Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

sugar free strawberry banana food processor ice cream

Back in our teen years, my sister and I used to freezer bananas and blend them up with milk to make a faux ice cream-ish sort of dessert.  It’s surprisingly delicious for something that’s just fruit and dairy.

For some reason, I’ve been on a long hiatus from banana ice cream making, and lately, I’ve noticed that it’s becoming quite popular.

In fact, for $50, you can buy a Yonanas machine that makes banana ice cream.

However, if you own a blender or food processor, you can save yourself $50 and some kitchen space.  Use what you’ve got!

Now, if you wanted to make ice cream the usual way, with cream and sugar and no bananas, you’ll need an ice cream maker.  You won’t be able to take a regular ice cream recipe and just throw it into your food processor.

However, you can make a delicious fruity, creamy treat this way, and it’s got no added sugar.

Which is awesome.

food processor ice cream

I originally made banana ice cream in the 90’s, when we were all fairly sure fat was of the devil.  Fortunately, we’ve figured out that’s not the case, so I’ve now upgraded from milk to heavy cream for the liquid addition.

Heavy cream is my favorite.

Recently I checked out the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook from the library and I saw that Michelle adds vanilla extract when she makes this.  Brilliant!  It really ups the ice cream flavor.

To make this, you’ll obviously need bananas.  Your ice cream will be sweeter if you use bananas that are on the soft, ripe end of things.

I don’t really like the flavor of brown, spotted bananas for this, though, so I try to catch them when they’re just past the really good eating stage but not at the banana bread stage.

I spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray, slice the bananas, and freeze them right on the sheet.

freezing bananas

If you have fresh strawberries, you’ll want to freeze those too.

frozen local berries

It is totally ok to use frozen strawberries from the store…it’ll be cheaper than out of season berries and it’ll save you work too!

If you’re making your ice cream in the next day or two, it’s totally fine to leave the fruit uncovered on the baking sheet.  For longer storage, put the fruit in a plastic bag once the individual pieces are frozen.

To make the ice cream, simply blend the frozen fruit with heavy cream and vanilla.

add vanilla

You can do this in a food processor or in a blender.  Be forewarned: all that frozen fruit makes a pretty big racket.

I always have to stop the machine to rearrange the fruit several times and I find this to be simpler in a food processor.  However, a good blender also can do the trick.

At first, your mixture will look kind of like this:

IMG_2328

And then like this (see the chunks of un-blended fruit that need to be rearranged?):

strawberry ice ceam in food processor

And eventually it’ll be all smooth like this:

strawberry banana ice cream

At first, it’s tempting to pour in tons of cream to help the fruit process better, but if you add too much, your finished product will be soupy.  I usually use between 1/2 and 3/4 cup of heavy cream.

This stuff melts more quickly than regular ice cream, so I like to serve it right away in cold bowls.

(Just put the bowls into the freezer before you start blending up the ice cream.)

no sugar strawberry banana ice cream

You could do a lot of variations on this by using other berries or fruit.  Actually, it just occurred to me that frozen mango would probably be outstanding.  Must try that.

The bananas are really important for the creamy texture, though, so I wouldn’t recommend leaving them out.

Oh, and if you can’t do dairy, feel free to substitute something like coconut cream or nut milk.

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

2 cups sliced frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream (can use non-dairy cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and process until completely smooth, stopping frequently to rearrange the fruit so that it blends evenly. Serve immediately in chilled bowls.
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Joshua’s 365 post: After the Storm

Comments

  1. says

    Looks delish! More importantly it’s healthier and cheaper than store bought ice cream. We’re are definitely going to try this recipe this coming weekend. Thanks for sharing. Cheers to frugal living! AFFJ

  2. Josine says

    I use pine-apple. We really like it, but it is rather liquid.
    I am a bit jealous your summer holidays started allready. We have 2 1/2 more very busy schoolweeks. But luckily the weather is dry, yet not too hot.

  3. Beth says

    If you have a high powered blender, you can also leave out the liquid all together. We have done it with just frozen strawberries, bananas, and a little vanilla. It turned out nice and creamy and thick!

  4. says

    Just an FYI — you can make regular ice cream without an ice cream maker. Old cookbooks often have directions to do so. My mom used to freeze the custard in a small tray, then break up into chunks with a table knife, and use her mixer to make creamy, then return to the tray to refreeze.

  5. says

    I’ve been doing something similar–I think I got the recipe from Mark Bittman–and calling it sorbet. I usually use just berries, about half a pound of berries to a quarter cup Greek yogurt and a little milk or almond milk to make two servings. I put the leftovers back in the freezer. They come out hard as a rock, but if you start it in the microwave on low power and are patient, it will eventually be something you can eat.

