This no churn chocolate ice cream is a healthy plant-based chocolate ice cream made with bananas and can be served as a pudding or scooped into cones. Can’t eat bananas? I have alternatives in my post for you!
No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream
Healthy no churn chocolate ice cream is easy to make, high in protein, and is the perfect energizing snack!
Another name for vegan ice cream made with bananas, is nicecream. Because it doesn’t involve dairy. And nicecream is awesome because it is high in protein as well as potassium, magnesium, and more.
Although I have several healthy no-churn ice cream recipes on my blog, most don’t use bananas. One of our daughters can’t eat them so we pretty regularly make our healthy ice cream using other ingredients. But today I wanted to use bananas for the benefits it brings to a workout snack (Yes, I made her a matching batch of no-banana ice cream, no worries and thank you for having her back, haha!)
How to Make Ice Cream With Bananas
And I wanted to use bananas for at least one recipe because bananas, when frozen, create the closest texture to dairy-based ice cream there is.
Bananas range in length from 6-inches to 9-inches, and for this recipe (which makes 4 cups of ice cream), you’ll want to about 36 (2-inch) frozen banana chunks.
And you want to freeze them ripe so they will be sweet. The sweetness of this ice cream depends on the sweetness of the bananas.
Other Ingredients in Chocolate Ice Cream
Finally, I have added extra protein and creaminess with the addition of nut butter. And I sometimes add chocolate chunks, sometimes a chocolate swirl to create a fudge ripple.
The variations are endless but I explain how to add in those two at least within the recipe.
So are you ready to step into this crazy journey with me? Let’s get to it!
How Ice Cream Is Made Step by Step
First up, let’s prep.
The night before, chop up and freeze 4-6 bananas. Frozen bananas have a magical quality – they lose the banana flavor and become a blank palate.
Next, blend up all ingredients, and pour into a parchment-lined loaf pan. Freeze for 30 minutes, chop up, smooth with a spoon, and freeze for at least 2 more hours. Store in the freezer in a sealed container. Eat within 3 weeks for best flavor.
Do you want to churn it for a smoother texture? Just pour the blended mixture into your ice cream container – read directions for your machine ahead of time. Most ice cream makers need you to freeze the ice cream container overnight.
So, ready to step up and actually make some ice cream? Let’s do it!
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No Churn Chocolate Ice Cream
- 4 cups frozen mango (Leave OFF the banana and TWO dates)
- Cut 6 (6-inch) small bananas or 4 (9-inch) large bananas into 36 (2-inch banana chunks). Freeze not touching in the freezer until solid - preferably overnight.Submerge dates in clean water; refrigerate overnight. The next day, rinse and pit them.
- Line an 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
Make Ice Cream
- Remove the 36 (2-inch) banana chunks from the freezer, spread out on a cookie sheet or parchment and allow them to thaw for 20 minutes so as to not break your blender. I would also use a high-speed blender only such as Blendtec or Vitamix OR use a food processor.
- Blend up thawed bananas, dates, cacao powder, milk, and almond butter until creamy. The texture will be that of pourable cake batter.
- Taste test and add a touch of maple syrup if you think it needs more sweetness - the sweetness will depend on how ripe/sweet your bananas were.
- Pour into the 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan and freeze for at least 2 hours before scooping into bowls. Freeze longer to make is solid enough for ice cream cones.
Add Fudge Ripple
- Blend up cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil. This makes about 1 cup. I use 1/2 cup in this ice cream recipe, and save the rest in the refrigerator for other recipes or to blend into smoothies.
- To add in the fudge ripple, wait until it is frozen about 1 hour and see if it is solid enough to swirl and keep it's shape. If not wait longer.
- Make the chocolate sauce so it is ready and at room temperature or cooler.
- Drizzle the chocolate sauce on top of the semi-frozen ice cream in swirls and with a small spatula cut it into the ice cream, pushing deep and into swirls without actually mixing it in.
- Then return loaf pan to the freezer for another 2 hours - to retain the swirl, you'll want it fairly frozen, not soft serve texture.
Variations & Banana-Replacement
- Add add-ins such as chocolate chips, nuts after about 30-min to 1 hour freezing time. Fold in with a spatula, or sprinkle on top.
- Replace bananas with full fat coconut milk, however you might find a bit of a coconut flavor is added. Also you'll have to "no-churn" by freezing one hour, chopping, blending, and refreezing at least twice to match this texture.
Dee Dine is founder of Green Smoothie Gourmet, a plant based recipe blog, and author of the recent cookbook, Crazy Healthy with 4 Ingredients . On this blog you’ll find incredibly easy recipes with hidden veggies for anyone wanting to eat healthier, regardless of diet. Dee has graduate degrees in biology, immunology and journalism. More about Dee Dine here.