Banana Soft Serve

Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice Cream" - Creamy All Natural Dairy Free Dessert

Bananas may seem commonplace in our kitchens today, but that wasn’t always the case. Immediately following the Civil War bananas were imported to the US from Jamaica. It was a lengthy trip, sometimes taking a few weeks to arrive, which made them quite exotic. At first only the upper class could afford bananas, which sold for 10 cents each (equivalent to $2 in modern times). To hide their shape, which some folks back then deemed “provocative,” the bananas were peeled, sliced and wrapped in foil before being sold. I suspect the foil also helped to disguise that the bananas were overripe by the time they were ready for sale.

Today, bananas are much more prevalent and thankfully far more affordable. Bananas are as convenient as they are versatile; I am always finding new ways to use them. About a year ago my friend T told me that she tosses frozen bananas into her food processor to make “banana ice cream.” The only ingredient is frozen bananas! I told her that her method is very clever, but perhaps we should call it “banana soft serve” since there is no cream involved. She agreed, we made a batch, and the rest is history!

Food processor banana soft serve is now the most popular dessert in my home, especially during the hot summer months. It’s healthy, dairy free and completely natural. I love that you don’t need to add sugar to sweeten it; the dessert is completely made from fruit, sweetened only by Mother Nature. This stuff is seriously delicious, and it’s a great way to extend the life of bananas that are just on the verge of being overripe… you can freeze them, pop them in bags and store them for later. The only limit is your imagination! It’s also incredibly versatile; you can add a variety of ingredients to make different flavors including other frozen fruits, spices, peanut butter, or cocoa powder.

Today I’m providing the basic method for banana soft serve with no add-ins. Over the next several weeks I’ll be sharing some other fun banana soft serve recipes to liven up your summer kitchen. Stock your freezer with frozen banana and get ready to party!

Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice Cream" - Creamy All Natural Dairy Free Dessert

Banana Soft Serve

Ingredients

  • Bananas (5 or more)

You will also need

  • Baking sheet or plate(s), parchment paper, freezer, food processor
Prep Time: 8 - 12 Hours
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Servings: Varies - 1 pound banana slices = 3-4 servings
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Line a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice bananas into 1/2 inch rounds and place them on the parchment evenly spaced. You can fit about 5 medium-sized bananas on one standard-sized baking sheet, and you will end up with about 1 pound of frozen banana. Freeze the banana pieces for a few hours up to overnight, or until firm. Don't freeze them for longer than 24 hours or they may start to brown, get freezer burn and lose their flavor.
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice CreamRemove the pieces from the cookie sheet and immediately place them into Ziploc bags (they thaw quickly!). Weigh each bag as you fill them to 1 pound of banana in each (about 3 1/2 cups banana slices). Remove the air from each bag before placing back in the freezer. I like preparing 1 pound batches of bananas this way so that they're easy to grab and make whenever we feel like a quick dessert. This 1 pound portion of bananas seems to be the best for blending smoothly and easily in our processor. Alternatively you can freeze the slices in bags without first putting them on the cookie sheets, but they will stick together as they freeze and it will be harder to blend them.
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice CreamWhen you're ready to prepare the sorbet, fit your food processor with the blade attachment and pour the frozen banana pieces in. You can also attempt this in the blender, but it is much more difficult to avoid clumping and to get things to mix evenly. If you have a food processor, use it!
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice CreamStart by pulsing the frozen banana a few times until small crumbles form.
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice CreamContinue processing. As you do so you'll notice the banana mixture clumping or sticking from time to time. Open the processor and use a spatula to spread the mixture out evenly throughout the processor so that it processes smoothly.
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice CreamContinue processing, periodically stirring with the spatula, until the mixture becomes smooth and has the consistency of soft serve ice cream.
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice CreamScoop the soft serve into bowls and serve immediately.
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice CreamThis is a basic recipe for basic banana soft serve, and it's great as-is, but it can easily be changed and improved by adding other ingredients-- cocoa powder, peanut butter, or other frozen fruits. Note: this recipe is gluten free, dairy free and nut free as written. Any additional ingredients may render it less allergy friendly; add with care!
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice CreamI will be sharing other variations on this theme over the next few months. Enjoy!
  • Banana Soft Serve - Recipe for One-Ingredient Food Processor Banana “Ice Cream

Research Source:

Jenkins, Virginia Scott (2000). Bananas: An American History. Smithsonian Books. US.

Comments (46)Post a Comment

    1. Jennifer– yes! But it only tastes good for a day or so. It does firm it up nicely though and makes it more “scoopable.” You will need to take it out a few minutes before serving to let it soften a bit like ice cream. :)

    1. Annie absolutely! It will firm up quite a bit in the freezer, you just need to take it out a few minutes before you plan to serve to let it soften a bit (like ice cream).

  1. Tori, I have been doing this for 23 years, since my son was about 7 or 8 months old. It helped with his teething and he loved bananas. I love to eat it too. Makes great smoothies.

    1. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
      Can’t wait to see what other fruits you can use for this. I have a very restricted diet and bananas are too carby , I would love a dessert !!! Haven’t had one in months !!!! Thanks for your great posts

  2. Thanks for sharing is horrible simple Banana sorbet. With the modern blender that can blend Ice cubes, I often freeze any fruits that cut into big cubes and blend with some milk powder. Eg Ice cubes with cocoa drinks or coffee drinks, frozen strawberries and milk powder and ice cubes, cooked yam/ taro with sugar and ice cubes, Pure taro ice cream with no purple colouring and essence added.

  3. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    There’s a machine available through Amazon called “Yonanas” made specifically for this. It’s fantastic.

  4. I had frozen whipped bananas at a park festival a few weeks ago. The vendor offered various toppings – nuts, shredded coconut, granola, M&Ms, etc. I was trying to figure out how they prepared the bananas. Now, I know!

  5. Tried to make this the other night… Didn’t quite turn out as good as yours… Actually my attempt was BAD :( It ended up kind of a gooey soupy mess. Not really sure what I did wrong. Any tips?

    1. Hi Stephanie, you likely let the bananas defrost too much, they defrost VERY quickly once taken out of the freezer. Make sure they are fully frozen (I usually do them at least overnight to be safe), and take them straight from the freezer to the food processor. Better luck next time!

    2. Must have been that! Didn’t let them freeze overnight… was TOO excited for the end result :D hehe. Next time I will have to be more patient. Also, does it work with a blender?

    3. Yes, it will work with a blender but it is MUCH more awkward. It works best if you have a high-powered Vitamix or something similar. If using a blender, you’ll need to stir often with the tamper or a long spoon to break up larger chunks that get caught in the blades. It may help to blend the frozen banana in smaller batches, adding a little at a time once each batch is blended. I much prefer the food processor, but it can be done. Good luck!

  6. This is great because I hate eating mushy bananas and I didn’t want to spend money on one of those Yonanas – I hate kitchen gadgets that have just one use! I will be doing this soon!

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