Sooooooo, maybe you’ve heard about it, but you have no idea how to make Banana Nice Cream, is that it?! Don’t worry, my dearest Reader, you are about to learn more than you wanted to! (like always)
Banana Nice Cream has been around for a long time in vegan and vegetarian circles, and for good reason. It’s one of the very easiest and fastest desserts you can possibly make (with miniscule planning ahead of time) and it’s 100% healthy for you. It is literally made of 1 whole-food ingredient.
Not to mention that it relies on zero animals for it’s production. Well, that is, if we’re not counting you… :P
Now THOSE are the kinda desserts you can truly feel Not Guilty about. :D
(Feeling lazy about reading? Video and Recipe down at the bottom!)
The Best Pro Tip: Always Buy Too Many Bananas
This dessert relies on fully frozen, ripe or overripe bananas. The fact that they are completely frozen is the only requirement, which can require some planning for the future, unless you do like I do…
Every time I go to the store, I buy wayyyyy too many bananas. They are a super affordable food, and it’s even better if you can get them on sale. You bring them home, set them on your counter and let them go to work, ripening naturally.
Once you get them to the Oh-gross-I-wouldn’t-never-eat-them-this-ripe point, then they are perfect. Seriously, either of these bananas would be perfect.
As long as they aren’t black inside, as ripe as possible will make them as sweet as possible. And for ice cream, of course, that’s a great thing. The mushiness doesn’t matter for this recipe, I promise.
Once your bananas are gross hahaha, you’re going to take a minute, peel them all, and put them in some sort of freezer container. You’ll want to separate them though, so they don’t stick together, because it’s practically impossible to make the recipe if you just have a clump of bananas, all stuck together. And they really will super stick together when they’re that ripe. The smaller the pieces, the easier the time your blender will have, if you’re using a standard blender.
Make sure to not freeze your bananas with the peel on because you will never get them off when you’re trying to make ice cream — trust me on this one. :)
You can be a little less concerned with the size of the pieces if you’ve got a high-speed blender like a Vitamix; I usually make halves or thirds with mine.
Some folks will individually wrap them in plastic wrap, but I think that’s a waste of time. Put them in a freezer bag, and keep them flat and separated until their fully frozen; that works really well.
Or do like I do: I have this crappy plastic container in my freezer right now that I use, so I always have frozen bananas on hand for smoothies or ice cream. There is literally NEVER a moment in my house where I don’t have a lot of frozen bananas around. :)
The Nutrition Is Strong With This One
The creaminess and portability aside, bananas are such a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. And when was the last time you could say that about the ice cream you were eating??
You could even have this as a meal and not feel guilty about it.
According to one of my favorite nutrition fact websites WHFoods:
Bananas are a good source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since one medium-sized banana contains a whopping 400-plus mg of potassium, the inclusion of bananas in your routine meal plan may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.
A second type of cardiovascular benefit from bananas involves their sterol content. While bananas are a very low-fat food (less than 4% of their calories come from fat), one type of fat that they do contain in small amounts are sterols like sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. As these sterols look structurally similar to cholesterol, they can block the absorption of dietary cholesterol. By blocking absorption, they help us keep our blood cholesterol levels in check.
A third type of cardiovascular benefit from bananas involves their fiber content. At about 3 grams per medium banana, we rank bananas as a good source of fiber. Approximately one-third of the fiber in bananas is water-soluble fiber. For one medium-sized banana, this amount translates into 1 gram of soluble fiber per banana. Soluble fiber in food is a type of fiber especially associated with decreased risk of heart disease, making regular intake of bananas a potentially helpful approach to lowering your heart disease risk.
Banana nice cream is a fantastic dessert indeed.
Don’t Forget the Toppings
There is a type of breakfast-y dessert thing that’s been going around, and it’s called a smoothie bowl. You can make it with banana nice cream or thin it out a bit more to use smoothie like consistency, but the principal is the same.
