This vegan banana ice cream calls for nothing but bananas and your food processor. Oh, and a spoon. It’s an easy, cheap, weird, healthy, and truly magical one-ingredient way to make frozen dessert at home. Here’s how.
LC How Many Ingredients? Note
We’ve got nothing against the magic one ingredient ice cream recipe. Nothing at all. In fact, we’re quite fond of it. Though truth be told, some folks may find it just a touch one-dimensional. Should you find yourself craving more than one ingredient—or rather, more than one flavor—in your ice cream, take a gander at the variations beneath the recipe, each of which creates a ridiculously satiating flavor. They’re magic, too. (Boy, are they ever! Especially the dark chocolate variation. Try it. One taste and you’ll understand.)
Vegan Banana Ice Cream
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 10 M
- Serves 4
Peel the bananas and cut them into small pieces—the smaller the better. Place them in a freezer-safe container lined with parchment paper or coated with a little mild olive or vegetable oil to help the pieces release more easily. Freeze the bananas overnight or until the pieces are completely solid.
Place the frozen bananas in a food processor (preferably a large food processor with a 14-cup capacity or more) or Vitamix. Blend for 2 to 5 minutes, stopping frequently to scrape down the sides of the bowl. At first the bananas will simply turn into smaller chunks, then into a fine grit. But at some point, the bananas will suddenly turn into soft, creamy ice cream. If at any point the banana pieces get stuck on the blade, keep blending and add a spoonful of water. You may need to hold onto the food processor, as it sometimes wants to hop around on the counter.
Stick a spoon in the ice cream and slurp it up immediately for soft-serve-like consistency or return it to the freezer to harden a little more. (Just a word of caution, we found the soft-serve version of the magic one ingredient ice cream served immediately to be far preferable to the hardened version that results from being in the freezer.)
For flavor variations, follow the instructions above, processing the frozen bananas in a food processor until they are the consistency of soft-serve ice cream, then add the additional ingredients below.
- Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
Blend in 6 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Nutella Ice Cream
Blend in 1/3 cup store-bought or homemade Nutella.
- Strawberries and Cream Ice Cream
Blend in 2/3 cup chopped frozen strawberries and 1/4 cup heavy cream until smooth.
- Cinnamon Dulce Ice Cream
Blend in 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- Nut and Honey Ice Cream
Blend in 1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter and 2 tablespoons honey.
- Orange Dreamsicle Ice Cream
Blend in 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This magic one ingredient ice cream recipe is truly one of the most magical recipes I've ever encountered. To tell you the truth, I did not believe that frozen bananas could turn into a soft serve ice cream with a brief whirl in a food processor...until I tried it! The results were a creamy, naturally sweet but not too sweet treat with a hint of banana flavor. In terms of the recipe itself, I did spray a touch of olive oil cooking spray in my freezer safe container before putting the diced bananas in, just so they would be easier to remove once frozen. It worked very well; the banana pieces came out in about 3 big pieces. I did have to add about 2 tablespoons water into the food processor while I was blending the frozen bananas, just to get the bananas moving a bit faster and keep them from sticking to the blade. I loved the texture and flavor of this ice cream! Can't wait to try a variation as well...but first, I think I'm just going to try it with some walnut pieces and a few semisweet chocolate chips. I also wanted to add a note about freezing the ice cream: it had a fabulous texture and taste right when it was made, but I found that once you freeze it, the ice cream changes color to a light brownish and loses its creamy, soft serve texture.
I'll admit I was very skeptical about this magic one ingredient ice cream recipe. How can frozen bananas become ice cream? I have no idea, but I’m really glad they do. I popped the banana chunks into a large resealable container and froze them for about 24 hours. Whatever you do, use at least a 14-cup food processor so the bananas have room to groove and HOLD ON TO IT when you hit the on button, as my food processor took off across the counter! I scraped down the sides every minute or so and let it process for about 5 minutes. All of a sudden, the bananas go from a clumpy sand-like consistency to soft and creamy ice cream. I prefer the texture as soon as it’s made. After being in the freezer, I think it gets a little grainy. Just remember, this is ice cream made from bananas, so it will taste like bananas if you don’t put anything in it.