Recipe Spotlight

Make Incredible Ice Cream with Frozen Bananas and a Food Processor

Think making ice cream is a time-consuming process that requires a fancy machine? Think again.

Published Apr. 13, 2021.

Ice cream is my go-to dessert, snack, and, on occasion, dinner. It’s cold, creamy, sweet, and available in a myriad of flavors. What’s not to love?

I eat so much of it that last year I decided to start making my own. At that point, I was under the misconception that making irresistibly smooth ice cream was a time-consuming process that required not only a fancy machine but also a generous amount of dairy. It’s so good I figured it must be a labor of love.

Those misconceptions went out the window when I discovered the Banana Ice Cream recipe in The Complete Plant Based Cookbook. All I needed was a food processor, a freezer, and a little more than a bunch of bananas.

And like the best ice cream recipes, this one was customizable: I could use coconut milk or cream, and I could incorporate my favorite mix-ins. 

It sounded too good to be true. I needed to try it.

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So I froze some bananas and blended them, coconut milk, and a few flavorings in the food processor. Within five minutes (plus two hours freezing time), I had silky-smooth, scoopable ice cream. It only took one bite for this to be my new favorite recipe for fast, flavorful ice cream I can enjoy anytime.

Here’s how this recipe makes deliciously creamy ice cream—minus the cream and hard work: 

  • It’s all about the base. Overripe bananas are the perfect ice-cream base because they’re high in pectin and thus remain creamy while frozen, no machine-churning required.
  • If you’re keeping it vegan, coconut milk is a great non-dairy alternative to heavy cream. It’s higher in fat than plant-based creamers. That fat adds richness and helps the ice cream stay super creamy.
  • It has multi-dimensional flavor. Lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract enhance the banana and coconut for a more satisfying taste.
  • You can eat it immediately if you want! Because the bananas start frozen, the immediate result is lusciously smooth, like the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
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The Complete Plant Based Cookbook

The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook is your one-stop guide to preparing delicious plant-based meals. Featuring 570+ plant-based recipes, this cookbook offers delicious meals for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike.  
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Banana Ice Cream

From The Complete Plant Based Cookbook

Serves 8 (Makes 1 quart)

  • 6 very ripe bananas
  • ½ cup canned coconut milk or dairy heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Peel bananas, place in large zipper-lock bag, and press out excess air. Freeze bananas until solid, at least 8 hours.

2. Let bananas sit at room temperature to soften slightly, about 15 minutes. Slice into ½-inch-thick rounds and place in food processor. Add coconut milk, vanilla, lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon and process until smooth, about 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

3. Transfer mixture to airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 5 days. Serve.

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