Guilt-Free “Ice Cream”

Another delicious dessert post for you. But this time it’s healthy. Seriously.

No sugar. No dairy. This recipe really only requires one ingredient plus one or two others if you want to add some flavor. Are you ready?

Frozen banana. 

Yep.

By some crazy miracle, when you blend frozen banana in the food processor, it turns into the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Really! Discovering this recipe is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. OK, so maybe not the best, but it’s up there. Because I love ice cream. Love it, love it, love it. I hardly ever keep it in the house, though, because I would probably eat the entire container by myself. But this recipe is something I can feel good about eating, even though it tastes just like ice cream. Genius.

I am in the habit of keeping sliced bananas in the freezer for smoothies, protein shakes, and this recipe. You will probably want to do the same so you can make this “ice cream” whenever you want. The following recipe is purely a starting point … you can really put anything you want in there to flavor it however you like.

Banana “ice cream”
3-4 bananas, sliced and frozen (slice before freezing)
A spoonful of peanut butter
2-3 tsp. cocoa powder

For this recipe, you will definitely need a food processor. The blender is not gonna cut it. Unless you have a seriously powerful blender.

Put your bananas into the food processor, and blend.

At first, it will looks like this:

It will be kind of grainy. Keep going. You will probably have to stop blending once in awhile and push the banana down with a spatula.

Be patient with it. For awhile it seems like nothing is happening and the banana is just spinning around and around. Just wait. I promise, it will happen. After a while of spinning, the banana at the bottom will start to get very smooth, and then the rest will follow. It’s actually really cool to watch it happen.

Here’s what it will look like when it’s the right consistency:

See how smooth and creamy it is around the sides? But if you look in the middle, you can see there is a big chunk of frozen banana. This happens every time. This last stubborn chunk doesn’t seem to want to break down, and it just keeps spinning around. You will probably have to stop and push it down/break it up a little bit to speed up the process.

Once it is completely done, you can add your flavor.

Like I said, add whatever you want. I usually stick to peanut butter & chocolate because it’s my favorite combo with the banana. But you could add fresh fruit like raspberries or strawberries to make more of a sorbet; coconut; chocolate syrup instead of cocoa powder… whatever you want. Go crazy.

The result is a smooth and creamy soft-serve-like treat that could definitely pass for ice cream. Just without all the calories. If you want it less soft-servey and more ice-creamy, stick it in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up.

Yum!

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77 thoughts on “Guilt-Free “Ice Cream”

  1. Do you use all natural peanut butter (no salt, sugar, palm and hydrogenated oils)? If not, do you think the end result would be the same?

    • Any peanut butter will work. I use all natural, but because any peanut butter will give you virtually the same consistency, you can use whatever you want. You could also use nutella or almond butter. Anything you want to give it a different flavor!

      • What excellent directions thanks for posting this it looks yummy, can’t wait to make it

      • I think I’m going to try this with my Chocolate PB2, skip a step and the sugar that’s in the peanut butter! If I remember I’ll let you know how it goes!

  2. What a great idea…. I just made this and it turns out nice and creamy. I might suggest not using those overripe banana’s that you were saving to make banana bread though as they are over powering and take over. Even with adding extra cocoa and peanut butter the banana flavor is too much. I would make this again but freeze the perfect eating banana rather then the over ripe ones. 🙂

    • That is a great point, Tammy. I should have pointed that out.. It’s definitely best to freeze bananas that are perfectly ripe, not over ripe!

    • that’s true, because i just made it, and the flavor even with a little bit of lemon and vanilla essence is not good. I will take fresh banana next time. But thank you for charing!! Love Sabine ( Netherland)

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  4. I only have a blender. Do you think this would work at all if I just blend everything together & then put it in the freezer? Tia 🙂

    • You could try that, but I can’t guarantee it would work. I’m not sure it would come together in the same way. I think you really need the frozen banana slices blended together to get the creamy soft-serve consistency. If you think you have a powerful enough blender you could try the recipe in the blender. Let us know how it turns out!

      • I did it in the blender and although it takes a bit, it worked just fine. You have to keep turning off and stirring the frozen bananas around – I was afraid of burning out the motor otherwise. Terrific recipe. I see myself making it over and over. Thank you.

  5. Omg. I love you. My kids definitely love you. And my pocketbook thanks you. We are gfcfsf in the last 6 months over here (plus no dyes or preservatives) and we have some very serious ice cream addicts in the house!
    Thanks for posting this.
    I found you on Pinterest.
    Stop by me at Dysfunctional Dose some time!

  6. Couple of questions if you don’t mind –
    1. How many hours / days should the banana slices be frozen before using them for this recipe?
    2. Can I use the hand mixer , with curvy blade attachements, instead? Don’t have a food processor and blender might not give me the same consistency.

