This vegan peanut butter ice cream, made with just 5 ingredients–coconut milk, bananas, peanut butter, cacao, and honey–is healthy and easy to make. Best of all, it tastes every iota as delicious as the real stuff.
This dairy-free vegan ice cream-like spectacularness is, despite its name, actually quite virtuous as it is made with bananas and coconut milk. You’d probably never guess it though, as it tastes every ounce as rich and creamy as the real stuff.–Angie Zoobkoff
*What is Cacao Powder?
Cacao powder is simply a less-processed, more true-to-its-natural-state version of cocoa powder. It’s cold-pressed from cocoa beans and separated from the cocoa butter and then packaged raw, whereas cocoa powder is essentially cacao powder that has been roasted. They are interchangeable in most recipes at a 1:1 ratio, although cacao tends to be more bitter, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Not at all.
Vegan Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- One (14-ounce) can coconut milk (NOT low-fat)
- 1 large ripe banana cut into chunks and frozen for at least 4 hours
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter smooth or chunky
- 2 tablespoons cacao powder
- Honey or maple syrup (optional)
- In a food processor, combine the coconut milk and banana and process until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides.
- Add the peanut butter and cacao powder and blend until well mixed. Taste and, if desired, sweeten with honey or maple syrup.
- Pour into a freezer-proof container with a lid and place in the freezer until the ice cream mixture is almost set, 2 to 4 hours.
- Remove from the freezer and dump the mixture into the processor again and process. Then return it to the container and freeze until set, 1 to 2 hours more. (The extra processing creates a smoother ice cream with fewer ice crystals.)
- To serve, simply scoop the ice cream. If it’s become very firm in the freezer, let it rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving to allow for easy scooping.
How To Make This Ice Cream Without Coconut MilkIf you prefer not to use coconut milk, you can make this—and still keep it vegan—simply by blending 4 chopped frozen bananas with the peanut butter and the cacao until smooth and then freezing as instructed.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I’ve made “ice cream” from frozen bananas and also from coconut milk but had never thought to put those two ideas together. This is brilliant! It’s a lighter version of an ice cream so when it’s hot and you’re craving something cold and refreshing yet sweet, this is perfect.
I definitely added some honey to add a little sweetness—about 1 1/2 teaspoons. And don’t skip the double processing, it helps so much with breaking up the ice crystals—although if you’re craving a soft-serve type of texture, you can eat it right after the second processing, no need to freeze it and wait.
I’d say servings are 5 to 6, depending on how much you like to share.
I’ve made ice cream many times using the traditional methods of egg custards or Jeni’s (from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream) newer approach of using cornstarch for thickening. I had done the “banana only” once before but certainly don’t remember obtaining the creamy result that this recipe provides. The ice cream is smooth, creamy, and delicious.
I made the variation with 4 frozen bananas, peanut butter, and cacao powder. Wow! Once the frozen bananas had thawed a bit, they really whipped up into an ethereal, creamy mix. The whole procedure in the food processor took about 6 minutes and would had been fewer minutes had I allowed the frozen bananas to thaw a bit.
We think the flavor is predominantly banana, followed by peanut butter, and very little chocolate. While it looks chocolate in color, I think if you tasted with your eyes closed, you would be hard-pressed to get much chocolate flavor (maybe an excuse to drizzle with hot fudge!). I added no sweetener and really like that it did not need.
This vegan peanut butter ice cream recipe is a revelation. Compared to the amount of sugar and fat in most ice creams this is a way healthier and equally delicious choice.
I did the variation with 4 bananas. I make a lot of ice cream and was so amazed at how creamy and smooth this was with no custard or fat from milk or cream.
I decided to test this banana “ice cream” recipe as I have been very curious about what all the fuss is about. I have seen similar recipe pop up around the internet and on social media. To be honest, I am not completely convinced that I would pick this over a bowl of good old-fashioned ice cream. However, I did enjoy the end result on a particularly hot day here and my partner could not get enough.
The flavors work really well and when you are tight on time this is a quick and easy way to prepare a healthy dessert option. The texture when frozen was creamy and silky and had a great mouth feel. My one complaint is that if you don’t eat it fast enough and it starts to melt, the result is gooey and sticky, which did not not have the best texture. This recipe has great potential with endless flavor combinations that can be experimented with and does make it versatile. While I can’t fool myself that I am eating ice cream, I still enjoyed this recipe and would definitely recommended it to friends who strive for a more healthy lifestyle.
Originally published January 4, 2019