    I’ve been adding sugar, but I’ll have to try that vanilla trick instead! And the frozen bowls!

  6. says

    By the way, it looks like you have used parchment paper for other things in your kitchen. I’ve used it on a pan for freezing greens (so you don’t have to spray the pan and get oil on your frozen food) and would expect that it should work for bananas too! I LOOOVE parchment paper! :-)

    • Reese says

      I appreciate a lot of what parchment paper does, but I don’t like to buy it. It just gets thrown away :(

      I’m a HUGE fan of silpat mats. And I have a handful of old ones that I got for free off an online garage sale site. I use those for freezer jobs or things that can get super gross. Cannot speak highly enough of silpat mats! Totally a green option too :)

  7. ~Dorthey says

    YUM !
    Like a Thicker Smoothie :)
    & how Funny My Daughter (22) & I just went Garage sale-n about 2weeks ago & she got a YONANAN’s Machine for $7.00 !
    She was soooo Excited about it ;) & I had just seen for the 1st Time the Yonanna’s advertised.

  8. says

    Yum! This sounds awesome. I can’t wait to try this. We found frozen strawberries at the dollar store. So not only is this recipe cheaper than ice cream, but healthier too.

  9. WB says

    You can make banana ‘ice cream’ using nothing but bananas. No milk or cream required at all. It’s been a while since I’ve done it but as I recall at first you think ‘what have I done this looks like a mess?’ but then after a few minutes it just magically turns into ‘ice cream’!

    • stacy says

      I’ve done this too……so simple with frozen bananas in the food processor and that’s it! Yummy cool treat!

  10. ~Dorthey says

    Try CANTALOUPE !
    It’s Sooooooo Good !
    Especially if U get a Tiny chunk of it in a Bite !
    What a Refreshing Treat . This is too.

  11. Kathy says

    Loverly recipe thanks for the how to. One aside: While science is revisiting the saturated fat issue ( the kind in cream) it is by no means conclusive that it’s OK for you. The Paleo people like it, but many heart and cancer experts still think it’s a huge negative. Like in everything else, probably moderation is best.

  12. says

    So I’ve been doing this with strawberries, bananas, low-fat yogurt and milk. My 2-year-old will always eat half a yogurt carton, and then we put it back in the fridge and she never wants to eat the second half, so now it’s going into my frozen treat. I tend not to blend it the whole way. I want my strawberries totally blended, but I like to get a chunk of frozen bananas. This is a surprisingly difficult thing to pull off — I put the bananas in first in the Magic Bullet blender and then watch it closely — but I am rewarded when I make it work. Yum.

  13. says

    This looks amazing. I don’t have any heavy cream but regular milk should work the same right.

    Oooo just imagine, with this you could have ice cream for breakfast. =)

  14. Susanna says

    sounds yummy! I’d probably have a tough time with my mixer though- it balks at smoothies sometimes.

    I just tried a new to me recipe idea last night- refrigerator oatmeal! simple and I did modify a few ingredients(namely nonfat vanilla greek yogurt in place of sweetening plain and adding vanilla extract) and I used frozen fruit.

    I think some banana yogurt would hit the spot! love finding simple but really good recipes!

  15. Susanna says

    I wonder how chocolate chips would taste? I thought of that when I saw bananas because Dole sells those expensive chocolate dipped banana pieces..good but too pricey for something I can do myself!

  16. Emily M says

    WOAH. This I must try. And actually – this seems like a perfectly healthy (well not literally, but pretty close) snack on a hot summer day!

  17. JS says

    Our Aldi circular is advertising a Kitchen Living Frozen Treat Maker (generic Yonanas machine) for $29.99 this week. I’m not sure where these will be available, but thought I’d throw that out there as a cheaper option to try.

  18. Amy says

    I make mine without dairy, because that’s the recipe that I found first. You can also toss in some peanut butter and/or cocoa powder. I probably wouldn’t mix peanut butter in with the strawberries though. But the best tip that I have for this is that you don’t really need to slice the bananas before freezing them. Peel them, put them in a freezer bag or on a tray, then freeze. Even frozen, bananas don’t need more than a butter knife and a firm push to slice them, and they take up much less space in the freezer than a tray of sliced bananas.

  19. elizabeth says

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe for”Ice Cream”–it was
    delicious but I made it with two cups of frozen mango
    chunks instead of the bananas.It’s a great recipe for
    someone who is diabetic(like my husband). I just added
    a little granulated splenda to make it a little sweeter as the
    fruits were unsweetened.Have a great summer!

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