Banana Ice Cream
Banana ice cream is easy to make in a high-speed blender or food processor with just 1 ingredient: frozen banana!
Here’s the magical thing about banana ice cream, all you need to make it frozen bananas! How do you make it?
- Peel, chop and freeze bananas.
- Blend the bananas into creamy soft-serve ice cream.
That’s it! I go through a few more tips and details below but that’s the jist of it. You can’t beat it for a tasty, healthy vegan dessert.
Tips and Tricks
- Use ripe bananas. Ripe bananas will result in perfectly sweet banana ice cream. It the skin has some brown spots on it, it’s ready to go. Just make sure they’re not too ripe. They should be sweet but firm.
- Peel and chop into even chunks before freezing. I like to chop the banana into small slices so it blends easier.
- Freeze an airtight container. You can use a freezer-safe bag or container to freeze your banana.
- Use frozen solid banana. Make sure the banana pieces are completely frozen before making your ice cream otherwise it will come out mushy. Freeze the pieces overnight for best results.
- Pulse then blend. Once you add your frozen banana to a blender or food processor, pulse a few times to start to break it down. Continue pulsing until it starts to blend together. Once it’s all broken down, give it a quick blend and watch the icy banana transform into beautiful, creamy soft serve ice cream. If you’re adding extra flavour, you can add them now and blend to combine. You’ll have to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender a few times but it doesn’t take long to get the right consistency. At first it will appear flaky and dry, but keep blending with a touch of non-dairy milk and it will come out perfectly.
- You may need to add a little liquid to blend. Start with just a few teaspoons of almond milk or another plant-based milk and slowly add more if needed. The goal is to add as little extra liquid as possible so the ice cream stays nice and thick. I actually like to leave it a little chunky.
- Minimal blending. Try not to over blend it will start to melt and get too mushy.
- Re-freeze for ice cream. Once it’s blended you can enjoy immediately for soft serve banana ice cream or if you prefer, you can place the blended banana back in a freezer safe container and freeze for 30 minutes for more of a traditional ice cream texture.
What’s the Texture of Banana Ice Cream?
Banana ice cream is smooth, creamy and somewhat like soft serve ice cream. It melts fairly quick and the heat from the blender or food processor melts it a bit. You can place it back in the freezer once blended for a more solid ice cream texture.
Should I use a food processor or blender?
I like using my food processor to make banana ice cream although my Vitamix does the trick too. A food processor is a little bigger and allows more space for the banana to get creamy. If you do use a blender, just make sure it’s a high-speed one powerful enough to blend frozen solid banana.
15 Flavor Variations
Here are 15 fun flavor ideas you can try to mix things up. Have some fun with it! Adding flavours is a great way to get the kids involved too.
1. Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream: Add 2 tbsp of peanut butter per frozen banana. Chocolate chips always go with peanut butter too! Almond butter or sunflower seed butter work too
2. Chocolate Banana Ice Cream: Add 2 tbsp cacao powder. You may want to add a little pure maple syrup, raw honey, stevia or another sweetener of choice to help sweeten up the bitter cacao. Pure vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt is wonderful in this too.
3. Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: Add chocolate chips or cacao nibs and a dash of peppermint extract or a handful of fresh mint. If you want to make it green you can add either spinach, moringa powder or matcha powder.
4. Mango Banana Ice Cream: Blend in 1/2 a cup of frozen or fresh mango.
5. Strawberry Ice Cream: Blend in 1/2 a cup of frozen or fresh chopped strawberries. Some vanilla bean or pure vanilla extract is amazing here too.
6. Matcha Banana Ice Cream: Blend in up to 2 tsp per frozen banana.
7. Pumpkin Pie Banana Ice Cream: Blend in 1/4 cup pure pumpkin per frozen banana. I like to add ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice too.
8. Maple Walnut Banana Ice Cream: Blend in up to 2 tbsp pure maple syrup per frozen banana (or use maple extract). Pulse in up to 2 tbsp chopped walnuts.
9. Coffee Ice Cream: Add 1-2 tsp espresso powder per frozen banana. Add some cacao powder to make it mocha ice cream. Chocolate chips or cacao nibs are good in this too.
10. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream: Blend in 1-2 tsp vanilla bean powder per frozen banana.
11. Salted Caramel Banana Ice Cream: Blend in 1-2 medjool dates and a pinch of sea salt per frozen banana.
12. Protein Banana Ice Cream: Blend in 1/2 a scoop of vegan protein powder per frozen banana.
13. Tropical Banana Ice Cream: Blend in up to 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen pineapple per banana and either a little splash of coconut milk, coconut extract or a few spoonfuls of shredded coconut.
14. Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Make one of my no-bake ball recipes then pulse the dough into the blended banana ice cream.
15. Oatmeal Raisin: Blend in a pinch of sea salt and up to 3 tbsp oats and raisins per frozen banana.
Fresh fruit, chopped nuts, coconut, cacao nibs and nut butters all make wonderful topping ideas but here are a few more fun toppings to make your banana ice cream even better!
If you want a quick and easy, vegan chocolate sauce topping, mix together the following and drizzle it over your banana soft serve.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cocoa
To make this healthy caramel sauce, let the dates sit in the hot water for 5-10 minutes then add the coconut milk and sea salt and blend until smooth. You can also make this with just hot water if you prefer.
- 6 medjool dates, pitted
- 3/4 cup hot water
- pinch of sea salt
- 4 tbsp coconut milk
Cookie Dough Crumble
To make this cookie crumble, pulse the ingredients together a few times until it resembles crumbly dough. Sprinkle it over your ice cream and dig in.
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- 2 ripe bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen until solid
- Place the frozen banana in a food processor and pulse a few times to start breaking it down.
- Once it’s fairly well broken down, slowly start blending stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. It will seem a little dry and icy at first but continue blending until it forms a smooth, creamy, soft serve ice cream-like texture. Depending on your blender or food processor you may need a little splash of dairy-free milk but for best results, try to use just the banana.
- Scoop the ice cream into a bowl and enjoy right away or place back in the freezer for 30-60 minutes for firmer ice cream.
Keywords: nice cream, banana ice cream, easy banana ice cream
UPDATE NOTE: This recipe was originally published on January 28, 2013. It was updated in July 2019 with new photos and text.