One Ingredient Ice Cream, Five Ways

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One Ingredient Ice Cream

Did you know you can make a delicious raw vegan ice cream from just one ingredient? Not in a “one ingredient diet” sense of combining multiple whole-ingredient foods, but really, just one ingredient. Can you guess what it is?

Banana!

The recipe is as simple as the ingredient list: all you have to do is peel and freeze some ripe bananas, then blend them in a food processor. You’ll end up with a sweet, gooey, creamy, frozen desert that looks something like this…

One Ingredient Ice Cream Scoop

With just one ingredient and a food processor, you can go from the first picture to the second in about 30 seconds. It’s quite magical, actually.

Banana Ice Cream Processor

Step One

Take 4-5 ripe bananas (the more ripe the better – they should have at least a few brown spots), peel them, and add to a plastic freezer bag to freeze overnight until they’re completely solid. They will keep for at least a week.

Actually, I always have bananas in my freezer and you should too! You never know when the inspiration for one ingredient ice cream will strike, and they’re also a necessity for just about any good smoothie. There’s nothing worse than wanting to make a super kale shake and realizing you have no frozen bananas!

Step Two

Cut the bananas into 1/2 inch chunks and add them to a food processor. See the banana pieces in the picture above? They’re way too big and they simply caught in the blades and spun around until I got smart and cut them smaller. Save yourself the trouble: use small banana chunks.

After about 45-60 seconds, the bananas should be fully blended into a smooth, creamy, and light frozen dessert. Be careful not to overprocess or the friction from the processor will begin to melt the ice cream. You can enjoy this dessert right away for best results, but it will also freeze well for a day or two.

Four More Amazing Flavor Ideas

One Ingredient Ice Cream Flavors

Oh no, we’re not done yet. This one ingredient banana ice cream is great by itself, but why not throw in a few more ingredients for something really incredible? Below are four more flavor inspirations that kick this recipe to a whole new level. To make each, simply add the following ingredients to the food processor as soon as the banana ice cream is the right consistency and pulse for a few seconds to combine.

Mint Chip Ice Cream

Mint Chip Ice Cream Mint chip was the surprise flavor for me. It tasted exactly like an authentic mint chip ice cream with almost no banana taste at all. It worked so much better than I expected. For this one, combine a few drops of peppermint oil with a handful of dairy-free dark chocolate chips and pulse in the food processor for 10-15 seconds.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream This, too, is absolutely delicious and the color is stunning. Add a few frozen cherries (you can use fresh, but frozen works even better) and a few drops of vanilla to the food processor with the ice cream and pulse until the color becomes a consistent pink. Optional: throw in a few chocolate chunks for a “Cherry Garcia” like flavor.

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream This flavor reminds me a lot of the filling from my no-bake macaroon pie recipe. That’s not surprising since the filling is banana, coconut, and cocoa powder, which is exactly what we’re using here. Add some unsweetened coconut flakes and a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder to the ice cream and process for a few seconds until combined.

Peanut Butter Raisin Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Raisin Ice Cream The inspiration for this flavor is “ants on a log” where you take a banana, coat it in peanut butter, and add raisins (ants) in a row on top. This is like ants on a (blended) log and all the authentic flavors come through perfectly. Take one bite and you won’t believe it’s just peanut butter, banana, and raisins. Simply add a tablespoon or two of peanut butter with a handful of raisins and pulse for about 30 seconds until the peanut butter is fully incorporated.

A cool idea… Putting all these flavors together was a blast and it gave me a great idea: have a one ingredient ice cream party and let everyone make their own flavor combinations. First, make enough “plain” banana ice cream for everyone and store in the freezer. When you’re ready for dessert, line up all potential ingredients (chocolate chips, vanilla, coconut, peanut butter, frozen fruit, nuts, etc. etc.) and let each person add a scoop or two of ice cream and their favorite ingredients to the food processor to create their own unique combination.

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 One Ingredient Ice Cream, Five Ways

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85 Comments

  1. Wow – I wouldn’t ever have believed that bananas could make such a great looking ice cream! The peanut raisin one looks amazing too!

  2. Magdalena says:

    Yum yum yum!! I’ve done the frozen banana before, and it’s amazing!! , but wow thanks for the great flavor combos, I am going to try the mint n chip, and pb/raisin first!! The cherry looks great as well!!

  3. Vincent says:

    You Rock! Thanks for discovering dairy free vegan ice cream!

