Banana and Avocado Ice "Cream"
Yields: about 2 1/2 - 3 cups Prep Time: 5 minutes (plus freezing time)
Total Time: 5 minutes
This frozen dessert is simple, and gets the creaminess from frozen bananas and avocado! Bananas bring potassium and fiber, while avocados add folate and additional potassium and are an excellent source of healthy fats to nourish the brain and satiate cravings.
3 medium (about 3 cups) bananas, sliced and frozen*
3/4 cup of a ripe avocado
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract**
* It’s best to peel and cut bananas prior to freezing
** Vanilla extract is often made by soaking the vanilla beans in alcohol to intensify and preserve the flavor. After researching on various raw food websites, I learned that anytime vanilla is used in raw food recipes (ie: the vanilla is not heated) and it contains alcohol, the recipes opt for an alcohol free vanilla (often made with vegetable glycerin) or pure vanilla beans (scraping the inside of the actual bean). The reason for this is while the alcohol is usually cooked down when heated, that is not the case with raw recipes. While not a safety concern, the alcohol flavor overpowers the vanilla.
1. Slice bananas in into rounds (preferably spread out) and place in an airtight container in the freezer. I use a plastic Ziploc bag, despite my deep dislike for using plastic. It just really makes this very easy. Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight until bananas are frozen solid.
2. Remove bananas about 10 minutes before ready to make ice cream. This just helps them soften a tad before pulsing.
3. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, about 1-3 minutes. You may need to stir and pulse intermittently to initially get the bananas going. Be patient. It may seem like it will never come together. But it will. Resist the temptation to add liquid!
4. Serve and enjoy immediately.
So, this is the second installment of a fruit and frozen banana “ice cream” dish. We have tried blueberries and mango, all of which are delicious as well. However, I always like to add a healthy fat to a dish. So, aside from raw coconut butter or coconut oil, we went down the list of our favorite healthy fats and came to avocados. To our delight, they worked wonderfully!
The banana alone brings a great creaminess to the texture, yet the avocado really enhances it, likening it to more of a premium ice cream. Additionally, the avocado helps maintain the thickness, so this could be a great option for a cone. The vanilla is optional, as we tried it with and without. There was a slight difference, but nothing mind-blowing that the recipe could be whittled down to two simple ingredients. This is an awesome snack, dessert or even a cool treat for a hot day. The girls gave it two thumbs (and two big toes) up!
Update: After a few years of making this, I finally decided to go back and update the photos. I whipped it up this afternoon for the mini photo shoot. This time, I added what makes it especially fancy for us, and that is chocolate sauce and sprinkles.
I also started placing the bananas in a plastic bag, sliced BEFORE going in the freezer. And actually, I don’t even slice; I just break them into small bits. Slicing is great, but usually this is a last minute idea, or a quick way to get the browning bananas off the counter, so taking out a cutting board to neatly slice the bananas is not a priority.
There have been times when I have thrown a tablespoon or so of cane sugar into the food processor with all of the ingredients. This changes the recipe from a no added sugar to an ‘added sugar’ recipe, but sometimes gives it just the right kick. I don’t mind, considering we are eating bananas and avocado for goodness sake! Sometimes you get a particularly bland avocado, or even banana. The sugar crystals actually help break down the banana and give a little sugary “crunch” to each bite.
Also with my update, I have included stages of processing, because it does initially feel like the bananas are never going to get creamy. If you add liquid, you may just end up with a smoothie, which is totally not worth it!
The only challenge with this is you have to plan ahead. It’s not one of those things you can whip up last minute, unless you always have frozen sliced bananas in the freezer. (Which by the way, is not a bad idea!) Another favorite with this "ice cream" are my Black Bean, Banana and Avocado Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Looking for other yummy avocado recipes? Here are some favorites below. Or just click here for lots of recipes with avocado!