Can you spell "ice cream" B-A-N-A-N-A-S?: Vegan ice cream made from bananas

August 15 | Guest post by Chae


In this Pinterest Challenge, I took on the banana "ice cream" recipe. My partner Mr. Bear's favorite treat is ice cream, and since he recently developed lactose intolerance we've been looking for a substitute. Both Tofutti Cuties and Rice Dream have met with disapproval, so I thought I'd give this a shot. The recipe I used as my inspiration is the Ultimage Vegan Ice Cream from (never home)maker.

For my version, you will need:

First, slice the bananas into thin rounds, then toss in a freezer bag and freeze several hours or overnight (I did overnight). Then add your frozen bananas to the blender and process. I first used the "crushed ice" option until I felt it was fine enough to use the puree option. The blender is slower than a food processor, so be patient. I repeatedly had to stop and squish my frozen banana down with a spatula.

It looked about like this, and was the consistency of frozen yogurt:

At this point I added my peanut butter, vanilla, and chocolate syrup. After a few more minutes of pureeing and squishing back down, it finally became soft enough for the blades of the blender to pull the mixture down itself, which you can see in the lovely pinwheel pattern here:

Since I felt it was mixed and smooth enough, I ceased processing and transferred the mixture to a 3-cup Gladware container:

As you can see, it only filled about three-quarters of the container, so if you were aiming to make a lot of banana ice cream, you'd need quite a few more bananas. Now, if you prefer the soft-serve consistency, the ice cream is ready to eat now. However, I put the container in the freezer to set up to a more traditional ice cream consistency. After about 4-5 hours, it was ready! I scooped it all into a bowl and shared it with Mr. Bear, who loved it!

Success! Next time I will add crushed Oreos and see if I can replicate his favorite cookies n' cream ice cream.

  1. This is awesome.

    I think I'm seeing a little crystallization on that ice cream. If that's so, I'm thinking you might be able to achieve an even more like the real thing result.

    Theories: the water content in bananas changes with their ripeness (it's about a 4% by weight difference, so not terrifically significant) but so does the sugar content. So I would think that an overripe banana would produce a better ice cream consistency (less icy, in spite of the additional water content.) Mixing during the freezing process should help, as well.

    To get the best results, you can incorporate air and do more to prevent crystallization. I'm thinking that non-dairy whipped cream could be a help. Fold in non-dairy whipped cream before freezing OR fast freeze it in an ice cube tray, then throw the cubes and non-dairy whipped cream in a food processor. I read about that on Serious Eats with a dairy ice cream, but I'm thinking the concept should stand here. I might be totally wrong, but it'd be neat to see the results. If only I had bananas…

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    • I've made this before and yes, overripe bananas result in a creamier consistency. Using an ice cream maker with mushed cold (not frozen) bananas helped too.

      I'm going to give the whipped cream a shot since my biggest issue is that I'm not a huge fan of that super sweet overripe banana flavor.

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    • Oooh, excellent tip. Thank you! I'll have to try that out this week when I make another batch for Mr. Bear's birthday.

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  2. Check out justpaintitred.com
    I just did a post on this, only we used nutella and Pb. We also ate it right away, too yummy to wait.

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  3. Oh, and I found if you let the frozen bananas thaw a few minutes, they're much easier to blend.

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  4. Yay!! My family's #1 dessert. That includes my extended family and most of my friends. Definitely let the bananas thaw a little to reduce crystallization. My ideal recipe is 1 banana and 1 tsp honey per person. Brings out the banana-y flavor.

    My mom likes a little cocoa and maybe some greek yogurt to add creaminess. I've also stirred chocolate chips into the finished product.

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  5. That looks completely delicious. It looks better than the original. Lucky me, I have 4 bananas in my freezer right now. Husband's all like, "why do we have bananas in the freezer?" And I'm all like, "Don't worry about it." But now I can say, "I'm making ice cream!"

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    • Thank you! I'm glad you're inspired. It is delicious, I hope you love it!

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  6. We make this all the time. It is a great quick treat for my toddlers. They have a cows milk allergy so ice cream is out.

    Adding crushed cookies in at the end makes a great cookies-n-cream. My suggestion is crush them in a sealed plastic bag and then stir them in after your done blending. Otherwise you don't get the big fun chunks of cookie.

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  7. I discovered banana ice cream this summer. I don't much like peanut butter with bananas, so I add some frozen raspberries (adds a nice tart flavor) and chocolate chips.

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    • I'm not partial to peanut butter in general, but it's his favorite flavor, and he hates berries(he's an odd duck). I've been wanting to make some with berries for myself, though…

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  8. This is my absolute favorite treat ever. I started making it about a week ago and have made it at least every other day since then. The first time we made it, we added in peanut butter, honey and chocolate chips. That was awesome, but since then we've just done plain banana and I love it that way. Bananas are my favorite. :) Next time I'm going to add some vanilla extract, and maybe I'll try chocolate chips without the peanut butter. Though the peanut butter gave it an especially creamy factor (it was the other half's favorite flavor). We also picked like 40 pounds of peaches recently and have plenty left so maybe I'll blend in a little peach. Not enough to bother the texture but just to add a different flavor.

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    • Oooh, we're going peach-picking this weekend! I'll have to try that. Maybe with a berry sauce on top, like a vegan Peach Melba…

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  9. You mentioned a couple commercial non-dairy ice creams that weren't met with enthusiasm… I strongly recommend coconut bliss. I love that shit. There are 3 flavours in my freezer right now. http://www.coconutbliss.com/ I like that there's no crap in it.

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  10. Brilliant! I found this idea on another site last week, but it wasn't nearly as clear as this one on what you can and can't do. I gave it a whirl with no flavourings and it was good, but not great. I'll definitely give it another try now that I have better instructions to work from!

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  11. This sounds great.

    I also use frozen banana's to make dairyfree "milk shakes." I use a frozen banana, maybe broken into thirds (to shorten blending time), add a tablespoon or 2 of cocoa, a good splash of soy or almond milk. Blend it up (I blend it right in a mason jar) and drink it with a fat straw. Sometimes I throw in some nut-butter too. NOMS!

    As a side note, my favorite non-dairy ice cream is Purely Decadent peanut butter chocolate zig-zag, followed by their Gluten Free cookie dough ice-cream. http://www.sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/soy-milk-ice-creams/pd-peanutbutter-zigzag

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    • THIS, except I add a (generous) handful of baby spinach too. You can't taste it, but you get the benefit of some added vitamins and fibre. It makes a great breakfast smoothie.

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  12. I just wanted to second the suggestion of coconut milk ice cream…. it is HEAVENLY DELICIOUS and coconut milk pretty much has similar fat content to dairy milk so it is nice and creamy. i currently have luna and larry's ginger caramel ice cream in my freezer. its gf, vegan, and sweetened with agave and coconut sugar so its great for diabetic me!

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  13. I tried making this last night. Ended up omitting the peanut butter and chocolate syrup(none in the pantry and I was way too tired to go out to buy some), but added crushed oreos and extra vanilla extract instead.

    It actually turned out really yummy! The extra vanilla extract helped gt rid of the banana taste and the crushed oreos were a nice touch. <3

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  14. We always make ice cream out of nuts! If you have a pretty strong blender (we use a blendtec that pulverizes the crap out of anything) you can whip up some nutty, rich ice cream! I would recommend brazil nuts. I never use an exact recipe, but you should be able to find something online :) Good luck on your dairy free ice cream endeavors!

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