I am excited to bring you this post. Lately I’ve been making varieties of frozen fruit ice cream on the daily and wanted to put together a post of a few of my favorite flavors that incorporate coconut milk as well.

Frozen bananas made into an ice-cream style treat was a marvelous discovery for me. There are so many opportunities for an innovative approach to this dessert while maintaining satisfaction via a nutritious alternative. I typically would add cacao powder, nibs, roasted hazelnuts, vanilla and some salt and be in heaven. The possibilities are endless, for chocolate lovers and haters alike, while having potential for therapeutic nutrition as well. You are in control of what goes into your bowl and body. The potassium content is quite high in these recipes, has no refined sugars added, coupled with fiber content to assist in blood glucose control, as well as contains nutritious fats. These creamy frozen treats would be great for those with hypertension, diabetes (watch carbohydrate intake, although the fat and fiber can alleviate blood sugar fluctuations), and those with weight management needs.

Find yourself downing a pint of store bought ice-cream frequently? It’s so easy, I know. Four servings on the nutrition facts label? Good luck. While there is nothing wrong with eating ice cream (please do enjoy!), frequent intake of added sugars, preservatives and other highly processed, low quality forms of “food” does not align with my path of wellbeing and preventative health. Therefore, I am happy when I indulge in a bowl of various frozen fruits and quality add-ins to support my daily intake of balanced nutrition and mindful eating.

I do not usually add the coconut milk, but wanted to increase the fat content, balance flavors and try something new. I was pleased with the addition and will alternate with this ingredient again in the future. There were so many directions I could’ve taken these flavors in, but my current cravings guided today’s post. My goal is to do a series of flavor alternatives throughout the seasons.

I love eating this pre or post workout, whenIgethomefromwork treat, weekend breakfast, or nighttime dessert. Hmm, I suppose anytime. I love this because when I don’t want banana, I can use any fruit, but today we use the banana. It’s so creamy; it balances the flavor and texture so well. I don’t ever find the banana overpowers the intended flavor.

This was a fun post and photography session. I started to experiment with watercolor painting recently and found it quite therapeutic and creatively challenging. My aim is abstract, and it’s so easy to screw up color blending and patterns, but the challenge of correcting the issue to result in a piece I would not throw away is fun. Perhaps one day I will read a watercolor guide…Anyway, I noticed parallels between the abstract art and the ice-cream during the photography shoot for the blog; it was particularly engaging to play around with the toppings and melted ice-cream on the sheet pan.

It is important that the bananas are very ripe (brown spot status) prior to freezing and that you peel the banana PRIOR to freezing. It is a terrible experience trying to peel a frozen banana with peel on. Good luck, have fun. Break the peeled, ripe banana in pieces, about 1 inch, and place in freezer safe bag or container. Bananas will be ready to use once frozen. You could also freeze the coconut milk in an ice tray prior to making, that way the ice-cream will be more solid and not require additional freezing. I will do this next time as well, so that the ice-cream will be solidified immediately after blending. Do make sure to shake the coconut can well prior to opening and/or mix well prior to separation for individual recipes. The cream tends to separate out on top in the can, and we want this delicious fat present in all recipes.

This recipe requires a food processor or blender that can handle frozen fruit.

 

-FLAVORS-

+ Cinnamon | Date | Vanilla

There is a part of me that wants to call this snickerdoodle, or recommend it to those who enjoy snickerdoodles and other cinnamon based, oatmeal raisin type flavors, yet I have never tried a snickerdoodle. Who wants to choose vanilla over chocolate? Insult. I could never. In this case, this flavor is quite delicious and warm..The vanilla and cinnamon pair so well together, coupled with the banana, subtle coconut and dates to add that caramel-esque touch. This was a very satisfying flavor, which surprised me since I am such a chocolate lover.

 

+Ingredients:

2 cups frozen bananas (~1 inch pieces; ~272g)

100 g unsweetened, original/full fat coconut milk (1/4 can of coconut milk)

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract (no corn syrup added)

pinch of salt (I used finely ground himalayan salt); adjust to taste

3 large medjool dates, chopped

 

+Directions:

Place frozen bananas in food processor and blend until somewhat smooth

Add in coconut milk and all other ingredients EXCEPT dates. Blend until incorporated

Add chopped dates and briefly blend just to mix in. You want pieces to be present.

