One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

by in Cookies & Other Desserts, Healthy Recipes, August 19, 2011
banana ice cream
One-ingredient banana "ice cream" and assorted toppings.

There’s been quite a buzz over this frozen treat, so we tried our hand at the one-ingredient wonder – homemade banana “ice cream.”

Go Bananas
Banana muffins and banana bread are classic go-to recipes for over-ripe bananas, but there are some cooler options. When you’ve got more bananas than you know what to do with, slice them into large pieces and place in freezer-safe bag in the freezer for at least 4 hours (overnight is better). These frozen fruit chunks make creamy and frothy smoothies and a surprisingly similar dairy-free alternative to ice cream.

One medium banana totals about 105 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein. You’ll also get healthy doses of vitamins C and B6 and potassium. Bananas are also free of fat and cholesterol.

banana ice cream
Whiz it all around in a food processor till it's thick and creamy -- like soft-serve, but better for you.

Banana Ice Cream – One Step Prep
Place frozen banana pieces in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Turn on the machine and let ‘er rip. Process bananas until they create a frosty, yet creamy puree. Serve immediately or place in a bowl covered with a piece of parchment paper to harden. The re-frozen concoction will have a less creamy texture but is still super refreshing and naturally sweet.

Each medium-sized banana will yield about a ½ cup of ice cream.

Top It Off
This low-cal goodie leaves room for some toppings. Each of the portions below will add 50 calories per serving:

  • 3 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 sugar cone (whole or broken into pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup diced mango
  • 1 heaping tablespoon granola
  • 1 ½ tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 2 chocolate covered pretzels
  • 2 teaspoons chocolate syrup

If you want to keep the calories as low as possible, try flavor boosters. They’re virtually calorie-free:

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Freshly grated orange or lime zest

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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