Secretly healthy ice cream made from bananas. Gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free and vegan.
If you’re currently battling Arctic weather, then I’m afraid I’m not about to make things any easier for you. Because today’s post is all about… ice cream!
Personally, I can eat ice cream and other cold things regardless of the outside temperature. Soup in summer, smoothies in winter – I refuse to be bossed around by the weather. But we’re all different and if you’re craving something warm and cosy, may I suggest a bowl of oatmeal instead?
(And so you know, there’ll be more oatmeal next week).
This recipe is a variation of the standard banana-based ice cream. In case you hadn’t heard, frozen bananas magically turn into ice cream when they’re put in a food processor or Yonanas machine.
I generally find the Yonanas yields a better texture, but then it’s easier to customize your ice cream when using a food processor. Just another one of life’s little trade-offs.
Cocoa powder transforms this dessert-for-breakfast into chocolate ice cream (as opposed to plain banana ice cream). As for the caramel part, that’s courtesy of our good friends, dates.
Dates as in the fruit. No comment on the other kind of date.
Medjool dates give everything an amazing caramel flavor, and – as an added bonus – they can be put through the Yonanas machine! (Or processed in a food processor). The key is to make sure your dates are (a) soft; (b) pitted!
If your dates are looking dry, wrinkled or otherwise worse for wear, let them soak in warm water for 15 minutes. Then drain, and they should be good to go.
However, if those dates are still looking withered, then ask yourself, ‘How long have these dates been in my pantry!?’ If you can’t answer that question, then it’s probably best to buy some new dates.
Finally, we come to the toppings. Almonds and coconut are a must. Really, don’t leave them out.
If using a Yonanas machine, it’s easiest to save the coconut and almonds for a (generous) topping.
However, if you’re going the food processor route, then include them as mix-ins! When the banana mixture has just about formed the texture you’re after, add the coconut and almonds. Pulse a few times to mix them in, and then enjoy your nutty, chocolatey, caramelly delight.
And if you are weathering temperatures that make the North Pole look like the Bahamas, then maybe serve your ice cream with a giant mug of coffee or hot cocoa.
- For the banana ice cream
- 3 frozen bananas
- 1 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 medjool dates
For the toppings or mix-ins
- Shredded coconut
- Almonds (whole or chopped)
- Chop the banana into chunks and allow them to thaw for 10 - 15 minutes. While the bananas are thawing, sprinkle over the cocoa powder. Roughly chop the medjool dates.
- For a Yonanas machine: Prepare your Yonanas machine (i.e. make sure it’s assembled correctly). Alternate the cocoa-covered banana chunks and chopped dates through the machine, making sure that you start and end with banana chunks.
- For a food processor: Process the banana chunks until they start to clump together. Add the cocoa powder and chopped dates, and process until the mixture forms a soft-serve ice cream consistency.
- Carefully mix in some shredded coconut and almonds into the ice cream (if using a food processor, pulse a few times to mix them in). Alternatively, skip this step and just use the coconut and almonds as a topping.
- Ideally, re-freeze the ice cream for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve with plenty of shredded coconut and almonds. Leftovers can be transferred to an airtight container and placed in the freezer (allow to thaw for around 5 - 10 minutes before serving). Enjoy!
Ensure your bananas are very ripe before freezing them.