Vegan banana ice cream probably needs no introduction. Although it has long been a vegan-community secret, suddenly, a few years ago, this creamy, dreamy concoction started zinging around the Internet and into the conscience of dessert-lovers everywhere. You may have even made it yourself.
At its simplest it is just blitzed up coins of frozen banana scooped straight out of your food processor or blender and into one’s gob. One-ingredient ice cream. Job done. But as with any simple idea it is fun to play. Take pizza. A margherita pizza is absolutely the business. A favourite world-wide. But add thinly sliced veggies, hot peppers and oil-cured olives and you take it up a notch, and pack in even more goodness. And in a fun, effortless way. That’s what I have done here. Or at least tried too. Not the olives and peppers obvs. 😉
My still-healthy take on this fabulously, ridiculously easy way to enjoy a frozen dessert is to add protein. Not with powders, or heaven forbid, beans. No, with tahini. Or you could use any nut or seed butter you have kicking around (I will add this sunflower seed butter next time). In keeping with the slightly middle eastern vibe I have also added a touch of cardamom, and some black sesame seeds too. For added texture and a certain fudginess (a la Ben & You Know Who) I have popped in some soaked and chopped deglet nour dates after blending. And a swirl of date syrup. The latter two may be a bit over the top actually but these are options for the really sweet of tooth. The funny looking beige things on top of one dish are roasted pear pieces. I also blitzed some raw pear into the ice cream on one round of testing, but I wasn’t so keen on the result as it did change the texture. Best to stir in or top the scoops with any fruity extras.
Vegan banana ice cream is yet another reason to keep a stash of frozen bananas in your freezer. Why should smoothies get all the bananas?
What will YOU add to YOURS?
Vegan Banana Ice Cream
Use the basic premise of the one-ingredient ice cream to dream up your own creamy-textured treat. You can skip all of the suggestions and literally just bung some frozen banana pieces into a powerful blender or food processor and eat it right away without it going in the freezer – quite soft but still very good. 🙂
Oh, and if you like my little bowls, my dear friend Niki at unified space (contemporary homewares designer) got them for me from ceramic artist, myerhalliday.co.uk. She visited his Edinburgh workshop in the famed Coburg House collective and was spoiled for choice. She could have got anything from him and it would have been perfect.
4 bananas (or start with two for a first go at it to see if you like this kind of thing) – frozen as chunks or as whole peeled bananas, then cut
3 tbsp tahini, peanut butter, almond butter etc
Splash of almond milk or coconut milk
1/2 tsp ground cardamom or cinnamon – optional
3 dates, soaked in warm water until softened, then sliced – optional
1 tbsp date syrup or maple syrup – optional (gives it a darker colour)
1 tsp black sesame seeds – optional
cacao nibs, for garnishing or stirring in – optional
1 small pear, chopped, tossed in a 1/2 tsp oil and roasted in 200C/400F oven for 15-20 minutes – optional
Special equipment – food processor (smaller bowl works best if you have options) or powerful blender.
Note: Some people find that food processors work best as it is easier to get the ice cream out of a food processor. I had no issues with my Froothie. My ‘beast’ made ultra smooth ice cream in seconds and the elongated and curved scraper that comes with it gets all the goodness out of the jug and into your bowl (or mouth, if you can’t wait!). The ultra-quick blitzing in a power blender compared to a food processor makes for an ice cream that really doesn’t need to go in the freezer before it can be scooped.
1. Put the banana pieces, tahini and a small splash of (almond) milk in your food processor or blender. Blend until you get a creamy-smooth consistency. Because the bananas are frozen they break down in stages, the first being kind of granular (and you think, oh god, this isn’t going to work!), then sticky (this is the pectin breaking down), then lumpy like hospital porridge, then et voilà – ice cream! You will need to scrape down the sides once or twice.
2. Pop the now-ice cream into a chilled container and stir in anything you fancy (see above, or your own imagination – chocolate syrup! choc chips! fresh fruit! nuts!). Freeze until solid. Top with roasted pear pieces if you made them, cacao nibs (also shown), a fruity or chocolatey sauce. As-is is perfect though: dodgy pictures of mine notwithstanding.
A few other interesting vegan frozen desserts for you to peruse:
A Trio of Vegan Ice Creams and Sorbet – simplify your health
Vegan Cinnamon Ice Cream with Maple Roasted Radishes – veggie desserts
Salted Caramel Vegan Ice Cream – simplify your health
All-fruit Ice Lollies (Popsicles) – food to glow
This recipe is MADE for this month’s dairy free Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream challenge hosted by Kavey Eats.
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