If you are looking for a healthy frozen treat, you HAVE to learn how to make this simple 2 ingredient Strawberry Banana Ice Cream at home.
It is clean eating, dairy free, vegan, paleo and requires no added sugar. Kids love this homemade strawberry ice cream and it is a great recipe to get them involved in the process.
How to Make Ice Cream from Bananas
You may have heard about it before, the amazing fact that frozen bananas can be turned into a delicious and healthy frozen dessert. The frozen banana ice cream base has a wonderful creamy texture just like ice cream or soft serve, but completely without dairy or added sugar!
When I first learnt how to make frozen banana ice cream it was referred to as 'banana whip'. But recently the name Nice Cream has become more common for this healthy frozen dessert.
The process is as simple as peeling, slicing, and freezing bananas. Then processing them until smooth.
When I am planning ahead, I will even just through the whole peeled bananas in the freezer and break them into chunks when I am ready to make healthy banana nice cream. With whole bananas I make sure they stay in the freezer 24 hours or at least overnight.
If I am more pressed for time, I slice the bananas in ¼-inch thin slices and make sure they lay flat (not bunched up) in the freezer. This way they are ready to be turned into easy homemade banana ice cream within 4 hours.
How ripe should the bananas be?
When making banana bread (or some banana-based smoothies) the recipes usually call for super ripe bananas with lots of brown spots (or brown all over). This is because the riper the bananas, the sweeter they are.
But very ripe bananas are also much stronger in flavor. Which works great in banana bread, but for this healthy ice cream recipe we mainly want the creaminess of the bananas - not an overwhelming banana flavor.
So for the best balance of creaminess and mild flavor, use yellow bananas without brown spots. I like to freeze them straight from the store. But if they only have green bananas, I let them sit until most of the green from the peel has turned yellow.
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How to make Strawberry ice cream - in a blender or food processor
Using a food processor is my preference for making banana nice cream. I find it works the best at moving all the frozen ingredients around and processing them into a smooth texture all without the need for added liquid.
Simply add you frozen banana slices or chunks and frozen strawberries and turn on the food processor. At first it will be very loud as the frozen pieces get thrown around the machine.
As things quiet down you'll notice that the fruit has broken down into crumbles but doesn't look creamy at all (sample picture above from a pineapple flavoured version).
Don't worry and just keep on processing. If needed, stop the food processor and scrape down the sides with a spatula.
Eventually the crumbles break down even further and you end up with super creamy healthy Strawberry Ice Cream.
To make this homemade strawberry ice cream in a blender I recommend using only high-speed appliances like Vitamix or Blendtec. Other blenders will have a hard time breaking down the frozen ingredients without added liquid - which in turn will make the nice cream softer and more smoothie-like.
How to make strawberry ice cream in a Vitamix:
When using my Blendtec to make banana nice cream I prefer using the twister jar which is specifically designed for thick recipes. When you twist the lid during processing the prongs in the lid scrape along the sides of the blender jar to ensure that all the ingredients keep moving around and are processed evenly.
Soft serve or firm Ice Cream Texture
Right after processing this frozen banana strawberry ice cream has creamy soft serve-like texture. You want to consume it fairly quickly after making, especially on hot summer days.
For a firmer ice cream-like texture, transfer the banana nice cream mixture to a container and freeze for about 2 hours to firm it up.
You can freeze it even longer, but it will become quite firm. In that case you may want to let the homemade strawberry banana ice cream sit on the counter for a few minutes before attempting to scoop it.
Tools I used for this Healthy Strawberry Ice Cream:
My trusty Cuisinart food processor is my favourite small appliance to use for this strawberry banana ice cream recipe.
Reusable silicone Ziptop bags are a great alternative to plastic freezer bags to freeze the strawberries and banana.
A loaf baking pan makes a great container for freezing the strawberry and banana ice cream until ready to scoop.
More delicious Summer Desserts:
- Vegan Salted Caramel Ice Cream
- Best Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Thai Lemon Iced Tea
- Healthy Java Chip Frappe
Strawberry Banana Ice Cream
- 1 frozen banana sliced
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- If not using store-bought frozen fruit, peel the banana and slice it. Freeze the banana slices and strawberries for at least 4 hours - better yet overnight. (Reusable silicone bags are a great alternative to plastic freezer bags.)
- Place the frozen strawberries and banana slices into a food processor or a high speed blender (see notes above).
- Process the fruit until smooth. It will be very loud at first and the fruit will look like crumbles. But eventually it breaks down to a smooth consistency. You may need to stop the machine and scrape down the side once or twice.
- For soft serve texture, serve the strawberry banana ice cream right after blending. For firmer ice cream consistency transfer the nice cream to a sealable container and freeze for at least 2 hours. For easier scooping afterwards, let the ice cream sit on the counter for a few minutes first.