The healthy ice cream craze has been in full effect for a few years now, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Different varieties are marketed as everything from low-calorie to low-carb to low-sugar, but one thing’s consistent: the pints are always pretty pricey.
Thankfully, we’ve found an insanely cheap, nutritious and easy homemade option for when you’re in need of an ice cream fix. Our new standby is the Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream” from the cookbook Vegetarian Meals in 30 Minutes by Anita Bean, and we bet you’ll be obsessed, too.
What You’ll Need
Because the creamy treat has only 113 calories and 2 grams of fat per serving and no added refined sugar, you’ll be wanting to whip it up weekly—if not daily. To do so, keep ripe bananas and either cacao or cocoa powder on deck (get the scoop on cacao vs. cocoa powder). That’s it! Unless, of course, you want to top it with other fresh fruit, such as raspberries or strawberries, like we do.
And the required tools are just about as simple as the ingredients. Yes, you read that right—no ice cream maker needed! Be sure you have a baking sheet (or even just a large plate) and a food processor at the ready. Now, let’s get started…
How to Make It
Peel and slice four ripe bananas into 1/4-in. thick slices and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Then, freeze the bananas for two hours or overnight. Flash-freezing them in this way, rather than jumbled in a bag or container, ensures the individual pieces won’t clump together.
Once the slices are approximately 80% frozen (let them sit at room temperature for a few minutes if they freeze beyond this point), toss them in the food processor. Top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of cacao or cocoa powder. Process the ingredients until smooth, about two to three minutes, and portion out into four dishes or bowls. Serve the frosty treat immediately.
To keep it as nutritious as possible, we stick to fresh berries for toppers, but jazz up your serving however you please. Think whipped cream, chocolate chips, caramel or chocolate ice cream topping, or any of these other sundae inspirations.
Aside from the freezing, this recipe should take you no more than five minutes to prepare. So, yeah, you could say weeknights just got a whole lot sweeter!