Ice cream is a dessert staple and making it is now easier and healthier than ever. Sure, you can just pick up a carton at the store, but chances are the essay of ingredients listed on the back are going to be off-putting. Or, if you’re trying to be conscious of what you eat, the high fat and high-sugar content will make you think twice.
So what if you can make you own ice cream cheaply with next to no special equipment, very little prep, and your creamy, nearly instant dessert can be made to order? Sounds too good to be true, right? That’s what I thought when I came across the “single-ingredient” ice cream craze.
Now, while you can make this with just one ingredient (frozen bananas), I’ve added a few touches to create a base ice-cream that is ridiculously smooth and creamy and whose mouthfeel is addictive. The good news is that this base is perfect by itself or as a blank canvas for other add-ins. The better news is that this ice cream is incredibly healthy, which leads me to the best news: it’s so healthy that you can have it for breakfast!!! Let me say that again but slower. You. Can. Have. This. Ice Cream. For. Breakfast. 🍦
Has it sunk in yet how amazing this is??
But enough chit-chat, let’s get to it…
Made from fresh bananas, a splash coconut milk, vanilla extract, and whatever add-ins you like, this simple and healthy recipe is guaranteed to be a hit since it’s clean-eat, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan-friendly and delicious!
I decided to mix things up a little and make this ice cream three ways. I started by making the base by combining the frozen banana with some vanilla and coconut milk and blending it in my (mini) food processor until it was smooth. That made my base (pics 1-4). I added cocoa powder to 1/3 of my base to make a dark chocolate ice cream and some almond extract and chopped almonds to the other 1/3 of my base to create the faux-alcohol-free amaretto. The last 1/3 I left as plain “vanilla”.
Just to mix things up, here’s some ideas for your next ice cream craving!
- Chocolate: add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the base recipe and top it with shaved curls of dark chocolate
- Faux-Amaretto (non-alcoholic): add a few drops of almond extract and chopped almonds or almond slivers to the base recipe.
- Chocolate-Hazelnut: add a teaspoon of cocoa powder, a few drops of hazelnut extract, and finely chopped roasted hazelnuts to the base recipe. Top with extra hazelnuts and a melted dark chocolate drizzle.
- Strawberry: add a few frozen strawberries (or fresh if preferred) and a few drops of strawberry extract to the base recipe and blend until smooth.
- Faux-Pistachio (non-alcoholic): add a few drops of pistachio extract and chopped pistachios to the base recipe.
- Butter Pecan: melt a touch of butter in a small saucepan and lightly toast chopped pecans in the butter. Allow to cool completely. Add extra vanilla to the ice cream base and fold in the cooled buttery-toasted pecans.
- Raspberry Ripple: Add in extra vanilla and remove 2/3 of the ice cream and set in the freezer while you prepare the raspberry portion. Add in fresh or frozen raspberries to the food processor where the other 1/3 of ice cream is along with a teaspoon of organic raw cane sugar. Blend until smooth. Next, scoop 1/2 of the base ice cream (that we set aside earlier) into a dish and smooth it out. Add a few blobs of the raspberry mixture (about half) to the top and cover with another layer of the remaining base and add the rest of the raspberry mixture in blobs to the top. Using a knife or toothpick, create swirl patterns by dragging it over the top. Allow the ice cream to set in the freezer for 15 minutes before serving.
- Nutella: Add a tablespoon (or two!) of my Homemade Nutella to your base recipe and blend together.
As I develop and experiment more ideas and flavors I’ll be sure to come back and update this list, but if there are any flavors you like, made, or tried, I (and others) would love to hear them and maybe try them too so feel free to share your ideas down in the comments!
As for the toppings, the options really are endless. I’ve topped my dark chocolate with shaves of dark chocolate, my amaretto with almonds, and my base with some homemade Maple-Pecan Granola and sugar-free dried cranberries.
Almost Instant Ice Cream (Clean and Healthy too!)
- Peel and slice bananas and layer them on a baking tray. Place tray in the freezer and allow the bananas to freeze until solid.
- Add the frozen bananas to a food processor along with the coconut milk and vanilla extract (and small pinch of salt if using).
- Blend until the bananas are smooth and silky and the consistency of ice cream.
- Be sure to stop the food processor every so often and scrape down the sides to ensure the bananas are being evenly blended and there are no chunks.
- The ice cream will be the consistency of soft serve, you can always scoop it into bowls or put into a container and allow to chill so that it firms up a bit more.
- Feel free to add in any of your favorite ingredients, this is a great base that can be used for a variety of flavors so don't be afraid to get creative!
- You can keep sliced and frozen bananas on hand in ziplock bags (all air removed) so that you can blend this treat up at any time without needing to wait.
* This recipe was developed using the “single one ingredient banana ice cream” recipe of which the creator is not known.