One-Ingredient Ice Cream

Did that title pique your interest?

It did mine when I first saw it on the internet. In fact, this little phenomenon has been popping up on food blogs all over the place lately. Maybe you’ve heard of it referred to as “Nice Cream?” If you’re like me you’re probably wondering what could possibly possess all of the properties necessary so that just the item itself could be enough to magically transform into ice cream. Right? Apparently bananas.

I’ll admit I was very skeptical. When I think of banana ice cream, I think of something more like THIS. And obviously a frozen banana isn’t going to compare. But I have to say I was very surprised and very pleased with the results. Somehow whipping up frozen banana chunks creates some magical reaction and really does turn it into a creamy-smooth ice cream-like substance. Wanna see how?

Ingredient & Equipment Notes

  • Food processor or blender – This recipe will work in pretty much any food processor. A high powered blender (Blendtec, Vitamix, Ninja Pro, etc.) will work as well.
  • Add-ins – If you’d like, feel free to blend in a little peanut butter, Nutella, or cinnamon-sugar. You can also blend in a few frozen raspberries or blueberries for a fruity twist.
  • Bananas – Bananas can tend to get a bitter taste to them after freezing and it’s intensified if they’re under-ripe So definitely use very ripe bananas for this. They shouldn’t be brown-mushy-banana-bread-ripe, but ripe. I found the best ones to be like the ones below, where the outsides were spotty but the insides weren’t brown yet at all. They were super sweet.

How To Make One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

  1. Try it with about 3 medium bananas. Slice or dice into small pieces (to make the blending part easier) and place in the freezer. Place frozen banana chunks into a food processor.


2. Can you guess the next step? Ya, blend those babies up. Depending on the size of your food processor, the amount of bananas, and how frozen they are, you may have to stop it a few times and scrape and mush the mixture around. I’ve had to do that every time.


The first time I tried this I was concerned when my mixture never turned into anything resembling ice cream. It just looked like tiny little grains, much like couscous!


But all I had to do was grab a spatula and when I stirred them even the tiniest bit, ta-da!


Sure enough it was smooth, creamy, and looked just like ice cream!

3. Now looking like ice cream is one thing, but what about the taste and texture? I was very surprised to find that this stuff actually feels like ice cream in my mouth. It tastes like- let’s be real here, bananas. But it’s still quite delish. One of the great things you can do is add some mix-ins to the food processor along with bananas. Sure it won’t make it “one” ingredient ice cream anymore, but it’s sure yummy. I tried one batch with some cinnamon-sugar, one with a spoonful of peanut butter, and our personal favorite: a scoop of heaven. Er…I mean, Nutella.


It’s really amazing how much frozen bananas can resemble ice cream.


The true test? This one:


Not only was this 4 year-old super happy to be eating a treat, he had noooo idea it was just bananas.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I make this ahead and freeze it? As is, this banana ice cream comes out like soft serve. For a more scoopable texture, pop it in the freezer for a bit. For longer freezing, make sure it is sealed tight to prevent freezer burn. You may need to let is sit out to soften for a bit if completely frozen.

Related Recipes

Looking for other ice cream ideas? Consider these Our Best Bites Favorites:

Ice Cream Crunch Bars (Tastes like Fried Ice Cream!)
Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream
Snickerdoodle Ice Cream
Caramelized Banana Ice Cream

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, then come back and give this recipe a rating!

Easy, One-Ingredient Ice Cream

One-Ingredient Ice Cream

This ice cream is bananas-- literally! Frozen bananas make the perfect base for a sweet, frozen treat. Add cinnamon-sugar, peanut butter, or Nutella for a fun twist.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe bananas just beginning to show brown spots on the peel but the insides have not yet begun to brown-- not underripe but also not as ripe as you would use for banana bread
  • OPTIONAL ADD INS
  • cinnamon-sugar
  • peanut butter
  • Nutella

Instructions

  • Slice or dice bananas into small pieces (to make the blending part easier) and place in freezer until frozen through, at least a few hours.
  • Place frozen banana chunks into a food processor and blend.  Depending on the size of your food processor, the amount of bananas, and how frozen they are, you may have to stop it a few times and scrape and mush the mixture around. I've had to do that every time.
  • The mixture may look crumbly and resemble cous cous. Just grab a spatula, stir it, and watch as it transforms into perfect soft serve banana ice cream.
  • If using, blend in your desired add ins to taste and serve.
Keyword: banana, dessert, frozen treats, fruit, ice cream
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. You'll enjoy knowing that right before I clicked to submit my comment I noticed I wrote "I'm writing my posts way 'to' late at night" hahaha

  2. Wow, talk about a slip! I think I was subconsciously thinking of myself as a jerk 🙂

    The editor gets edited!

  3. Chaviva- I definitely know the difference between all of the spellings! My mistake just means that 1. I'm writing my posts waaay too late at night, and 2. Kate isn't paying attention today because she's the resident grammar nazi around here! Thanks for pointing it out, I'll go edit!

