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Eat It: All-Natural, 100-Calorie, No-Fat 'Ice Cream'

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I love to read food and healthy living blogs in my spare time. In the last few weeks, I've been seeing the same frozen treat pop up in various incarnations all over the healthy living blogosphere: banana soft-serve "ice cream."

With a mild intolerance to lactose, I can't even glance at ice cream without getting a bellyache. I rely on soy and coconut versions when I have a craving, but the former have an ingredient list as long as my arm and the latter are expensive! When I heard that there was a way to make soft-serve ice cream with no dairy, no cholesterol, no artificial ingredients, no added sugar and no preservatives, I was intrigued but skeptical. Then I saw the results on one of my favorite food blogs.

I decided to give it a whirl. To prepare, I cut up three bananas and put them in a plastic container in the freezer over the weekend. Last night, I broke out my food processor and whipped up a batch of Easy, Breezy Banana Soft Serve.
Served with a drizzle of homemade chocolate syrup on top, this was a simple and decadent dessert.

My 17-year-old meat-and-potatoes eating brother cleaned his bowl, and so did my ice cream snob of a boyfriend. The proof is in the (frozen banana) pudding!

There's really no recipe involved, but the instructions and some tips are below.

Freeze some bananas. (I froze four so I could have four servings, but freeze as many or as few as you'd like.)

Place frozen bananas in the bowl of a food processor. (NOTE: This doesn't work with a mixer or blender, so you have to have a food processor.) Pulse several times to break into smaller pieces, then turn on and run for about five minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

The bananas will start to resemble soft serve in a few minutes. It will be chunky and gooey at first and will clump together, but after a few minutes, it will take on a pale yellow, fluffy texture.

Transfer to a bowl and place in freezer for about 15 minutes, if you'd like, or serve immediately. (Makes four 1/2 cup servings)

Serve with your favorite chocolate syrup or ice cream toppings. I mixed a tablespoon of real maple syrup with about 2 t unsweetened cocoa powder (60 calories, 0.5 g fat), but you can use another chocolate syrup or enjoy it plain. The boys want to have this again tonight, and they want to have some peanut butter on top!

Each serving has about 100 calories, depending on the size of the banana you use. If you need a recipe, you can find one here.

Other serving suggestions:
  • This would be a neat, healthful dessert for a dinner party. Make the "ice cream" just before guests arrive, then put in the freezer until dessert. Serve a variety of healthier toppings: Raisins, granola, coconut flakes, berries, low-calorie chocolate sauce, chopped nuts or a drizzle of peanut butter would all be delightful!

  • Or, use this banana ice cream as the basis for a banana split. Forgo the ice cream and banana and top three scoops of soft serve with crushed strawberries, chocolate sauce and crushed pineapple. Add a few chopped peanuts, a small squirt of whipped cream and a cherry. You'll save tons of fat from the ice cream and still get that banana flavor.

  • Mix mini chocolate chips or peanut butter into the bananas before serving.

  • Place a scoop of your banana mixture between two graham crackers (try chocolate ones!) and roll the edges in nuts or granola. Freeze for an hour, then serve. Voilą! Ice cream sandwiches.

Would you try this recipe? What is your favorite better-for-you dessert?

