ice cream bonanza

With the warmer weather of the past couple of weeks, we’ve been wanting ice cream!¬† Dante led the way, putting a number of bananas in the freezer. We learned how to split a banana into 3 thin sections using only your fingers (cool trick, we’ll make a video soon) so that they freeze faster. If you plan ahead and keep frozen bananas on hand, you can have delicious ice cream in minutes!

Our basic process involves putting about 3-4 frozen bananas in the food processor and whizzing them up. If they have been frozen for more than an hour or so, you may need to either wait a few minutes for them to soften or add one room temp banana to the processor and whiz again to achieve a soft-serve ice cream consistency.

This creates a great banana ice cream as it is, but we have started adding things both to the processor and as toppings to enhance this tasty treat! We have added cacao powder to the processor to make a chocolate ice cream, and vanilla by adding vanilla extract. We make a chocolate chip nut butter swirl by drizzling nut butter  onto the banana ice cream and topping that with cacao nibs. Other add-ins we like are coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, berries, and other fruit.

We make a sorbet by putting a bag of frozen berries into the food processor and whirring it up into sweet, frozen goodness. Some people add dates or honey as well, but we like it without this and consume enough sweet stuff elsewhere that we leave it out. I made a version of this with raspberries and blueberries for Dante last weekend when he was feeling poorly, but he didn’t finish it all. Later in the day, he requested banana ice cream, so I pulled the melted sorbet from the fridge and poured it into the food processor bowl with the already-whizzed bananas and Voila! A beautiful, ruby-red berry ice cream! I topped it with some frozen berries and chia seeds and served (it’s the pic at the top).

When we lived in Boston, we frequented J.P. Licks ice cream shops and one of Luke’s favorites there was Maple Butter Walnut. So we took the basic banana ice cream, and drizzled maple syrup over it and tossed in some chopped walnuts. Lucia wanted chocolate chip ice cream, so we took the plain banana soft serve and put it in a bowl with cacao nibs for her. Take a gander at this shot of goodness — this was breakfast a couple of weeks ago!

Dante didn’t want either of those variations, so he left his portion of the banana ice cream in the food processor and added some frozen raspberries. He used a slice of banana and more frozen raspberries to make a flower on top of his raspbanana ice dream! The boy loves to garnish…

If you haven’t tried this before, pop some bananas onto a cookie sheet or plate in the freezer with enough space between them that they don’t overlap much. Once frozen, you can store them in a zip lock freezer bag to keep them from getting freezer burn. We also make banana pops — cut the bananas in half, insert a popsicle stick up and wrap them in foil or put them on a cookie sheet until frozen and again, store in a freezer bag or other airtight container. These are one of our favorite treats for a hot day!

What’s your favorite cool snack for the dog days of summer?


  1. Riley says

    If you know someone who doesn’t particularly care for bananas, how might you go about making a similar frozen dessert in a raw fashion? Could you use coconut?

  2. Sioux says

    You can soak and blend cashews or use young coconuts to make ice cream as well. You can use an ice cream maker, or put the blended mixture into a dish and keep stirring it every half hour or so until it’s the right consistency. If you put it in the freezer without stirring occasionally, it will freeze into a solid block. Another option is to pour them into BPA-free popsicle molds and make ice pops instead of scoopable ice cream. Since it’s hard to do toppings on a popsicle, you can always stir them in before pouring into the mold.


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