  4. I think I’m going to serve the peanut butter raisin flavor to my family for breakfast tomorrow. Sounds so good!

  5. That sounds perfect! I think I will add the cinnamon or nutmeg. Yummmmm!!! Thanks for the suggestion, Andrew!

  6. Marian Knowles says:

    I just tried the Cherry Garcia version of your vegan ice cream tonight, delicious. This One Ingredient recipe is going into heavy rotation in my kitchen. Thank you!

  7. I get so happy when I see banana “frozen” ice cream. It is definitely “one-ingredient” recipe! My bf’s sister mentioned about the ice cream and frozen bananas earlier from Kitchn blog, and he made it right away and we fell in love with it already. So cheap, so easy and so goooooood for this hot summer! x

  8. Inspiring! Great answer to no chemical treats for kids. LOVE IT!

  9. I want to try the peanut butter one and add some chocolate and caramel in it.

  10. Ttrockwood says:

    I have been making a LOT of banana ice cream this summer- since i have a regular blender i slice the banana into 10-12 pcs before i freeze it and no more unblended chunks!
    The pb and raisins sound like a great combo. I keep making it with coconut cream and a splash of pineapple juice as a pina colada-y thing….

  11. can you keep the ice cream in the freezer for a few days afterwards or does it go hard and icy?

  12. I LOVE frozen banana ice cream! It’s amazing! I love blending it with a handful of mixed frozen berries and some vanilla. It’s also rather nice with a shot of rum over it for an evening treat ;)
    Also, I had to double-take just then – I’ve always known “Ants on a log” to be Celery, filled with peanut butter and dotted with raisins, so seeing you say that the ice cream was like ants on a log gave me a shock! Banana, peanut butter and raisins sounds far nicer! (I don’t think celery would be too nice in ice cream! lol)

    • That sounds great! I love the rum idea too ;)

      Ah, you’re right about ants on a log being celery instead of banana. Duh! But hey, a peanut butter-covered banana looks like a log too… so we’ll just go with that :)

  13. Anissa Pramesti says:

    Really LOVE this website!! the recipe definitely healthy and tasty too :p i got happy when i see banana for ice cream in my Pinterest, and started following oneingredientchef. Since coconut is easy to get, im goin to try frozen banana with fresh coconut milk, but im afraid the result would be too thick / too hard.

    • Thanks so much, Anissa! Hmm, I do have a recipe from last month for coconut milk ice cream, but that requires an ice cream maker and is quite different than this. Although, you could definitely try mixing the two and see what you get! ;)

  14. hi this was yummy and i liked it very much.
    do you hav another resipe tht is easy? im not alowd to use the oven until im older so I would like something easy to make with my mum

    Thanks

  15. Love your site! Any suggestions on where to buy peppermint oil? Is there a difference between that used for aromatics versus what can be consumed?

    • Thanks, Rachel! It’s definitely different than the aromatherapy oil which isn’t designed to be used in food. You can find peppermint extract usually by the spices, baking supplies, or vanilla extract area of most grocery stories. Especially more health-conscious grocers like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts.

  16. Hi, was just wondering if it can be stored in the freezer or if it goes hard or icy? thanks

    • Hi Kat! I haven’t had great experiences freezing it, it does tend to get harder if frozen for more than 2-3 hours. It’s always best right out of the food processor :)

  17. Hi, just wondering what food processor you used?
    I’ve been making this banana icecream on the daily for over a year now (addicted) but the blender i was using (which did do a great job) just gave up on me.

    Thanks :)

  18. Stephanie bradford says:

    can you add a nectarine to it going to try it out tonight for tonights pudding looking forewords to it .

  19. I tried this with PB2 chocolate flavor and it was amazing! Next time, I’ll try some chopped almonds in it. YUMMY!!!

  20. Love this and make it often, you can do a single serving at a time, which is best for me. Just a tip: cut your banana into “coins” prior to freezing. Much easier! I freeze 1 banana in a Baggie. Lay flat to freeze, then you put the baggies in a little wire basket for easy access later.

  21. Hello! I usually make frozen banana based ice cream in my Vitamix, does this recipe work better in a food processor?

    • Yes, it definitely works better in a food processor. I have a Vitamix too but it just doesn’t have enough surface area around the blades to evenly blend this ice cream. The only way it would work in a Vitamix is if you added extra liquid, but then you’d end up with a banana smoothie, which isn’t an altogether bad thing either… :)

  22. Finally an ice cream i can feed my little man who loses out in the summer because he can’t have dairy. Will be trying this soon. By the way i have tried all the lactose free ones on the market and he don’t like them, But he loves bananas.

