Food

Homemade Banana Ice Cream (Dairy-free)

BY Andrea Hayley-Sankaran TIMEJune 17, 2022 PRINT

Did you know that real frozen bananas (basically one ingredient) could transform into a creamy, homemade ice cream that’s fat-free, dairy-free, and vegan, with zero added sugars?

Now you know, and I think you will love this!

You don’t need any special equipment to make this. Just your blender. And it only takes a few minutes.

Banana ice cream has almost the exact same creamy consistency as real ice cream, without the sugar, cream, and egg yolks of regular ice cream, or the added fats and oils of plant-based dairy alternative ice creams.

In fact, there’s nothing in banana ice cream but bananas. Although you do need a little bit of liquid from a plant-based milk like almond or rice milk just to get the blender blades turning.

How to Make

To make vegan banana ice cream, you’ll start with perfectly ripe, peeled bananas, and freeze them until solid in a zip lock bag or freezer container.

peeled bananas for freezing
(Photo courtesy of Buttered Veg)

When you’re ready to make the ice cream, remove the bananas from the freezer, and chop roughly. Place in the blender with the plant-based milk and blend until smooth.

The texture you get is amazingly similar to real ice cream, and it’s due to the high pectin content of the bananas. Just like when making jams, the pectin acts as a thickener.

Just imagine how you could enjoy a delightful, fat-free treat like this any time you want to, and feel no guilt about it.

I can assure you that most people will definitely feel that banana ice cream is lighter and easier to digest than regular ice cream.

perfectly ripe bananas
(Photo courtesy of Buttered Veg)

Bananas are Good for Gut Health

As you know from experience, bananas are moist, smooth, sticky, and slippery, and it’s exactly these qualities that make bananas soothing to the intestinal tract and good for gut health.

Bananas are the perfect things to eat regularly if you are experiencing any irritation or inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract.

Unlike hard foods, bananas are soft and smooth. Yet, a single banana still contains about 10-12 percent of your daily fiber needs, which is rare in the food world.

Epoch Times Photo
(Photo courtesy of Buttered Veg)

And this includes inulin fiber, a form of resistant starch that nourishes good bacteria in your gut.

Fiber promotes smooth and regular bowel movements.

Bananas are particularly helpful for constipation, while if diarrhea is a concern, eating your bananas more on the unripe side is best, as the astringent taste acts as a stool binder.

Bananas are known to reduce inflammation and bloating due to their high potassium content, which acts to flush out excess sodium.

According to a study of overweight women who experimented with eating a banana twice daily as a pre-meal snack for 60 days, good bacteria increased, bad bacteria decreased, and symptoms of bloating reduced by half!

Ayurveda’s View of Bananas

Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine based on the idea that disease arises from imbalances in body, mind, and spirit, and the use of food as medicine.

Healing the digestive tract and supporting gut health is a major focus of Ayurveda, so how does Ayurveda view bananas?

bananas
(Photo courtesy of Buttered Veg)

From an Ayurvedic perspective, although bananas are probably better than ice cream for most people, there are still some points to consider that might surprise you.

Ayurveda describes the nature of things, and the problem with bananas is that they are so heavy and sweet, and their aftereffect in the body is also heavy.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Bananas are most supportive for individuals who are light, deficient, or dehydrated, and less supportive for individuals who are already heavy and watery.

Regardless of your individual health condition, most people will still benefit from adding digestive support to their banana ice cream to help to stimulate metabolism, counter the cold (frozen) temperature, and digest the heaviness.

Add-ins for Digestive Support

Digestive support (heat and flavor) can be added through the addition of warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, black pepper, or cumin. I encourage you to experiment.

The sour taste could also be helpful (and tasty). You could add a bit of fresh lime juice to your banana ice cream.

Vaidya Mishra of SV Ayurveda makes a fascinating point that the smaller the banana, the more aromatic it tends to be, and the less channel blocking (due to the opening effect of the aromatics).

This leads me to suggest that you could add aromatic herbs to your banana ice cream, such as fresh mint, basil, or lemon balm. Again experiment.

Tasty Toppings and Add-ins

Add ½ teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom
fresh blueberries or frozen raspberries
1-2 tablespoons almond butter
Almonds, pecans, or walnuts
Chocolate chips

Epoch Times Photo
(Photo courtesy of Buttered Veg)

Recipe for Banana Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2 servings

Calories: 114KCAL

Real frozen bananas (basically one ingredient) transformed into a creamy, homemade ice cream that’s fat-free, dairy-free, and vegan, with zero added sugars.

Helpful Kitchen Tools:
high speed blender

Ingredients
2 bananas, frozen
½ cup plant-based milk, (almond, rice, or other)

Instructions
Remove bananas from the freezer and chop them roughly. Add frozen bananas to a blender with almond or rice milk, and pulse until smooth. Remove with a spatula.

Enjoy right away or store in a freezer-safe container. The ice cream will get hard if stored in the freezer overnight. If this happens, allow to soften on the counter for 20 minutes (or until you can scoop it).

Check the notes for optional add-ins or toppings. And most importantly, enjoy!

Notes
Optional add-ins or toppings

  • Add ½ teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom
  • fresh blueberries or frozen raspberries
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond butter
  • Almonds, pecans, or walnuts
  • Chocolate chips

Nutrition
Sodium: 82mg | Calcium: 81mg | Vitamin C: 10mg | Vitamin A: 76IU | Sugar: 14g | Fiber: 3g | Potassium: 422mg | Calories: 114kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 2g | Carbohydrates: 27g | Iron: 1mg

This article was originally published on ButteredVeg.com.

Andrea Hayley-Sankaran is the founder of Buttered Veg, the vegetarian food blog for conscious eaters. Andrea is a vegetarian chef (now a home cook) informed by over two decades of practice and experimentation with the ancient sciences of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. Andrea's study of traditional wisdom deepened her understanding of how to create incredibly flavorful vegetarian food that makes you feel good, inside and out. butteredveg.com
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