Chocolate banana ice cream is a simple blender ice cream made primarily with a frozen banana! Smooth, creamy, and with the same texture as real ice cream, you only need 3 healthy ingredients to whip this up!
I’m going to tell you a secret.
I purposely hoard plenty of bananas, purely for the intention of freezing them to use for banana ice cream. When it comes to desserts, ice cream is the top of my list. Knowing full well that eating ice cream every day isn’t the most nutritious, I’ve found the most incredible substitute that not only tastes like actual ice cream but is secretly good for you!
What is nice cream or banana ice cream?
For those who don’t know what banana ice cream is, it is simply blending up frozen bananas until a soft serve or ‘ice-cream’ like texture remains.
While it doesn’t really replace frozen yogurt or ice cream, its a naturally sweetened and healthier alternative, with a similar texture. The beauty of ice cream made with frozen bananas is that it can be flavored or changed up in a myriad of ways! My favorite is to give it a chocolate and peanut butter flavor, and have a healthy and delicious chocolate banana ice cream.
Bonus? It’s completely vegan, gluten free AND paleo friendly!
How do you make chocolate banana ice cream
This blender ice cream is so simple to make! What I love about it is you choose your preferred texture! You can enjoy this ice cream either as a soft serve or in a bowl, like hard scoop ice cream.
- Frozen bananas– You must use frozen bananas, otherwise you will be left with a smoothie. I recommend chopping up your frozen bananas to cut down on the blending time and for easier blending.
- Cocoa powder– Use a good quality cocoa powder, to really bring out the chocolate flavor. To really hide the banana flavor, I recommend using dark cocoa powder.
- Peanut butter– Smooth and creamy peanut butter, with no added sugar or salt. Any nut or seed butter will work, like almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
Start by adding your frozen banana into a high speed blender, followed by your cocoa powder and peanut butter. Blend very well, until thick and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and enjoy immediately, or freeze to enjoy later.
Does this taste like banana?
Whether you are a banana fan or not, one thing is certain- the banana flavor can be extremely overpowering. This is no different when it comes to banana ice cream or soft serve.
However, as this recipe uses both cocoa powder and peanut butter, two strong flavors in their own rights, this ice cream doesn’t taste like banana at all. In fact, if you are worried that it might be too overpowering, go heavily handed on the cocoa powder.
How do you freeze bananas for ice cream?
Freezing bananas for the purpose of ice cream (or even a smoothie!) is simple. Slice up your bananas into bite sized pieces and place them in a ziplock bag. Store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I like freezing them in single banana portions, so I know exactly how much to add when I’m making ice cream.
Tips to Make the BEST Banana Ice Cream
- Regularly scrape down the sides of the blender, to ensure all the ingredients are properly combined.
- If you’d prefer a banana soft serve, enjoy the ice cream immediately after blending it.
- Banana ice cream is naturally sweetened. If you’d prefer a much sweetener ice cream, add a tablespoon or two of your favorite sweetener (coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc).
- If you plan to freeze the ice cream to enjoy it hard scoop style, freeze a loaf pan for 1 hour prior to making it. This will help the ice cream naturally freeze and be much less icy.
Banana Ice Cream Flavor Variations
- Strawberry Banana Ice Cream– Omit the cocoa powder, and add 1/2 cup frozen strawberries.
- Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream– Omit the cocoa powder, add peppermint extract, chocolate chips, and optional green food coloring.
- Coffee Ice Cream– Add 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder.
- Mango Ice Cream– Omit the cocoa powder and add 1/2 cup frozen mango cubes.
- Pineapple Ice Cream– Omit the cocoa powder and peanut butter, and add 1 cup frozen pineapple.
Storing Banana Ice Cream
Leftover ice cream can be stored in the freezer, provided you intend to consume it within 1 week. Place it in a freezer friendly container and let it thaw at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, before enjoying it.
If your ice cream happens to be too icy, wait until it has softened and re-blend it for 1-2 minutes.
More healthy ice cream recipes you’ll enjoy
- Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Chocolate Ice Cream
- Coconut Milk Ice Cream
- Strawberry Ice Cream
Watch how to make it
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
For the soft serve ice cream version
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, add your frozen bananas and blend for 10 seconds to lightly break apart. Add your peanut butter and cocoa powder and blend until just blended.
- Transfer to a bowl and enjoy soft serve style.
For the hard scoop ice cream version
- Place a small loaf pan in the freezer.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, add your frozen bananas and blend for 10 seconds to lightly break apart. Add your peanut butter and cocoa powder and blend until all ingredients are just blended.
- Transfer chocolate ice cream to the loaf pan. To ensure it doesn't become too icy, lightly mix your ice cream ever 20-30 minutes for the first hour.
- Thaw for 10-15 minutes before eating. Lightly wet an ice cream scoop before scooping the ice cream into a bowl.