    Thanks!
    Love ice-creams and this is an awesome substitue…. 🙂

    • The banana slices only need to be frozen for a few hours before using. But they will keep in the freezer for a long time. I’m not sure the hand mixer would be powerful enough, but you could try it.

  7. Do you think the magic bullet would be about as good as a food processor? I want to try this recipe out soon! ahhh I can’t wait!

    • I have only used a food processor, so I can’t really speculate about using other things. I’m not sure how powerful the magic bullet is, but you could definitely try it!

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  9. Hi

    Thanks for the recipe, it looks scrummy! I was just wondering if out made a difference what state the banana were in when you freeze them? Are they best green? Or over ripe

  10. Just made this. IT IS AWESOME!
    trying to make healthy changes to my diet, and this fits right in! Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I found a POWDERED peanut butter. They process 85% of the oil out of it. It only has 1.5 g of fat. Might want to try sprinkling that in instead of using full-fat peanut butter.

    • Coby, you can put anything you want in there! I just suggested peanut butter and cocoa powder because it’s my favorite combo. But you could just add the cocoa powder; or you could do a more fruity, sorbet-like ice cream by adding fresh berries (which I have never tried, but I bet would be really good!)

    • The serving size depends on how much banana and mix-ins you use. That part’s up to you. This recipe is about two servings. I don’t know how many calories; never cared to count.

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  18. Can u use something other than peanut butter? We have nut allergies in my house? Any suggestions for substitutes?

    • Hi Nicole. You can use anything you want to mix in with the bananas. Since you have nut allergies, try going with just the cocoa powder alone. Or make it a fruit sorbet by adding fresh berries. There are so many different ways you can go with it.

    • Yes, if you want a harder ice cream, put it in the freezer for a little bit. You can also freeze it overnight or for a couple of days (I’m not sure how long it will keep, I usually eat it after I make it). When you take it out of the freezer you’ll probably want to let it sit on the counter for a few minutes to soften up.

  19. Love this idea. I have a jar of pumpkin butter from Trader Joe’s, i think I will give this a fall spin. Also using TJ cookie butter would be awesome.

  20. Just did this and we ate it all! Thank you for the idea. For everyone else, I used my Vitamix and added a little honey. My daughter loved it. We ate it all while her brothers were taking a nap. Lol.

  21. Can you tell me which food processor you used? I am buying a new one and wanted to see if the Cuisinart mini-prep plus will be strong enough. Thanks!

    • I have a Cuisinart 11 cup processor. Sorry I don’t have experience with the mini-prep so I’m not sure if it would work.

    • It depends how much of each ingredient you use and how big of a serving size you want. If you use 3 medium bananas, 2 tbsp of peanut butter, and 3 tsp of cocoa powder it would be about 515 calories for the entire recipe.

  22. For those with no processot – Target sells a machine called fronanas and a great recipe book too. Its for frozen fruit but gives it that softserve feel. On sale atm. I just made mango blueberry for my toddler and he loved it! Its easy to clean and instantly creamy 🙂 going to try this recipe next….omg! Thanks 🙂

  23. Okay, I guess I’ve got the lone negative experience here… I mixed in macadamia nut butter instead of peanut and added cocoa too, but the end result was bland and boring (I didn’t even taste banana in it). On top of that, the texture was really gummy, more like raw biscuit dough than soft serve. Did I perhaps process it for too long, or not long enough? Any suggestions would be very welcome, as I’ve been intrigued by this idea for a while now and really want to like it!

  24. My husband who is a type 2 diabetic absolutely loved this. He is always craving sweets and this was a healthy alternative. It is delicious and so cool and refreshing. Thanks so much for sharing.

  25. Just tried the original recipe tonight…GREAT. Has anyone tried using frozen fruit?
    If using fresh fruit, what amount should be added to the banana amount?

    • Glad you liked it! I have never used fresh fruit, so I’m not sure.. I would just play around with it until you find something that works for you!

  26. Looks awesome! I use banana and mango together to make the creamiest smoothies. I bet mango would mix perfectly into the pureed bananas in this ice cream.

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    • Well, I don’t count calories, I try just to eat whole foods and natural foods. I consider this guilt free because it only has a couple ingredients and no added sugar. You might have different standards when it comes to what you consider guilt free, but if you feel guilty for eating a banana maybe you should reevaluate?

    • Hi Judy, I’m not sure… I don’t have an ice cream maker and I’m not sure how it works. The food processor just pulverizes the frozen banana until it’s smooth and creamy.. If an ice cream maker can do that, I would say give it a try!

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