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Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream”

August 4, 2010

You guys. I’ve discovered this awesome new trick that has totally blown my mind. It’s like magic. If it weren’t for food blogs and the Internet I would have never even dreamed this was possible. Are you ready to have your mind blown too?

(So there’s a slight chance that everyone else on the Internet already knows about this and I’m the last one to find out, but if that’s the case please just play along, OK?)

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It sounded too good to be true at first. One ingredient ice cream. No way. Impossible. And that one ingredient isn’t milk? Lies! I refused to believe it until I tried it myself. And guess what? IT TOTALLY WORKS. You can make “ice cream” out of a single ingredient: Bananas.

It’s so easy. There’s no cooking, no ice cream maker, and no fancy culinary techniques – just one ingredient. And because that one ingredient is bananas, it’s healthy and suitable for a wide variety of restricted diets too. It’s dairy-free, no sugar added, vegan, and even gluten-free. You have to try this!

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Of course, if you use only bananas to make “ice cream”, it tastes like, well, bananas. But there’s no reason you are limited to only one ingredient! In fact, I can think of about a million mix-ins and additions that would make this banana “ice cream” amazing.

For now I’ve tried one of my favorite flavor combinations – chocolate and peanut butter. It adds a hint of decadence to an otherwise extremely healthy dessert, but I’m OK with that. I can’t wait to try other variations of this creamy frozen treat!

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Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream”

Adapted from The Kitchn
Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings

I suppose this is technically a sorbet, but it has the texture of soft serve ice cream. While you can freeze this “ice cream” long term, it’s best eaten immediately. If you choose to freeze long term, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes until it softens again.

Ingredients

2 large very ripe bananas
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tbs milk or half & half (optional)

Directions

Peel bananas and slice into 1/2 inch discs. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a parchment or wax paper covered baking sheet. Freeze for 1-2 hours until firm, then transfer to a plastic bag. Freeze at least 8 hours or more until solidly frozen.

Puree banana slices in food processor until chunky, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add milk or half & half (if using) and vanilla. Continue to puree until the mixture reaches a smooth, soft serve-like consistency. Serve immediately.

Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream” with Chocolate PB Swirl

Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings

Ingredients

1 batch Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream” (above)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 heaping tablespoon chocolate chips
1 tablespoon dry roasted peanuts

Directions

Combine peanut butter and chocolate chips in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 15 second intervals, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted. Cool in fridge or at room temp until no longer warm, but still soft and pliable.

Layer half a batch of freshly made banana “ice cream” in a freezer-safe container. Top with half of chocolate peanut butter mixture. Repeat with remaining “ice cream” and peanut butter mixture. Drag a spatula through the mixture to swirl. Cover and chill in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes, until very cold but still soft enough to scoop.

Scoop into serving dishes, top with roasted peanuts and serve.

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5 Comments
  1. August 4, 2010 2:13 pm

    I love this trick! I’ve been thinking about posting about it, too. Well, actually it was more about smoothies than ice cream, but I saw this a couple months ago and it’s the perfect way to make a thick milkshake-like smoothie without all the fat of using ice cream. I just add other frozen fruit like pineapple or strawberries and they cover up the banana taste, but you still get a thick and creamy smoothie.

    I did try to make “ice cream” with it the first time and I was put off by how umm, banana-y it was, but I’ll have to try it again with the peanut butter and chocolate chips because that sounds good!

  2. Sara Angel permalink
    August 6, 2010 12:38 am

    Thanks for the reminder! This really is a great trick. I really want to try it with nutella.

    • The Craving Chronicles permalink*
      August 6, 2010 8:10 am

      I was thinking Nutella would be awesome too! With maybe some graham cracker chunks sprinkled on top. Mmmmm.

  3. August 18, 2010 9:38 am

    I just made this last night after seeing it over at Use Real Butter last weekend. Crazy easy and it really does taste like ice cream.

  4. August 20, 2010 10:51 am

    I tried making ice cream this morning, but my attempt? FAIL

    I’m not giving up yet, but here’s what I think went wrong.

    Instead of a food processor, I used a mini blender. I only had one banana, so there wasn’t enough contents to stick to the blades. The smooshed banana just stuck to the sides. I will try it again with 1) a mini food processor (don’t have a regular one and I’m only making for myself), 2) more banana.

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