Banana Ice “Cream” / Vegan Chunky Monkey

I’m no monkey, but I do like a good banana from time to time.  I remember reading somewhere that the bananas our parents ate were totally different bananas than the ones we eat. Like some terrible banana plague wiped out ALL THE BANANAS of our parent’s youth and they have since been replaced with these new bananas. Mad (banana) science!

OH. And do you remember hearing that the banana was going to be extinct in 20 years? I heard that, like, two years ago. Eighteen more years and counting! Apparently we are farming the crap out of the banana and that will lead to its demise. Wait. Do people farm bananas? That sounds crazy, but I guess it makes sense. Sort of. Banana farmer. That’s funny. Real funny.

Anyhoooooo, this post is not about the dark world of banana conspiracy. No. It is about one-ingredient banana ice cream and how to make it into a much healthier (and vegan!) version of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey – which we all know is in the Top 5 of best ice cream flavors EVER.

I think this whole one-ingredient ice cream “recipe” took the internet by storm and if you saw it already you probably waited impatiently for your bananas to freeze up so you could try it immediately – or as immediately as freezing banana slices will allow. It totally works. Food processing a frozen banana completely yields a frozen banana whip of sorts that can totally stand in for banana ice cream without complaint from me, or anyone else I know who has given it a whirl. Pun intended. Get it … whirl? Food processor. ANYWAY.

While plain banana ice cream is tasty business, banana ice cream with stuff in it is pure delight. What can you put in banana whip? Literally anything that goes well with bananas. Here are some ideas!

Banana Split: Maraschino cherries, crushed pineapple and top with chocolate sauce and whip cream!

Elvis: Peanut butter swirl!

Banana Pudding: Nilla wafers and top with whip cream!

Tropical Storm: Mango, pineapple and top with toasted coconut!

While all these sound tasty (Please leave other ideas in the comments! I’m sure there are tons more!) I opted for Chunky Monkey which meant the addition of walnuts and dark chocolate chunks. Which is how it use to be made but I guess they use fudge with walnuts now? It’s been a while since I’ve brought a pint home. Mainly because I can’t stop eating it once it’s in my house. But, yeah. Fudge with walnuts folded into banana ice cream. Ben and Jerry, you complete me.

The recipe: It’s in long form because it seems silly to write: Ingredients: banana. But there, I just did it anyway. Dagnabbit. Well, yes, you need a banana; sliced and frozen for at least an hour maybe two, until it’s completely hard.Place banana in your food processor and press GO. It first looks like tiny diced banana but a few seconds after it looks like a paste. Bingo! That’s it!

Put in a mixing bowl and add in your stuff. I used a handful of raw, chopped walnuts and about 2 oz. of really good slivered dark chocolate. Fold in. Put into a serving dish (or two if sharing) and put back into the freezer for about 5 minutes. This firms it up a little and eliminates any melty banana gumminess that might have crept in while you were adding chunks of delicious things.

I tried making a large batch and freezing some for later consumption. That works OK. It gets really hard. But if you think ahead and freeze individual servings, that would make it loads easier. I bet adding rum for a banana foster take (nom nom) would help it freeze a little less solid and be more scooping-friendly.

Eat up!

18 Comments

  1. Bean
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    How ripe would you say you let the bananas get so as to make the tastiest banana whip?

  2. altrooheather
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Excellent question, Bean! I have used bananas that were just past edible, but pre-banana bread to excellent effect. I’ve also used ones that were on the ripe side of edible, too. And it was still good. I haven’t tried uber ripe bananas. Bet it would be OK…

    What are you gonna add in? I bet you have delicious ideas.

  3. Mitch
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Don’t use super ripe ones – they make the taste a little unbearable unless you add a lot of sugars to it (a tbsp or 2 of honey or maple syrup).

    I make Pumpkin Spice ones though. Add 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 2-3 tbsp brown sugar, 1-2 tsp of pumpkin spice (or nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice blend) and 2 frozen bananas. Generally I make them into milkshakes by filling up to the top of the bananas (and adding a tsp vanilla if I don’t use Vanilla Soy). Yum! Perfect way to celebrate Fall.

  4. Posted October 8, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    What a terrific idea. My dairy-allergic son could have this! Minus the walnuts.

  5. altrooheather
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    That sounds SO GOOD! What a good idea!

    Thanks for the tips on banana ripeness, too!

  6. altrooheather
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Yay! Let me know what flavor combos you try. I bet you’ll come up with some great ones!

  7. Mitch
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    :D No Problem. I’ve got some Vegan friends that were sad when they saw the commercials for Pumpkin Shakes at Culver’s so I figured I’d conjure something up for them! Tastes better and is about $3 cheaper as well.

  8. altrooheather
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    What a good friend you are to vegans! :)

  9. Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Mmmm, I recently make banana (non vegan) ice cream,but this sounds totally delectable and looks delicious! Awesome!

  10. out there..
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I should be commenting of the food here because it does look tasty but your comments on banana farming make me feel obligated.. accept my apologies in advance but youre very ignorant about the farming industry.
    banana farming is huge in places in the caribbean and there are huge plantations of banana trees. due to the nature of the banana, these all have to be hand picked. I’m sure you have heard the song “Day-O” (search it) and it is all about being over worked on these banana plantations. They are a huge part of the livelihood of people in the caribbean and because of big companies (like Dole) local farmers are constantly being under sold… moral of the story think about what you are cooking with and what you say about it.. buy fair trade!

  11. altrooheather
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I have never seen a fair trade banana — what’s the scoop on that? How do you know if it’s fair trade?

    While I’ve made this and banana bread on my blog, I only buy bananas a few times a year, mostly because they are so obviously not local and I try to at least eat regional (if not local).

    You are right, I know nothing about banana farming and past it happening far away from Seattle hadn’t given it much thought until I wrote this post.

  12. altrooheather
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Easy too! Hope you give it a go!

  13. Bean
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    For some reason, the first thing that came to my mind is Honey Nut Cheerios, only because that is one of my favorites, HNC with Bananas and Milk. But it sounds slightly strange to add cereal to “ice cream”. LOVE the idea of peanut butter and honey. I wonder the best way to make it taste like banana cream pie? Graham crackers and whip cream?

  14. altrooheather
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Banana cream pie is my favorite. Whip cream and bananas would be a good start. Maybe swirl in some vanilla pudding and refreeze? With banana slices?

    At that point however, maybe we should just have the pie? Haha.

  15. Posted October 13, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    I’ve got some frozen bananas right now and I intend to make this recipe as soon as possible.

  16. altrooheather
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Let’s hear it for frozen banana serendipity!

  17. Francesca
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Well I don’t know much about working conditions on plantations, but I think bananas are possibly one of the most environmentally fruits around. :( Unfortunately, I still love and consume them. :P

    They grow in huge monoculture (read: environmentally unfriendly almost all the time because you are ripping out LOTS of things to plant just one) plantations, and apparently they waste in plastic bags that are somehow killing sea turtle populations. If you want details, it will require some research. My information comes mainly from my Geography professor, but he definitely knows his stuff.

    Depressing aspects of agriculture aside, i’ve had this recipe on the brain for a long time! I love just to eat plain frozen bananas, but making them into ice cream is so smart….bet that’d make a FANTASTIC milkshake!

  18. altrooheather
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    All of that is depressing. I wonder what percentage of bananas just go bad, too. All of that for nothing in many cases. Weird to now say that they are delicious and I hope you like it? I shake my fist at shitty farming practices!

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