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Bananas just may be one of the most versatile fruits in the world. They come in their own little handy wrappers. They are delicious plain and raw, tossed into a smoothie, or layered in that Southern Classic, Banana Pudding. They are even more delicious when drenched in rum, butter, and sugar, and flambéed ( Bananas Foster, anyone? ).
Oh, and you can freeze them and make delicious, creamy, one-ingredient ice cream with them. Yeah. Ice cream.
Is there anything the banana can’t do?
Back to that whole you-can-make-ice-cream-from-bananas thing. To be accurate, I supposed I should really be talking about “ice cream”, because there’s no dairy to be found in this recipe. In fact, it’s vegan. I won’t tell, if you don’t. It is so simple to make, but it does require you either have a food processor or ( my favorite kitchen purchase of all time ) a Vitamix. If you try to use a regular blender, you are almost certainly going to either burn out the motor or not be able to get the bananas to their blended stage of creamy perfection.
I like to make a version of banana ice cream that we call “Banana Pudding Ice Cream”, since I jazz up the plain ol’ frozen bananas with some ingredients classically found in Banana Pudding. It’s not a perfect dupe by any means, but it has those delicious Nilla Wafers and all the banana-y vanilla-y goodness that the classic custard dish has, sans all the egg yokes and heavy cream.
Let’s not talk about what this stuff isn’t, though… On to what it IS. Rich. Frozen. Creamy. Full of bits of half-crunchy, half-softened vanilla wafers. Divine! Aaaaand just about as healthy as any frozen treat could get!
Banana Pudding Ice Cream
- 3 Bananas
- 1 Teaspoon good-quality Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tablespoon Bourbon
- 1 1/2 cups Vanilla Wafers
- Slice Bananas and place in a freezer bag. Seal the bag and place it in the freezer for at least 2 hours ( or until bananas are frozen ).
- Toss the bananas, along with the vanilla extract and bourbon, into either a high-powered blender ( like a Vitamix), or a food processor.
- Process the bananas until their color turns from the brownish frozen banana color, to a lighter, pale color, occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl to make sure all bits of banana are getting processed. The bananas will start out in chunks, then slowly go to bits, then a grainy goop, and then the color will start to look lighter and creamy.
- Once the light color and smooth texture is achieved, toss in the vanilla wafers, crushing them with your hands to get big chunks. Pulse the blender or food processor once or twice to get the wafers blended in.
- Eat immediately ( it will be a soft frozen-yogurt consistency ) or scrape the contents of the work bowl into a freezer-frendly container and freeze for at least thirty minutes to get a firmer, more "ice cream"-like texture.