Banana “Ice Cream”

So guess what I had for breakfast this morning… Banana “Ice Cream.” Yeah. That’s right.

It’s a recipe that was a few days in the making because I’d frozen the bananas a few days ago, and have been threatening to make this ever since. I got home from playing tennis too late last night to eat anything (I had originally figured “ooh, banana ice cream = potassium” after tennis), so I decided “oooh how ’bout for breakfast?” Bam.

I got this recipe from Drew over at How to Cook Like Your Grandmother, and as usual (remember the brownies?) he did not misrepresent the easiness and tastiness of this recipe. (Also, I know he didn’t invent this recipe – as evidenced by some of the unnecessary comments on his post – but his was the first I’d heard of it.) I got excited about it because as much as I love to eat ice cream, my body doesn’t much care for dairy. This is completely dairy free! (as long as you don’t add any yourself)

Your ingredients, for roughly 2 servings:

  • 1.5-2 bananas
  • 2 Tbsp hazelnuts (pre-chop)
  • 1.5 Tbsp coconut
  • 2 tsp or so Almond Milk (or regular milk if you want)

When you have some ripe bananas, mine weren’t super ripe but I couldn’t wait, cut them into about 2″ segments, and pop them on some wax paper, on a cookie sheet, in the freezer. Drew recommends letting them freeze at least an hour, but I had mine in there for a couple of days. (Note – After a few hours I removed them from the cookie sheet and put them in a freezer bag.)

I decided to make mine a breakfast sundae, so I went with chopped hazelnuts and some coconut as a topping. My favorite combo is Banana and Almond, so I’ll try that next time, but this was totally inspired at 7:30am. Ideally you’ll want to use skinless hazelnuts, the skin is quite bitter, but I didn’t feel like trying to remove the skins. (Fairly simple, but time consuming.) Please buy skinless nuts or plan ahead better than I did. It didn’t taste as good as it could have.

Anyways, chop up your hazelnuts (I used about 2 Tbsp pre-chop, and realized it was a lot) so you can toast them before putting them on the sundae.

Now, there are no precise measurements for this, but you need to make sure you have enough in the processor that it can actually do its job. Basically, it’s hard to gauge amounts for one serving, so I threw in about a banana and a half, and had plenty for two people in the end. (Yes, those are frozen, they look just like they did before freezing – I don’t know why I thought they’d look different, but I did!)

Pulse a bunch of times (I probably did like 20 times) so the bananas have a chance to be chopped up. Hold onto the processor, mine was a-jumping. Then, after it’s chopped into significantly smaller pieces, turn it on and let ‘er rip!

While that’s being smushed, throw your chopped hazelnuts along with about 1 Tbsp of the coconut into a dry skillet, and put it on low (no kidding, I had it on 1). Stir around a bit until it gets toasty. How do you know when it’s ready? Great question. You will smell it – the smell of toasted coconut and hazelnut is unmistakeable and you won’t want to wait any longer.

Now, I reached a point with the bananas where they seemed to clump up and not move anymore. (See pic below) To remedy this, I added a bit of almond milk (maybe like 2 tsp). Drew says you don’t have to, but it makes the process quicker, so I figured why not.

I don’t know if it helped any, as I had to stop it a couple more times to scrape down the side and get everything back into the blades, but what I ended up with was without a doubt creamy and ice cream like…

Heap some of that into a bowl and you’re all set! (Looks just like ice cream, doesn’t it?)

Well… add your toppings, and NOW you’re all set. This was a wonderful breakfast. See that picture above? I ate that exact bowl you see there this very morning. I was worried it was going to be turbo charged banana flavor, but it was a lot milder than I expected – in a good way. Make sure to eat it kind of fast, not to the point of brain freeze or anything, because it starts turning a little gummy once it gets warmer.

Now here is where I’ll answer the question you didn’t ask, but were going to. You can’t use any other fruit but banana for this, and by that I mean a bowl of frozen blueberries will not (on its own) blend into a creamy concoction. Of course, you can add in anything you’d like, but the consistency of the banana itself is what makes this so similar to ice cream.

Also – supposedly this won’t taste as good if you make it ahead and put it back in the freezer, but since I have my second portion at home still waiting, I’ll let you know! **UPDATE – this was totally fine a second time. It was frozen rock hard, but after it thawed on the drive to work (about 15 mins) it was just as creamy and tasty as it had been originally. Good to know!**

Now, as you make and enjoy these treats at home, please think of me and share any of the topping combos you may come up with! You can do all different kinds of nuts and fruits, but you can also add in chocolate chips, sprinkles, and any other ice cream toppings you normally enjoy. I have a feeling I’ll be making this pretty often… It’s so easy and, gasp, good for you too!


  1. Jessie this looks delicious!! I always love your photos. Your topping idea looks great! I love the banana/chocolate combo, but for breakfast your hazelnuts and coconut were much better I’m sure. 🙂

  2. YUM-OH! I’m definitely going to have to try this before the weather turns!!!

    1. Definitely do, and let me know what you put on top!

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