Ice cream that’s actually healthy!
Think ice cream is off the table when you’re following a healthy lifestyle? Think again! This banana chocolate chip ice cream is both delicious and good for you. Made from frozen bananas, it is dairy free, gluten free, paleo, raw, and vegan! Yet still feels just as indulgent as real ice cream.
How to make healthy ice cream
The recipe for this ice cream is very simple. There are only a couple of main ingredients and you don’t need an expensive ice cream mixer.
Simply freeze some sliced bananas overnight, then throw them in a blender the next day along with a splash of almond milk, and you have your classic banana ice cream base.
Very ripe bananas work best for this, as they are perfectly sweet and slightly softer. If you can’t wait for your bananas to ripen, wrap them in foil and pop them in the oven on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until they start to brown, then let them cool before slicing and freezing.
When preparing the ice cream, take care not to add too much almond milk or the texture will resemble a smoothie rather than ice cream. The mixture will be so thick you will need to pulse the blender a few times, stopping periodically to push it back down to the blades with a knife (switch off the blender while you do this). If it’s too thick to blend, keep adding a very small amount of milk until it gets going.
Ice cream you can eat for breakfast
Once you have your banana base, you can enjoy it as is, or add different flavors to replicate your favorite ice cream. Adding some peanut butter or coconut oil will give it an even creamier finish as well as a good dose of healthy essential dietary fat. You can also play around with textures too, including crunchy biscuit pieces, gooey chocolate sauce, or fresh berries.
Here are some ideas to get started:
- Mint chocolate chip – add a few drops of peppermint extract or some fresh mint leaves before blending, and a sprinkling of chocolate chips to serve
- Pistachio – stir through some chopped pistachios and a few drops of vanilla extract
- Strawberries and cream – add some fresh chopped strawberries and a swirl of natural yogurt just before serving
- Coffee and walnut – stir in a teaspoonful of ground coffee before blending, then add chopped walnuts
If you’re feeling brave, you can even add a handful of spinach to give it a glorious green color, while getting extra plant-based nutrients. Depending on what you add, this ice cream is healthy enough to enjoy at breakfast time! Low in calories and high in fiber, bananas are a great way to start the day. They’re also an excellent source of potassium, which is important for nerve and muscle function and isn’t affected by the freezing process.
Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (serves 2)
2 ripe bananas
1 Tbsp peanut butter
¼ cup almond milk
2 Tbsp chocolate chips
- Chop the bananas into ½ inch slices and place in a freezer bag. Put them in the freezer overnight.
- Take the frozen banana slices and put them in a blender or food processor.
- Add the peanut butter and almond milk.
- Blend until the mixture has the consistency of soft scoop ice cream. You may need to stop and start a few times to scrape the mixture off the sides. If it’s too dry, add a little more almond milk.
- Pour the ice cream into a bowl or container and stir through the chocolate chips.
- The ice cream can be served immediately, but if it’s too soft, try putting it back in the freezer in an airtight container for 20-30 minutes to stop it from melting too quickly.
- The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for 1-2 weeks, if you manage not to eat it before then!
- You can swap the almond milk for any milk of your choice. Natural yogurt also works well, with a little water or milk to blend.
- Peanut butter can be swapped for any other nut butter, or coconut oil, which creates a lovely tropical flavor.
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