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Healthy Balance

Recipe Review: Banana Ice Cream

banana ice cream
It’s not really ice cream, but this frozen banana treat still hits the spot.

We’re trying new heart-healthy recipes and will share the results with you. All recipes are from Club Red, UVA’s heart health club for women.

Banana Ice Cream

I’ve got to start with a disclaimer: This isn’t really ice cream.

There are a lot of recipes out there that begin with frozen bananas. All of them promise that they have the same creamy texture as ice cream, without the sugar or fat. I’ve always been skeptical. Texture is important, but what about taste? I eat bananas almost daily; could a freezer’s chill really turn my humdrum snack into dessert?

However, it was 95 degrees last week, so I figured it was time to give this a try.

As far as recipes go, this one’s pretty cheap and easy, but you do need to plan ahead: Your bananas need about four hours in the freezer to take on the temperature and texture of ice cream.

Banana Ice Cream With Peanut Butter?

While I was slicing the bananas, I got an idea: What goes perfectly with bananas and chocolate? Peanut butter, of course. While peanut butter does add calories, one tablespoon of my favorite reduced-sugar version has 3.5 grams of protein and just one gram of sugar.

Get the Recipe

Banana Ice Cream

I decided to divide my bananas in half. When it came time to mix together the ingredients, I put cinnamon in one batch, one tablespoon of peanut butter in the other, and chocolate chips in both (of course).

Then I put the bowls in the freezer and waited impatiently.

The Verdict

After three hours, I took the bowls out of my freezer and took a bite from each. It was a bit icy, so I waited another five minutes. As the mixture sat out, it took on the creamy appearance and texture of slightly melted ice cream, which is how I prefer mine.

But would it taste the same? I tried it again. The peanut butter version was unquestionably banana-tasting, with, unfortunately, little to no hint of peanut butter. But it tasted good and was certainly more ice cream-like, and better tasting, than my usual breakfast banana.

The cinnamon version, on the other hand, was more cinnamon-y than anything else. I love cinnamon, so I really liked it. This could pair well with apple pie or other fall-themed foods.

But if you’re not a cinnamon fan, you could forgo that and instead mix in a little vanilla extract and/or summer fruits, like blueberries or peaches.

Would this pass for ice cream? I’ve never had real banana ice cream, so it’s hard to say, but it lacked the creamy, sugary taste of real ice cream. Still, if you want a cold, frozen dessert that’s actually good for you, this is about as easy, tasty and inexpensive as you can get.

Stars: 4.5 out of 5

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