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Will definitly try this, sounds awesome. Report
I have been making banana smoothies for breakfast so I know this banana
"ice cream" will be great. I may as well try with other fruits too. I use soy milk regularly so I will include that in the recipe. Thanks for getting me started. Report
I am so gonna make this. I had been relying on frozen yogurt to calm any ice cream cravings I had, but could it be better. Report
I will be making this soon. I love bananas, baninis, banonos and even banunus. Report
Ok, what is going on here?
I know I didn't read this blog before - I'm not a big banana fan, but may even try this. But this as well as about 5 different blogs last night all show that the spark points were earned - couldn't have been. I'm getting frustrated and not sure where to address my issue.
Frances Report
OMG thank you so much I LOVE Ice cream Report
I will definitely try this. This looks like a REAL healthy food treat! Thanks! Report
I am definitely trying this! I have about 8 frozen bananas in the freezer and I'm going to serve this for dessert tonight. Great idea! Report
This is essentially a frozen banana smoothie. I'm not fond of banana "ice cream" though. I'm also lactose intolerant and when I get a taste for ice cream I grind cashews with water (1:3 ratio), throw in some pitted dates (8 oz.) for sweetness and then add either cocoa, vanilla or other fruit for flavor. Then, I put this mixture in my ice cream maker and it's the best homemade ice cream ever. It's sweet without being too sweet & it's high in protein, for sure with the nuts. Report
I don't have a food processor and I don't think I'd want to try it. Thanks anyway. Report
I used to freeze banana's on a stick also! I love them! Report
years ago, when my son was on a dairy free diet, i used to freeze bananas on a stick. it really is good, much like ice cream and no need for a food processor. Report
I can never use all the bananas I get from a farmers market, so as they start to spot, I peel them , break them in pieces and toss them in zip lock freezer bag with a little citrus juice (to prevent browning). Reduces waste. Report
Sounds great - can't wait to try it! Report
Not to burst any bubbles, but this is just a frozen smoothie that you can make with any fruit. You can also make non-fruit versions using frozen skim milk or fat free yogurt cubes and fat free pudding mix. And they work just fine in my blender and require only a minute or two of processing and have the same consistancy and taste of frozen yogurt or soft serve ice cream. My recipe for graham cracker ice cream sandwiches has been on for years. Report
I've never tried frozen bananas before, but this sounds great! Quick and healthy :-D Report
This is a must try----I can't wait.... Report
Will try it tomorrow...just happen to have 2 frozen bananas. I love ice cream & bananas. Report
I certainly would try it. for now my best ever dessert is my beloved Skinny Cow ice cream Sandwiches. Report
I love frozen bananas. When our kids were little, we used to give them frozen bananas for treats -- and they'd trade them with their friends for toys! My current breakfast treat is bite-size shredded wheat squares with plain low fat yoghurt and frozen banana slices. It's like a decadent dessert for breakfast. Report
Maybe I'll buy a food processor... Report
This is potentially a great way for me to use up bananas. I'm excited to try it! Report
Thank you so much for this wonderful idea for "ice cream." I am allergic to the protein in cow's milk, so I cannot eat "real" ice cream. Soy-based ice cream is so expensive. I found a recipe to make my own, but that's a lot of clean-up with the ice cream maker. For a quick treat, this sounds quick and easy... and I can pop my food processor's "bowl" into the dishwasher with little hassle. Report
Yummy! I am trying this tomorrow!!! Report
I made this for dessert tonite. It was cold (like ice cream) and you eat it with a spoon (like ice cream), but did it taste like soft serve ice cream? My imagination couldn't convince my tastebuds. But for a healthy no-fat, no-sugar frozen concoction it's worth trying again, this time with some additions, like vanilla extract or walnuts. I'd call it Potassium Delight. Report
I would definately try this. I want to save it in my recipes so I would have it. Have to try this week!! Report
I really want a food processor now lol. I love ice-cream and bananas as well, so I def. want to try this! Thanks :) Report
thank you! Report
I was so excited when I saw this blog....untill it got to the part about the bananas. Is there anything that you can sub for the bananas? (because they make me barf)
jen Report
This sounds great! I bought a small sampler cheesecake for dessert tonight, but I may just try this instead. Of course, i dont' know how it'll turn out...since I will be using a Magic Bullet and not a food processor, but I can pulse it, and I can leave it run continuous, so....we shall see. Banana "ice cream" and crushed fresh strawberries. Report
I freeze fruits all the time and have them for any meal plus snacks. I tend to add soy milk and voila a nice smoothie. My recent fave is canned peaches, apricots, pears, and grapes (all frozen) sometimes I add oranges and its really yummy.

I'll also blend this mixture in my vitamix (like a high-end food processor/blender) and then put it in a bowl and back into the freezer for one hour and it tastes like the best "ice cream" with a lot less calories and plenty of nutrition. Report
This will definately motivate me to buy a food processor. Report
Just tried it (yes, it would help to peel the banana before freezing it, LOL!).
Uhhh.... I don't think I need this again. Basically, it's a very cold, mushy banana.
If you dig it, dig in! I've had it for life.
Thanks for sharing!! Report
Sounds so good. Wish I had a food processer. Report
I love this!! I'm lactose intolerant and I can't eat ice cream but I LOVE frozen bananas. I cannot wait to try this!! Report

Absolutely! I have company coming this weekend and I was looking for something extra, yet simple. This is it! Report
When it comes to healthy desserts, frozen bananas are the best. I use them all the times to make frozen yogurt and sorbet. That's why I always have frozen bananas in my freezer. Love you recipe. Thanks! Report
This is great! Ice Cream is my favorite treat and bannana is an awesome flavor. Keep the great recipes coming. Report
nah! Only a few places I like my banana - the fruit itself, in a muffin and in a bread. Otherwise, meh. Report
Vegan and healthy, my two favorite things in a food!
Awesome!!!! Report
OMG this sounds wonderful-I just bought bananas today and will be making this tomorrow-thanks!!! Report
I wish I liked bananas but I don't care for the taste. The individual peaches cups sounds interesting. Any other ideas? I have put a fat-free yogurt cup in the freezer for a good treat. I bet it would be good in the food processor. Report
OM goodness! What a GREAT idea! We often have leftover bananas that get to the point of having to be thrown out. AND, I love ice cream, so this seems like it's a double-header, bananas turned into "ice cream." A great source of Potassium and I think this would be nummy with some wheat germ sprinkled on top for the added B vitamins, calcium, complex carbs, fiber, iron, magnesium, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorous, more potassium, protein, selenium, Vitamin E and lets not forget zinc!!! Not to mention the phytosterols, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and promote heart health, which, for me, is a biggie! Thanks for sharing. Report
Wow! I can't wait to try this. What a great way to get your daily potassium. My husband and I love ice cream but we're gaining weight so this will be a good way to eat your daily banana! Thanks
well this sounds great. I love my ice cream and have to stop eating it. So this sounds like a great idea. Thanks! Report
Sounds interesting, but I don't have a regular size food processor. Just a blender and a mini food processor. Report
My kids love this! I like to cut the bananas up before freezing so that it doesn't take so much to mix in the food processor - haven't tried the banana pieces in a blender. I also add a little bit of soy milk (not much, just a tablespoon) to make it mix smoother. I love it with added pecans! Report
Yum, by all means, i'm going to try this ASAP! I'm pretty sure i have a bag of frozen bananas in the freezer right now. And i'm sure that my 7 yr old daughter will love to make this with me. Thanks. Report
Stupid question: Do you freeze the bananas in their peels???
That sounds so awesome! I need a food processor and I'm all set! Report
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