The Banana Hack For Making Vegan Ice Cream

During warm weather and sunny skies, everyone goes a little bananas for ice cream to beat the heat. However, if you're vegan or just lactose intolerant, you may be searching for an alternate frozen treat. While many dairy-free ice cream recipes combine ingredients like coconut milk, cashews, and vanilla bean paste, you can quickly whip up a pint using frozen bananas and a food processor. 

When frozen and blended, bananas can replicate the mouth feel of creamy ice cream. However, creating the dessert does require some planning and forethought on your part. For one, you'll need several frozen bananas on hand. While stores like Walmart sell bags of pre-frozen banana slices, your ice cream may taste fresher if you freeze them yourself. The bananas should be tossed in the freezer at their ripest. Simply remove the peel, slice the banana into several pieces, and place it in a sandwich bag. Then, let them sit in the freezer for at least half a day. 

From there, it's as simple as putting your bananas in a food processor to blend. You want your mixture to have a smooth texture similar to soft-serve ice cream. However, if it's a bit too mushy for your tastes or you want to save it for later, feel free to throw it into the freezer to let it harden. While the basic form of this recipe will have a strong banana flavor for obvious reasons, you can customize it to your taste, just like any other ice cream.

Multiple options

Is your vegan banana ice cream still not quite satisfying that craving for sweets you have? You can always make it sweeter by incorporating honey or maple syrup into the recipe or drizzling it on top before serving. Likewise, perhaps, this wasn't quite the replica of vanilla ice cream that you were hoping for. Well, you can better replicate the flavor by adding in vanilla extract. From there, you should have a pretty convincing basic vanilla to top with as much caramel or chocolate as you see fit. 

If you're feeling a bit tropical, consider adding some mango or pineapple into the mix. Likewise, a smidge of cocoa powder or some chocolate chips can transform your vegan ice cream into a chocolate lover's delight. Some recipes even call for the ice cream to be topped with peanut brittle. Of course, why not go all in on the bananas, and create the ultimate banana split? The great thing about this recipe is that it still abides by the tenets of ice cream, which are to have it your way and customize it to your heart's content.