It’s summer. It’s hot. You want ice cream. Have you hopped on the banana ice cream train yet?
When your bananas become extra ripe and you just don’t feel like turning on your oven to make banana bread (again), simply slice and freeze the bananas, give them a quick whiz in the food processor or blender, and freeze until ready to serve.
But if you are familiar with banana soft serve, maybe you’ve gotten a little bored with it. Well, we’re here to help spice things up! We’ve got three hacks (and some extra-special topping ideas) to take your banana ice cream to the next cold, creamy, blissful level for all your summer icy treat needs.
The Basic Recipe for Banana Ice Cream
Peel and slice 3-4 large bananas–that’s enough to make one batch or 2-3 servings. It’s important to slice the bananas for easier blending or processing. Toss them in a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer.
Bananas frozen through? Yes! Now it’s time to make the ice cream. I prefer my food processor to blender for making banana ice cream because there’s more surface area in the food processor bowl and I feel like it blends easier without melting so quickly. It also incorporates a little more air for an extra creamy texture and it’s easier to scrape out.
If your machine has a hard time blending the bananas, add a tiny bit of non-dairy milk. I like to add pure vanilla extract, but you could easily leave it out or substitute it with another extract–almond would be amazing!
Now, onto our hacks.
Hack 1: Protein Banana Soft Serve
Blend up those frozen bananas and mix in Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip protein bar pieces and you’re one step closer to getting your protein and eating it too. Er, something like that. Try eating this protein-rich ice cream after a workout to help keep your muscles in tip-top shape.
PB & Chocolate Protein Ice Cream
- Freeze sliced bananas in an airtight container or freezer safe bag for 8-10 hours.
- Place frozen banana slices into a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to start chopping the bananas. Stop and scrape sides as needed. Keep processing until bananas are thick and creamy.
- Add half of the chopped ZonePerfect bar to the food processor and pulse 5-10 times to break it up. (It will harden a bit when it hits the cold ice cream.)
- Serve immediately or transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container until ready to eat.
- To serve, sprinkle with remaining chopped protein bar.
- If desired, use two ZonePerfect bars instead of one to up the protein even more. Add one chopped bar to the ice cream during processing, and save the other one for the topping.
Hack 2: Golden Milk Banana Ice Cream.
Golden milk is taking over the world! Well, not really, but it probably could. Adding these tasty, warming spices brings extra antioxidants and other goodness to your ice cream, plus it tastes incredible.
If you’ve been averse to drinking your golden milk, have no fear, this hits the spot in a very non-threatening way. A combination of turmeric (hello, golden hue!), cinnamon, ginger, and a tiny bit of freshly ground black pepper adds just the right amount of spice.
As an optional ingredient, we add 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil to help your body really reap the benefits of the curcumin present in the turmeric. Feel free to add more or less spices according to your personal preference. We recommend scooping up a bowl of this while you’re watching your favorite summer chick flick with your gal pals. Make a triple batch so there’s plenty for all your friends too!
Golden Milk Banana Ice Cream
- 3-4 ripe bananas sliced
- 1 tablespoon MCT oil optional
- 1/2 teaspoon each: ground ginger turmeric, cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Freeze sliced bananas in an airtight container or resealable bag for 8-10 hours.
- Place frozen banana slices in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade.
- Pulse a few times to help chop the bananas. Stop and scrape down sides as needed. Continue processing until bananas are thick, creamy, and smooth.
- Add coconut oil, if using, and spices. Pulse a few more times until blended.
- Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight freezer safe container until ready to eat.
Hack 3: Creamy Chocolate-Dipped Banana Ice Cream Pops
Sigh. Do you remember being a little kid and biting into a chocolate dipped ice cream cone or popsicle? Remember the way the chocolate cracked and gave way to the rich ice cream below?
These are kinda like that, but made with better-for-you ingredients. Inside is a basic banana ice cream with vanilla added for extra flavor. The shell is made with melted dark chocolate chips and unrefined extra virgin coconut oil.
When the cold bars hit the liquid chocolate, it freezes instantly to encase the creamy banana confection inside. But when you take a bite, the chocolate melts right on your tongue in a heavenly puddle. Ah, complete bliss. We recommend enjoying this with your kids (or anyone else who loves lazy summer evenings) while watching the sunset.
Pro-tip: You’ll have plenty of leftover chocolate shell to drizzle on the Golden Milk Banana Ice Cream. We’re talking flavor explosion here, folks.
Chocolate Dipped Banana Ice Cream Pops
- 3-4 ripe bananas sliced
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk plus more if needed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extractFor chocolate shell:
- 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
- Pinch sea salt
- Freeze banana slices in an airtight container or bag for 8-10 hours.
- Place frozen banana slices, non-dairy milk, and vanilla into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse a few times to chop the bananas. Keep processing until bananas are thick, creamy, and smooth. Stop and scrape down sides, as needed.
- Spoon the banana ice cream into popsicle molds. Add sticks and freeze until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Prepare the chocolate shell by placing chocolate chips, coconut oil, and salt in a glass measuring cup. Microwave on 50% power for 30 second intervals, until chocolate is melted. Let cool to room temperature.
- Remove pops from their mold and dip into the chocolate shell. Place on parchment or waxed paper and place back in freezer to allow ice cream to firm back up. Store pops wrapped in waxed paper in a bag or freezer proof container.
- The popsicles molds used for this recipe yielded ten 3-ounce pops. Other molds may yield fewer, larger pops.