This banana-coconut nice cream with dark chocolate and strawberries may just be one of the most delicious new additions to your summer. Whether you need to eat dairy-free or not, this is one dessert everyone will enjoy.
Summer and ice cream go hand in hand. Yep, I think we go out for ice cream about once a week in the summer–more when we are traveling!
I’m a total ice cream lover, but I also love to experiment with making foods a little healthier and more plant-based. Not to mention, all that lactose in ice cream no longer agrees with me as much as it did when I was younger.
(Part of intuitive eating is being in tune with your body and choosing foods that make you feel good…which sometimes may be “the real deal” but often will be foods that make you feel good now and later).
Fortunately, making your own dairy-free “nice” cream couldn’t be easier. All you need is a sturdy food processor and a little planning ahead. This recipe requires just 5 ingredients!Whether you need to eat dairy-free or not, this is one dessert everyone will enjoy. Click To Tweet
Pop a few peeled and sliced bananas in a resealable bag in the freezer at least 8 hours before making this recipe. We usually have a bag of quartered bananas on hand in the freezer for smoothies. (Two of favorite summer smoothies are Iced Ginger Turmeric Smoothie and the Strawberry Squash Smoothie.)
While using just bananas makes it tasty, both the taste and satisfaction are elevated with the addition of coconut cream. Like I did in this Vegan Blueberry Banana Soft Serve, I used the solid part of canned coconut milk that forms after refrigeration. You basically refrigerate your coconut milk overnight, open, and scoop out the solid part. You can use the remaining solid part and liquid to make a delicious smoothie. Just transfer it to a glass jar with a cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
You can use fresh or frozen strawberries, I opted for frozen since that’s what I had on hand. I also think the frozen strawberries hold up better in the food processor.
As for the dark chocolate. Choose a premium, fair-trade dark chocolate with 70% cocoa for maximum flavor and flavanols. These bars can be pricey, but I often find that at least one brand is on sale at our local Whole Foods or Target.
Maple Syrup (optional)
I enhanced the flavor of the coconut cream with a tablespoon of maple syrup, but this is totally optional. The sweetness of the bananas makes this “ice cream” sweet enough on their own too.
Make it Your Own
If the combination of chocolate and strawberries isn’t your thing, or you don’t have strawberries on hand–go ahead and make it with just chocolate. Or get crazy and add some peanut butter. Yum.
However, I will say, I was surprised that even my kids loved this combination. I will totally be making this again.
- 3 frozen bananas (peeled and quartered or sliced before freezing)
- ½-3/4 cup chilled coconut milk*
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
- ½ cup + 2 T frozen strawberries, chopped
- ⅓ cup + 2 T chopped 70% dark chocolate (about ½ of a 3.5-ounce bar)**
- *Chilling the coconut milk will help separate the solid coconut fat from the liquid. To make creamy ice cream, use the solid part. (Save any leftover coconut milk to use in a smoothie or curry sauce; be sure to transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate. Use within 3 days.)
- **Make sure dairy-free and gluten-free if needed.
- Place bananas, coconut cream, and maple syrup in a high-powered food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. (This process may take 3-5 minutes).
- Mix in ½ cup chopped strawberries and ⅓ cup chopped dark chocolate. Process until just mixed.
- Transfer to a bread loaf pan or a glass storage container. Sprinkle with the remaining strawberries and dark chocolate. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes or more.
- Remove from the freezer and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!