This magical vegan banana ice cream really only needs one ingredient – bananas! Ready in 5 minutes, it’s the quickest route to a delicious, frozen homemade treat.
God, I wish I could take credit for discovering this brilliant no-churn banana ice cream technique. I’d have probably been rich by now. So rich I could buy my own private island with a bunch of banana trees on it – as well as electricity and a food processor, of course – so I could make all the banana ice cream I want, and eat it on warm sand with blue water lapping at my feet, all. day. long.
Come to think of it, I actually have no idea who invented the technique (The Kitchn could be credited for being the first to spread the gospel in 2009, though), so my guess is they’re probably not rich either. Dammit.
Regardless, this vegan banana ice cream is genius and I can’t believe it took me twelve freakin’ years to catch on.
What is This Vegan Banana Ice Cream
This is a dairy-free, sugar-free, one-ingredient soft serve you can make in minutes – using just frozen bananas and a food processor – adding whatever flavorings/mix-ins you want. It has a creamy, whipped texture – similar to sorbet or Italian ice – without any of the corn syrup, sugar, or artificial flavorings.
Freeze the bananas: This dessert starts with frozen bananas, which give it its creamy, icy texture. Make sure your bananas are ripe – i.e. have at least a few brown spots on them. To freeze bananas, tear them into 1-inch chunks, place in a lidded container, and freeze for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 month).
Place frozen bananas in a food processor: A food processor (fitted with the S-blade attachment) is going to turn plain bananas into dreamy soft serve. (If you’re in the market for one, I highly recommend Cuisinart!) It’s a good idea to add a splash of non-dairy milk to the bananas to help break them down. I also like to add vanilla and a pinch of salt to round out the flavors.
If you want to use a blender… If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender, but the results won’t be quite the same; you’ll probably need to use more milk to help the mixture blend, so the ice cream will have a thinner consistency.
Start pureeing: Pureeing frozen bananas is a loud, slightly dramatic process. At first, your food processor will be jumpy – it’s a good idea to stabilize it with your hands. Soon enough, the bananas will start to break down. Every now and then, you should stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor and break apart the bananas.
Puree until completely smooth: After a minute or two, the mixture will turn into soft serve! At this point, it will be at its most creamy, so I recommend eating it right away. Or you can quickly transfer it to a container and keep it in the freezer (more details on freezing below).
About Freezing This Ice Cream
Vegan banana ice cream is best eaten right away. But, you can keep it in the freezer for a couple of hours (if making it for a dinner party, let’s say).
Note that if you freeze it for a long time (like traditional ice cream), it will crystallize – i.e. take on an icy texture. But it can still be delicious, no doubt. Once it has crystallized, it may be hard to scoop, so thaw it at room temperature for a few minutes before serving and warm your ice cream scoop in a cup of warm water before scooping.
Adding Flavorings and Mix-Ins to Banana Ice Cream
This one-ingredient technique is really a blank canvas for whatever flavors you want. I love the tropical flavor of toasted coconut in mine (see recipe below!), but the possibilities are endless: for chocolate ice cream, add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. For a fruity one, toss in some frozen peaches, mangoes, or berries. For a peanut butter version, swirl in some peanut butter at the very end of pureeing and pulse the food processor just 2-3 more times to incorporate.
Other favorite vegan desserts…
- Sugar-Free Date Brownies
- Coconut Chocolate Truffles
- Avocado Gingerbread Loaf Cake
- Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
This vegan banana ice cream is a magical dairy-free sugar-free frozen treat. Besides toasted coconut, try cocoa powder, peanut butter, or frozen berries as flavorings.
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (both large flakes and finely shredded will work)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened unflavored non-dairy milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Start by freezing the bananas. Tear 2 bananas into 1-inch chunks and place in a lidded container. Freeze until completely solid, at least 2 hours (or up to 1 month).
- Meanwhile, place 1/4 cup coconut flakes in a small dry skillet over low heat. Toast until fragrant and golden brown around the edges, tossing frequently, 2 to 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to a plate and cool completely.
- Place the frozen bananas in a food processor, along with 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of salt, and the toasted coconut.
- Start pureeing. At first, it will be loud and the food processor jumpy – I advise stabilizing the processor with your hands. Puree until the bananas are broken down, frequently stopping to scrape down the sides of the processor. Continue pureeing until the mixture is whipped and creamy like soft serve.
- Serve immediately or freeze (see note about freezing below).
This ice cream is best eaten right away. But, you can keep it in the freezer for a couple of hours (if making it for a dinner party, let’s say). Note that if you freeze it for a long time, it will crystallize. Once it has crystallized, it may be hard to scoop, so thaw it at room temperature for a few minutes before serving and warm your ice cream scoop in a cup of warm water before scooping.
- Serving Size: 1/2 of the recipe
- Calories: 155
- Carbohydrates: 29 g
- Fiber: 4.1 g
- Protein: 1.8 g