  23. Adrienne says:

    Blend frozen bananas, soaked cashews, soy or almond milk to consistency, with or without additional frozen fruit (any berry, cherry or mango) and voila – you have “nice cream.” A dash of Cointreau or vanilla improves the flavor, to my taste. Alternatively you blend the frozen bananas with soaked cashews, instant coffee or espresso granules, soy or almond milk to consistency and a dash of Kahlua or Sabra liqueur — marvelous!

  24. Christi says:

    I have made the banana ice cream before and Love it! but your post inspired me to and since i had fresh strawberries on hand i made Strawberry Banana Ice Cream! YUM! I froze the bananas in chunky slices for an hour and when I put them in the food processor I added the fresh strawberries and then blended them up. It turned out soooooo good! I added strawberry slices and chocolate syrup on top and had a yummy bowl and froze the rest.

    • Ooh, that sounds delicious, Christi! I’ve done something very similar with 2/3 frozen bananas and 1/3 frozen strawberries (and I may have included a few chocolate chips too…) So good. :D

  25. Hello, I bought a vitamix a couple of days ago and after throwing away 3/4 of what I’ve attempted to make for ice cream I am feeling a bit deflated.

    I have a challenge constantly to make a healthy more suitable version for myself as my food intolerances are wheat, yeast, dairy, fructose and white sugar- plus a few other random ones such as anything corn derived or anything fermented- no yoghurt etc.

    So far I have tried almond milk with, cacao powder and ice = slush

    Next I read about freezing almond milk- including the cream = tasted fab but was still rather running, froze it = solid, broke my tub trying to get it out.
    At the same time I tried almond milk, frozen chocolate slush and cacao powder = thicker but slush again.

    I made raspberry sorbet fine and even tried some – which last night resulted in going to bed feeling sick with a constant stabbing pain in my liver. I know I have to eat super clean now so that my body can recover.

    Bananas are a no-go. So I am considering perhaps avocado- should I freeze this? Or use fresh with ice?

    The flavours I am after are: coconut, vanilla and chocolate really.

    I look forward to hearing any advice you can give. Thank you.

    • Ah, I don’t really know for sure, it sounds like you’ve tried a lot of options. The thing with a Vitamix is that it’ll heat the ice cream pretty quickly and it’s almost impossible to get a really firm consistency that actually blends well. Sorbets (as you mentioned) and smoothies are great, but ice cream takes the Vitamix out of its element. For that, you’d probably need an ice cream maker. However, I did create one Vitamix ice cream recipe that might be more like what you’re looking for: http://www.oneingredientchef.com/sexy-strawberry-ice-cream/

      Good luck, and I hope that helps! :)

  26. Victoria says:

    I made this before and loved it! But it was really hard on my blender. Do you think I could blend the bananas first, then freeze after?

    • Hi Victoria! I do recommend using a food processor for this. The larger surface area and bigger blades help give this the right consistency. You could do that, although, that would be even *harder* on your blender because you’d have large chunks of solid ice as opposed to smaller bananas.

      • Victoria says:

        Sorry- what I meant to say was, do you think I could blend the bananas up at room temperature, then put it in the freezer to firm up?

  27. Love from Pakistan. Thanks a bunch andrew for this banana ice cream. My family loves it. Here in Pakistan we have realy nice sweet small size bananas. First i was worried it would not have enough sweet taste for my twin toddlers. I made it and served it with famous Multani mangoes chunks. It was fab. with twin toddlers its a great dessert to serve the guest/urself in mins.

    • Hi Rubab! That sounds so good with the mango chunks. And it’s amazing how much sweetness the bananas have, isn’t it? People always think I’ve added sugar, but it’s just the natural sweetness of this amazing fruit.

  28. I bought a Yonana before I discovered you could use a food processor !! It works really well & can most anything to it except nuts wich can be mixed in later !! Frozen bananas & any frozen fruit , going to try liquid flavors next — coffee-French vanilla !!

    • Very cool! I’m always wanted to try a Yonana, I’m not sure how much different the results would be from a food processor. French vanilla coffee banana ice cream?! Sounds amazing :)

  29. fahimeh says:

    I’ve tested it since last month . Because my doctor advised me not to drink milk. So I can’t eat ice cream . After that I make ice cream with banana, apple,strawberry or orange and date.It’s very delicious. but I’ll test with something that you said ,and thank you.

  30. Its technically an ice cream from the frozen fruit. I love that simple way… Gonna try this with kiwi fruit :) yumyums

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