    By the way, did you mean "hate" to be a jerk? Because the word "had" doesn't make much sense in your sentence 😉

  4. I had to be a jerk, but the phrase is "pique" your interest 🙂

    Peak = mountain peak
    Peek = to peek through the bushes at someone
    Pique = to spark the interest of

    🙂 Looks delish!

  5. We love banana ice cream! I buy around 15 pounds of bananas at a time when they go on sale because they're getting too ripe, then freeze them. We usually use soy milk too because I like them thinner. Cinnamon and Nutmeg make a "eggnog" tasting ice cream.

  6. Just tried this and it was great. I don't like bananas, but I liked this because it didn't have the texture of bananas. An added bonus to it being only one ingredient was that my 7 month old could eat food right out of Mommy's bowl–which made her very happy.

    I think I'd freeze my bananas a little longer next time. Mine were only in the freezer about four hours. They mixed up smooth in the food processor, but were a bit more melty than if the bananas were frozen more.

  7. This looks great! I love, love ice cream and would eat it for just about every meal if I could. Has anyone else tried different add-ins? I'm thinking chocolate chips would be a good addition in the food processor. Maybe even a swirl of strawberry jelly by hand too. The possibilities are endless!!

  8. This would work great as a "trying-to-lose-my-baby-pounds" after pregnancy treat instead of something else I might make a grab for…like a candy bar…or real ice cream. This recipe will definitely be filed with my "to-make" recipes!

  9. Yumm! I've made a "milkshake" using frozen banana and a bit of milk and a hand blender, but I've never tried straight bananas. It sounds delicious.

  10. I wonder if I could put pureed bananas into the ice cream maker . . . hmmmm . . .

  11. I've read about this on other blogs and was intrigued but now that it was posted on this tried-and-true blog, I'll definitely be trying it. I've always loved banana milkshakes (frozen bananas and milk in the blender) so I'm sure this will be great. Can't wait to see if my fruit-hating two year old goes for it.

  12. Wow… I had not heard about this!

    I am going to have to get some nanners and let them get brownish just so I can give this a try!

  13. I have some bananas on the counter that look just like yours. I was contemplating whether or not to throw them away, but now I have something to do with them. Thanks!

  14. Wos amazing idea I am never ever going to throw away a black banana ever again.Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  15. Sorry Ryley- not many! Some people have had luck using a really powerful blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix, but I don't even thing those work that well for this. You might just have to eat a frozen banana on a stick 🙂

    Actually, you could try grating it with a cheese grater, and then stirring it up. That might actually work…

    1. Hi – I actually used an old blender that we have had for over 20 years (I think it’s an Osterizer). Looking forward to getting a replacement Vita-Mix but…the blender I have will do for now. Not very powerful anymore but it did the trick and make yummy creamy ice-cream out of the frozen bananas. Just make sure you stop every 10-20 seconds to scrape or push down the frozen stuff.

      Good luck!

  16. Okay. so no juicer.. no food processor.

    What other options do I have to make this???

  17. My siblings were intolerant to milk, so while I was growing up my parents would freeze bananas (whole) and run them through our Champion juicer with the blank. It made for yummy "ice cream". I have a Champion juicer and have done the same, but I think I might try my food processor next time I get a hankering for banana ice cream! It looks like the texture will resemble ice cream more this way.

  18. OMG, my son is gonna FLIP OUT! The kid eats 2-3 bananas per day. Perhaps this will nudge his sisters into eating some as well! Thanks!!

  19. Cool mommy points are always a must. =) Reminds me of Bill Cosby's let them have chocolate cake for breakfast routine.

  20. We have been making Banana Ice cream in my omega juicer for about 8 years. I think it would work in a pasta extruder too. Frozen bananas in one side, soft serve banana ice cream cone out the other side. This is the only kind of ice cream my children had for years.

    Extra bonus, an NONE fruit eating, I hate bananas preteen started eating bananas every day in this form. So, not only for the banana lover!

  21. What a great idea!! I'm always craving something sweet after dinner, but don't want unhealthy ice cream. I will CERTAINLY be giving this a try.

  22. We have a gelato store in Princeton that sells "banana whip" which is exactly what you posted – frozen bananas. They use a machine from Italy to whip the bananas in a gelato form, but now I'm going to try your food processor method.

  23. Brilliant! I can't wait to try it out ~ like so many other recipes & ideas on your site! LOVE YOU two!!

  24. Oh what a wonderful idea! I always crave ice cream so this frozen bananas would be excellent for me whenever I crave ice cream. 🙂

  25. This is totally MY post:) First, I LOOOVE bananas. I usually eat one every morning. Second, I'm getting my tonsils out in 2 wks and guess what…I think this will be my "ice cream" of choice. Yipee…a lot less calories. And third, my husband just bought me a food processor for my anniversary and it's dying to be used. I have no excuses now.

  26. What a great idea. Love it. I am a banana holic LOL

    Heads up about our $50 give away. Nothing to do but comment.

    gafoodies.blogspot.com