I’ve been dying to share this recipe with you guys. I really have. For years I’ve made “Banana Soft Serve” with simply blended frozen bananas, but I was recently inspired by Food Babe to add some coconut cream. After playing around with recipe for a while, I have to admit, I shocked myself. This is so. creamy. and. decadent. It tastes just as it sounds – like coconut banana ice cream. Hence the unbelievably clever CocoNana Ice Cream.
Dairy-free ice creams are having a serious moment because of the growing number of lactose intolerant, dairy allergic and dairy avoider consumers. I personally eat the sh*t out of dairy. But…using coconut cream instead of dairy in this recipe really ups the health factor and makes it pretty much guilt free. Ugh, I can’t believe I just said that, I hate that term. But you get what I’m saying.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t stop reading! Honestly, most of the time I’m too lazy to get out my ice cream maker. But if you have one, you should FOR SURE try this out in it because it’s so creamy and delicious. Anyways, I have a non-ice cream maker option that’s just as good. I also decided to test this recipe using dates instead of sugar for all the refined sugar haters out there (me). It turned out perfectly, but I noticed after several hours in the freezer the texture wasn’t nearly as smooth as the agave sweetened version.
This makes the perfect bedtime snack.
Well, maybe not perfect. The amount of added sugar wouldn’t make this ideal every night. However, if you are making this in the blender instead of the ice cream maker, you COULD totally skip the agave altogether and just add a little stevia to sweeten it up. But in the ice cream maker, you’ll need the agave. Trust me – I’m a total ice cream geek. Here we go.
Coconut Cream: Healthy fat & fat burner. Using the fatty coconut cream is what is going to give you a similar texture to ice cream. Fat is necessary in ice cream to reduce ice crystals. Ice crystals = icy, not-so-creamy ice cream.
Banana: High Fiber & Vitamin Rich. Why do I ALWAYS put bananas in my smoothies? Because they’re creamy! They give smoothies a milkshake texture, so duh we’re going to put it in dairy free ice cream. If you make this in the blender, definitely freeze the bananas first.
Agave: Get real, this is sugar. We need it in ice cream to bind with the fat from the coconut cream and inhibit ice crystals. For whatever reason, liquid sugars work better in non-dairy ice cream (with the exception of honey). Maple Syrup would be awesome, too, but agave is a little more neutral which is what I was going for.
Avocado: Healthy fat & fiber. Creaminess. Just trust me on this.
Ice Cream Science
A word about ice cream science – you may alter and experiment with this recipe as you please – and I always encourage you to do so – but ice cream needs a certain amount of fat and sugar to come out perfectly. If you use reduced fat coconut cream or cut back on agave, you’ll definitely get a more icy product. If you really want to reduce the fat or sugar, add a little xanthan gum. Try just 1/4 tsp to start off.
This is so. creamy. and. decadent. It tastes just as it sounds – like coconut banana ice cream. Hence the unbelievably clever CocoNana Ice Cream. No ice cream maker? No problem. Check the notes for an alternative method!
2 cans full-fat coconut milk
2 ripe bananas (freeze if making in a blender)
2/3 cup organic agave nectar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract -or- 1 vanilla bean
Pinch of sea salt
Put your coconut cans in the fridge for a couple of hours. This will cause the cream to rise to the top. That’s the good stuff.
Make sure your ice cream maker canister is totally frozen, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re in the market for an ice cream maker, go Cuisinart.
Flip your cans over so that the bottom is at the top. Open the cans – you’ll be looking at watery liquid. Go ahead and pour that off.
Scrape out the coconut cream into your blender. Add your bananas, agave, avocado, vanilla and salt. Blend well.
Pour mixture into ice cream maker and process according to the directions. If you want the ice cream to harden up a bit, stick in the freezer for a couple of hours.
No ice cream maker? No problem. Use frozen bananas and add a handful of ice to your blender. Easy peasy.
Hate bananas? Hmm.. you’re untrustworthy. But try mango or papaya.
To go totally whole foods on this, use 10 pitted dates instead of the agave. Tested and approved!
Don’t use honey. It’s just weird in ice cream.
Add 1/4 tsp almond, mint or butter extract to switch up the flavor.
Toss in a handful of salty nuts, shredded coconut, sliced bananas or dried cherries towards the end of processing to add some crunch/texture.