Got a bunch of overripe bananas at home that are no longer appetizing to eat on their own? Here’s a great idea: make healthy banana ice cream. It’s a cool way (pun intended) to save those bananas instead of throwing them out.
This creamy banana ice cream recipe is perfect for hot summer days. I recommend serving it during your backyard picnic or as an after-dinner dessert. Just make sure to freeze it long enough before you serve it.
Healthy Banana Ice Cream Recipe
- 4 overripe bananas
- 2 tablespoons non-GMO, non-soy lecithin granules (optional, but adds creamy texture)
- 1½ cups raw milk (or coconut milk or nut/rice milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Serving Size: one quart of ice cream
- In a food processor, liquefy the bananas and the lecithin granules. While processor is still running add the remaining ingredients.
- Depending on the size of the bananas, this will make up to four cups liquid. Add more milk if necessary to make one quart of liquid. Pour the mixture into baking sheets or ice-cube trays and freeze until solid.
- If using baking sheets, cut the frozen mixture into strips, if using ice-cube trays just pop out the cubes. Place frozen pieces back into juicer or food processor and blend until homogenized. Serve immediately.
- Chocolate-Banana: Add ½ cup cocoa or carob powder and an additional teaspoon of vanilla to the above recipe.
- Tropical: Use two overripe bananas, ½ cup strawberries, ½ cup finely cut pineapple, 1 ½ cups milk, and 2 tablespoons lecithin granules (optional).
- Coconut: Use two eggs, 3 tablespoons lecithin granules, 3 cups coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Note: Ice cream will be thicker and creamier if the food processor and bowl are chilled in the refrigerator 30 minutes before using.
(Adapted from Healthy Recipes from Your Nutritional Type)
Banana Ice Cream Preparation Tips
You can buy bananas all year round from supermarkets and local farmers markets, but they are at their best during summer and fall. Look for firm, yellow bananas with unblemished skin. Keep them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight.
Ideally, they are best stored away from apples, avocados, and other fruits that release ethylene gas, as this can accelerate the ripening process1 – but for this recipe, putting them next to these fruits may be actually helpful, as you need overripe bananas to prepare the ice cream.
If you do use lecithin to make your recipe creamier, I recommend opting for non-GMO, non-soy lecithin granules such as that made from sunflowers. Most commercial lecithin granules are actually made of soy, so you need to read labels and possibly special order the non-soy granules, to make sure they are non-soy.
I also recommend you use only raw organic milk for this recipe. Contrary to what government agencies are trying to tell you, raw milk, if produced by grass-fed cows in clean, well-run farms, is actually safer than most pasteurized milk on the market. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that there are only about 116 illnesses a year linked to raw milk but about 412 confirmed cases of people getting ill from pasteurized milk each year.
Remember that where you get your milk matters. Check out the Campaign for Real Milk Website to locate a raw milk source near you. California residents can also find raw milk retailers by using the store locator available at OrganicPastures.com.
It’s a good idea to visit the farm in person, so you can look around, observe their operations and ask the farmer about their work conditions. Make sure you ask these questions:
- Are the cows raised naturally and in accordance with the seasons?
- Does the farmer test the milk regularly for pathogens (low pathogenic bacteria count)?
- Are the cows mainly grass-fed?
- Are the cows well cared for?
- Are they given antibiotics and growth hormones to increase their milk production?
- Is the milk quickly chilled after milking?
If there are no trustworthy sources of raw milk near your area, then you can settle for coconut milk. Contrary to what most people believe, coconut milk is not the clear liquid inside the coconut fruit — this is actually coconut water, a nutritious and refreshing drink loaded with electrolytes. Instead, coconut milk is a slightly thick, white liquid made from the expressed juice of grated coconut meat and water.
Canned coconut milk is available in supermarkets, but if you want to make your own at home, here’s a simple step-by-step method you can try:2
- Place the coconut meat (from matured brown coconuts, not the young green ones) in a blender. Make sure that there are no brown bits of skin that are adhering to the meat.
- Add 3 to 4 cups of hot water and blend until the coconut and water form a smooth mixture.
- Pour the coconut mixture through a butter muslin or cheesecloth and into a Mason jar or pitcher.
- Squeeze the cloth, getting as much liquid as possible out of the bits of coconut milk.
If you’re not going to use the coconut milk immediately, store it in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling. The overripe bananas are usually enough to flavor the ice cream, but if you’re still looking for additional sweetness, I advise using a natural sweetener, such as Luo Han or stevia.
Why Is Banana Ice Cream Good for You?
You can get 467 milligrams of potassium, a nutrient that’s essential for regulating your heart rate and blood pressure, from a single banana. This flexible fruit also offers 28 percent of the daily recommended value for vitamin B6, which is helpful for preventing anemia and coronary artery disease.
Other healthful ingredients in banana include flavonoids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta- and alpha-carotenes, which act as free radical-scavenging antioxidants. This fruit also offers fiber, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin C.
Raw Organic Milk
High-quality raw milk offers a mountain of benefits that you wouldn’t find in pasteurized milk. It offers:
- Healthy bacteria that can nourish your gastrointestinal tract
- Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which fights cancer and boosts metabolism
- Over 60 digestive enzymes, growth factors, and immunoglobulins (antibodies)
- Amino acids, proteins, and beneficial raw fats that are 100 percent digestible and in a highly bioavailable form
- Highly bioavailable vitamins (A, B, C, D, E), and a very balanced blend of minerals (magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus) whose absorption is enhanced by live lactobacilli
Warning: Pasteurized Ice Cream Has Been Linked to Illness and Death
I’m sure that this easy ice cream recipe will be a sure hit among your family and friends. Healthy desserts are not easy to find nowadays, and even the most innocent-looking ones you see today – may actually be chockfull of unhealthy ingredients and additives that can cripple your health.
What’s more, there have been reports of sickness and death from eating pasteurized ice cream. In 2015, at least three people were found to have died while 10 have fallen ill due to listeria-contaminated Blue Bell ice cream products when listeria bacteria were found in tests of its half-gallon ice cream containers, causing the company to pull out all of its products from store shelves.
Listeria contamination was traced back to the Blue Bell manufacturing plant as early as 2013, and the bacteria was found on non-food-contact surfaces like floors and pallets used to store ingredients.
This is why I recommend consuming homemade and homegrown foods as much as possible. By preparing your own meals and desserts, you not only have control over the taste and serving size, but you can also be 100 percent certain that you’re following proper cleaning and sanitation practices to ensure that you only serve safe, nutritious meals to your loved ones.
Sources and References