Enjoy! and/or freeze and enjoy a few hours later for a solidified texture. Thaw in fridge as necessary.

 

+Cherry | Almond | Dark chocolate

I had to include this flavor in the post; one of my favorite chocolate and fruit combinations. Cherries and almond extract is a staple flavor for me, and I paired it with roasted almonds, dark chocolate, and cacao nibs. I love love almond extract and could not add enough, but really you can add enough. Be careful. The creamy coconut milk and banana base enveloped the flavors perfectly. I used a bit more coconut milk here to complement the flavors, and overall did not notice any overpowering coconut taste in any of these varieties. This is a refreshing, yet indulgent version.

 

+Ingredients:

2 cups frozen cherries, pitted

1 cup frozen bananas (~1 inch pieces)

200 g unsweetened, original/full fat coconut milk (1/2 can of coconut milk)

~42g dark chocolate (I used 85% cocoa content; 3 large squares)

2 tbsp cacao nibs

1 tsp vanilla extract (no corn syrup added)

1/4-1/2 tsp almond extract

pinch of salt (I used finely ground himalayan salt); adjust to taste

 

+Directions:

Place frozen bananas and cherries in food processor and blend until somewhat smooth

Add in coconut milk and all other ingredients EXCEPT nibs and dark chocolate. Blend until incorporated

Add nibs and dark chocolate and blend a bit to mix. You want the pieces to be broken up, but still present.

Enjoy! and/or freeze and enjoy a few hours later for a solidified texture. Thaw in fridge as necessary.

 

+Coffee | Roasted almond | Nibs

MMMM. The crunchies in anything are my weak spot. I love a ton of toppings in and on anything. I do miss my daily coffee, but am better without it. The flavor here of salty bittersweet chocolate coupled with coffee and vanilla and roasted nuts make me very happy. I used a coarsely ground dark roast coffee that is divine with dark chocolate and probably most things in life.

 

+Ingredients:

2 cups frozen bananas (~1 inch pieces; ~272g)

100 g unsweetened, original/full fat coconut milk (1/4 can of coconut milk)

1.5 tsp ground coffee (I used dark roast)

1 tsp vanilla extract (no corn syrup added)

pinch of salt (I used finely ground himalayan salt); adjust to taste

2 tbsp cacao nibs

1/4 cup roasted, unsalted almonds

 

+Directions:

Place frozen bananas in food processor and blend until somewhat smooth

Add in coconut milk and all other ingredients EXCEPT nibs and almonds. Blend until incorporated

Add almonds and nibs and blend a bit to mix. You want the pieces to be broken up a bit, but still present.

Enjoy! and/or freeze and enjoy a few hours later for a solidified texture. Thaw in fridge as necessary.

Creating these flavors was super fun; I felt like I had my own ice-cream shop. What I truly love most about this dessert is that I know the nutritional value of what I’m creating for myself and putting into my body. I feel great afterward and do not feel deprived of my food choices or behaviors. I still don’t want to be eating bananas all day long, but I’m satisfied with a bowl of this treat on occasion and sometimes even daily when I feel like it. This is real food, nourishing the body and palate.

Do you prefer store bought ice-cream or homemade? What are your favorite fruit based ice-cream flavors and toppings? Let me know in the comment section below.

 

xx

4 Comments

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  1. Taylor

    Such beautiful photos! I need to make this form of ice cream a habit, not a weekly Ben&Jerry’s run! If I were to make a big batch, how long would it keep in the freezer? Any recommended storage solutions? If it even makes it that long… :) Thank you

    • This will keep in the freezer for a very long time- I’d say months. It will get very hard though, so you will need to defrost in the fridge for a few hours to desired texture. Or, if you have a super high speed blender that could blend in the frozen state, you can try that before eating. I haven’t had success with this though as my blenders are not that powerful.
      Ideally store in a glass tupperware container that is freezer safe, or you could use a freezer safe plastic container as well. I am not sure if that would alter the taste at all, but shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

      Thank you :)

  2. Jackie Mikulski

    Very clever, this looks so good! I want to try the cherry/almond/chocolate one! This would be a much better option than the BOGO B&J I’m about to have ;)
    And it looks a lot simpler to make than I would have imagined- I need to get on it!