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banana soft serve

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It occurred to me during this week’s Today’s Eats post that I talk a lot about banana soft serve, but have never actually demonstrated how to make it. I guess I just assumed that it was common knowledge. Which is the problem with being in the healthy living blog community, we tend to assume everyone know what chia seeds and coconut water is, but truthfully, we’re the freaks. 😛

Banana soft serve is absolutely one of my favorite healthy diet “tricks”. It looks like ice cream. It tastes like ice cream. It satisfies the sweet tooth like ice cream. But it is vegan, raw, dairy-free, sugar-free, fat-free and low-calorie. That stuff is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

No, really, it’s just bananas.

I cannot claim this as an original idea. It has been passed around the blogworld for quite a few years (I think this post at Choosing Raw might have been the origination point). But just in case there is one person out there that reads Wholefully that hasn’t heard of banana soft serve, I must continue to spread the gospel!

The process couldn’t be much simpler:

  1. Peel bananas.
  2. Break into chunks.
  3. Freeze bananas.
  4. Drop chunks into food processor.
  5. Process for a few minutes until it looks like this:

That is classic, simple banana soft serve. Want to step it up a little bit? Add in a scoop of peanut butter and/or a spoonful of cocoa before you start processing. Or try mixing in other fruits (frozen cherries rock in it!). Or, you can just leave the extras to the toppings.

A few tips for perfect soft serve:

  • The more bananas you process, the better it comes together. If you only process one or two at a time, you’ll need to stop and scrape down the sides of your food processor pretty frequently.
  • We like to keep a bag of frozen banana chunks in our freezer at all times. As a banana starts to “go” we just peel it and add it to the bag. That way we always have frozen banana for soft serve, smoothies or banana bread.
  • Want to have this for dessert? Drizzle with a little chocolate or caramel sauce. Even try adding some whipped cream and nuts!
  • Want to have this for breakfast? Toss on some granola and nuts. And if you don’t stir it in from the beginning, throw on some nut butter for some protein and fat.

I promise this will fool even the biggest ice cream fan. This is definitely one of our go-to desserts for summer. My favorite part is that you eat through half of it and think, “Wow, this is so delicious and decadent.” and then you remember that it is JUST FRUIT. Yummy and healthy. Yippee!

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

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21 Responses
  1. Emily

    So it really doesn’t taste like bananas? I’m asking because this seems like an ideal dessert, but I really don’t like bananas.

    1. Cassie

      Oh it definitely still tastes like bananas! But if you add cocoa and peanut butter, it starts to mask it. But I doubt you can ever totally get rid of the banana flavor.

      1. Liz

        Finally got enough bananas to make it, and I must say, the texture is just like ice cream. I may have overloaded my food processor, because I had to add about a half cup of milk (to 5 bananas, made enough for me, D, and some extra) to get it to loosen up.

        Bella adored licking the bowl. 🙂

  2. absolutely one of my favorite desserts! I love making this for friends when they come over and blowing them away with the ice-cream resemblance. 🙂 I think my favorite combo is banana, pineapple coconut softserve. So delish!

  3. Becky

    Just started reading your blog and I am blown away by how great it is!!! Can’t wait to try this and so many more recipes. Thank you!!

  4. Melissa B.

    I love frozen bananas! Chocolate dipped and banana soft serve are the bomb. I recently made a mixture of bananas, PB, cocoa powder, water, and a little stevia, poured them into popsicle trays, and froze them- SO GOOD!

    1. Chris

      Yes it does, if you use a good Waring blender, (the kind that can even knead dough!)It just takes a little work and making in small batches, scraping it down and freezing in pint batches.

    1. Cassie

      Hmmm, it is worth a shot! Although I’m a little afraid it’ll turn more into a banana smoothie than banana soft serve. Let me know how it turns out!

    2. john Brookes

      There are several gooid tools I am aware of. The first (and lowest cost) is the Hamilton Beach food processor. (about 30$ as I recall, and other makers are good also). For something demanding like churning frozen foods, the motor might shut itself off due to overload. If that happens, just wait 10 minutes for it to recover – leave it off in the meantime.)
      The other tool I use is the Ninja system (about 100-200$) . Good also, though the lower cost HB FP does it all, a bit more more slowly.
      I avoid standard blenders, as the frozen food has a hard time reaching the propeller at the bottom.
      No commercial interest in any of this, of course, just my experience as a purchser.

    3. john Brookes

      OH, and to be more responsive to blender owner – yes you CAN shove the frozen material down into the propeller region and use a blender. Here are a few thoughts on that.
      First, get a blunt stick., I’m trying to think of one. I have used large carots as pushers. You can freeze some. Measure on the carrot to ensure you won’t hit the propeller. Then use that. But of course NEVER reach into a running blender. For extra safety, you can shut it off while pushing food down, then re-start.

  5. Allie

    This is perfect! I can’t eat dairy but miss ice cream so much and the dairy-free alternatives are still so full of fat and sugar. Thanks for the awesome idea — I always have old bananas in my freezer waiting to be made into banana muffins or something of the sort.

  6. Wynn Zetterberg

    Before I went gluten free, I would make this and put a dollop of it on a graham cracker, sprinkle with cocoa powder and top it with another graham cracker that had a thin layer of peanut butter on it. Delicious and it made for excellent snacks throughout the week.

  7. john Brookes

    Here is a general comment on this recipe:
    Its a great base for healthy ice cream. Here are a few ideas I have done which put a rocket booster on its health effects:
    Add:
    nut butter (pre grind walnuts, pecans)
    cooked greens ( you won’t even taste them)
    garbanzo beans, cooked.
    Amla – Indian spice, use a little
    broccoli sprouts
    ground flax seeds, boiling water treated
    pomegranate juice
    pulpy OJ or navel squeezed
    frozen blueberries, cherries, strawberries
    whole green tea leaves
    cooked apple with skin on.
    …The base will carry these things no problem.

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