This summer we are all going to be eating a lot of ice cream, aren’t we? There’s an amazing ice cream shop near my work, and I think I may make it my summer ambition to try all of their flavours. But since we can’t eat ice cream all the time – well, not without doing a serious amount of time in the gym, which I don’t fancy – I have been looking into some other tasty options. After much procrastination on Instagram and YouTube I think I’ve found something we can all get on board with: dairy free peanut butter and banana ice cream.
OK, I know, it’s not ‘proper’ ice cream – not in the traditional ‘cream’ sense anyway – but I think you are going to enjoy it. I don’t subscribe to the idea of feeling guilty about any sort of eating, and I’m certainly not one to talk about excess ice cream consumption, but I would suggest trying this alternative at least once before you knock it.
The basic premise of this recipe is that somehow frozen bananas can have a very creamy consistency, and that you can add a variety of flavours to it, depending on what kind of a hit you’re looking for.
It’s weird, I get it. I didn’t believe it was a thing either.
How could bananas be turned into ice cream? Surely it would be one of those ‘healthy’ recipes that you make and then eat miserably in the knowledge that it’s god-awful, compared to what you were going to have. Turns out not so this time.
It’s sweet, creamy, covered in chocolate pieces (use cacao nibs for the full dairy-free version), full of peanut butter and tastes of cinnamon.
Two bits of advice though. First this requires a little bit of organisation, as you need the bananas frozen at the start; but that’s easy, just buy bananas next time you’re shopping, slice them into a freezer bag and freeze ready for when you need them. Secondly, when going through this process it will look a little weird, but don’t be discouraged. The banana will start by looking like lumps. You’ll be puzzled. Next it look like breadcrumbs. You’ll wonder how this could ever be ice cream-like. Then it’ll be a lumpy mush. You’ll be even more skeptical. But persevere, because after a couple of minutes it will become a smooth, creamy paste. It’s probably some form of witchcraft/physics, but don’t loose faith, it works.
Oh, and just for reference, if you forget to take your bananas out of the freezer in time, do what I did: leave the bag for 5-10 minutes in the still-hot dishwasher I had emptied moments before. Works a treat!
This recipe is based on an idea I saw on Donal Skehan ’s YouTube channel and various incarnations I’ve spotted on Instagram. You can use smooth peanut butter, but I’m sure we can all agree that crunchy is where the magic happens. If your bananas are already frozen, this recipe takes about five minutes. Serves two.
- 2 frozen bananas, sliced
- 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- 1 tbsp chocolate chips
- 1tsp cinnamon (heaped)
Take your frozen banana slices out of the freezer about 15-20 minutes before you want to start (or do what I did and thaw them slightly in a recently-used dishwasher…).
Put the thawing bananas into a blender/food processor along with the peanut butter and blitz. It will make a fair bit of noise and it will look like crumbs, but keep going, using a spatula to scrape down the sides as required. If your machinery of choice is getting hot you might need to give it a rest for a minute.
After a couple of minutes you will see it start to smooth out. At this point add in the cinnamon; if you want it crunchy add another spoonful of crunchy peanut butter. Use the pulse setting to mix through the cinnamon (and extra PB, if using).
Scrape out into a bowl and cover in chocolate chips. Get a spoon and dig straight in! (Or, if you really want, scrape into a freezer-safe box and scatter chocolate chips over, then freeze for later).
Used in this recipe