Pour your banana nice cream or smoothie into a bowl and add as many toppings as you’d like. Great choices are granola, cinnamon, sliced almonds or other chopped nuts, dried fruits, frozen berries or other fresh fruits cut up and even some oatmeal, chia seeds or hemp seeds. Mix in some mint and you’ve got a super healthy version of ice cream…or top it with a small amount of chocolate chips and you’re REALLY cooking with gas.
Can’t go wrong here. Seriously, all roads lead to yum. Think of homemade banana nice cream as your own personal frozen yogurt shop…without the guilt!
What To Do If You Hate Bananas (Like I Do :) or Are Allergic?
I definitely admit that I hate bananas with a passion. The only time I will eat them is when there is not a single spot of brown on them, and I even prefer them a little green. I don’t mind the texture too much: for me it’s the flavor. Just YUCK.
But you can’t say I haven’t been trying: I’ve eaten at least 5-7 bananas per week for the last like….15 years? And I STILL can’t stand the flavor. But I have definitely gotten used to it and I’m more able to tune it out…so that’s…pathetic improvement…kinda how I feel about cilantro, but that’s another post for another day…
What I love so much about bananas though, is that they are the best choice for adding creaminess to smoothies and this banana nice cream. You can use avocados, frozen mango, even silken tofu to get that creaminess….but really, nothing is as good as bananas. So I’ve been sticking it out for all these years because there’s just nothing else that’s as convenient.
What I have done in the past to get over that flavor issue, is that I make this ice cream with another frozen fruit as well, so I’d do like half bananas, half frozen cherries. Then I’ll add some raw cacao powder or cocoa powder (about 1 tablespoon) and then a tablespoon or two of creamy peanut butter. I’m telling you, THAT combination…is DANGEROUS. :P
And it totally makes the bananas either un-tastable or at least, a tiny bit of flavor that I can at least stand. But full disclosure, I never make the below recipe just for me…gross! :P hahah
Regular Blenders versus High-Speed Blenders versus Food Processors
The blender that you use really matters here. If you have a standard blender, that you got at the kitchen section of your store for like $30 bucks, that will work ok. But you’ve gotta follow some pretty specific instructions.
You *DEFINITELY* need to chop up your banana into small, fully-separated pieces before you freeze them. It can definitely work (as I show in the video) but it takes a bit more work. And you’ll have to use some sort of milk to get it moving, stop and shake the blender quite a few times, and then you’ll be rewarded in the end for your hard work.
And then you’ll start to realize that getting a Vitamix will be much more cost-effective in the end…because…banana ice cream!
And then a warning: you might not be able to do this many times…you just might burn out your blender motor. So I’m saying it’s not impossible, but it’s not an easy task for a blender like that to handle. The motor just isn’t powerful enough.
Of course, while you’re making it, keep an eye on the health of your blender. If you start to smell motor burning, then you wanna take it easy, or add more almond milk. You just might have to end up with a milkshake instead…which is never a bad thing. :) And if it really sounds like it’s struggling, take it easy or abort mission!
Unless the craving is too much…then press on my friend! :)
But when you have a Vitamix, this banana nice cream is really a BREEZE to create. You literally can just use the bananas, no almond milk necessary (using the tamper that comes with it)! High-speed blenders like this are called that because they have a much more powerful motor and substantial parts than standard blenders.
Sure the price reflects that as well, but when you get into a healthier lifestyle, you will find that you really wished you’d gotten one sooner. And hey, if you’re gonna be burning out multiple blenders over time with banana nice cream, it’s really worth the investment. :) I definitely use my blender at least 1 time per day, sometimes even 2-3!
Think about it…your healthy lifestyle needs it and…so does your newfound banana nice cream obsession!
Video of How to Make Banana Nice Cream
- 2-4 ripe bananas, frozen and chopped or halved
- 1 cup almond milk (more or less depending on the blender you have)
- If using a regular blender, add chopped pieces of banana plus almond milk. Pulse on high until bananas are a creamy consistency, adding more almond milk and shaking or stirring the contents until well blended.
- If using a high-speed blender, add halved frozen bananas and add ¼ cup almond milk or less, just to get it moving. Start off on low setting, and gradually increase speed using tamper when necessary to keep moving bananas until they are well blended.