ice cream creations to this site, so check back frequently. Better yet, sign up for the Forget Sugar Friday free Starter Kit below and I’ll send you updates on my latest delicious banana ice cream creations (among lots of other valuable information)!
If you found this post useful, would you mind giving it a pin on Pinterest? I want to make sure everyone knows how to make banana ice cream the right way! 🙂