A delicious dairy-free treat made with bananas, almond milk, maple syrup and almonds. Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream is creamy, sweet and cold!
I pride myself on being pretty good in the kitchen. In fact, there’s only been one recipe I’ve made that completely backfired and was relegated to the “never make again” pile of shame. As an avid cook, I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting recipes that are light, flavorsome, and perfect substitutes for naughty treats. That’s where this incredible recipe for Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream comes in!
This post contains affiliate links. Disney/Marvel provided me with an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to attend the red carpet premiere of Iron Man 3 and to interview select cast and crew members. The recipe above is used with permission from Gwyneth Paltrow. All thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Believe it or not, I’ve been lucky enough to interview the glamorous Gwyneth Paltrow. In addition to being a top movie star, she’s also the author of the cookbook It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great. After speaking with her, I fervently flicked through the book and landed on a few recipes that I couldn’t wait to try.
Among them? The famous Banana Ice Cream.
As my daughter Zoe is lactose intolerant, finding awesome recipes that taste as good as their dairy-filled counterparts is always a success. Despite having a raging sweet tooth and an enduring love for ice cream, the poor thing gets a terrible tummy ache with even a small bowl of the stuff!
I feel that this banana ice cream recipe (sometimes called “nice cream”, which I fully agree with!) is perfect for lactose-free folks and plant-based eaters. What’s more, it even includes sweet-and-salty roasted almonds for a nutty kick and subtle crunch.
If this all sounds too good to be true – bear with me.
Although you might think the consistency of this dish would be way off, the speed of the blades on your food processor will create an almost whipped consistency from the bananas. The result? A creamy and decadent frozen delight that you’ll struggle to tell apart from the real deal. Hey, it certainly blew me, my little one, and my sometimes-fussy husband away!
Before running out and purchasing Paltrow’s book for yourself, it’s worth noting that some of her creations are more unique than others and may require you to stop at stores like Whole Foods for specialist items. However, most of her recipes are constructed from simple, wholesome ingredients that can be found at Walmart, Target, and local Mom and Pop stores.
Why You’ll Love Banana Ice Cream
- Easy to make
- Kids can get involved
- Ready in minutes
- Packed with nutrients
- It feels more bougie than purchasing ice cream from the grocery store
- Roasted almonds
- Maple syrup – Love the maple syrup from Maple Lifestyle.
- Coarse sea salt
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Dairy Free Banana Ice Cream
- Step One: Freeze the banana slices in a single layer on a tray or plate lined with parchment or wax paper. Once the slices are frozen, use them immediately or keep them frozen in a zip-top bag or airtight container for up to a month.
- Step Two: Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the almonds with 2 teaspoons of maple syrup and a pinch of salt and set aside.
- Step Three: Combine the frozen banana slices, the almond milk, the remaining 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, and the vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is the texture of soft-serve ice cream, scraping down the sides as necessary. Don’t worry if the mixture is not totally smooth at first – once the bananas start to break down and defrost in the food processor, they’ll give in and the “ice cream” will take shape quickly!
- Step Four: Spoon the banana “ice cream” into bowls immediately and sprinkle each serving with a bit of the almond mixture.
To make the perfect banana ice cream, you need only a few basic tools!
- A knife (to slice the bananas!)
- Measuring spoons and cups
- A reliable food processor – it needs to be able to handle frozen items with ease.
What to Serve with Banana Ice Cream
There are several amazing dishes to serve with banana ice cream – just be aware that most of them aren’t dairy-free!
- Disappearing Marshmallow Brownies
- Banana Split Brownies
- Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
- Quick Slice Cake
- Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Always use overripe bananas if you can – these are far sweeter than their greenish counterparts and will lend your banana ice cream a glorious, sweet taste that requires no added sugar to achieve.
- Make sure your bananas are fully frozen before diving in – it can be tempting to leave the bananas to freeze for a couple of hours and call it a day. However, they won’t be hard enough to produce a frozen, whipped texture which will leave you with a sludgy, milkshake-like texture which isn’t what we’re going for.
- Don’t overuse sweeteners – this recipe only calls for a touch of maple syrup, remember! Both maple syrup and ripe bananas are extremely sweet, and you won’t want to add more sweetener than the recipe calls for as it may genuinely become unpleasant on the tongue.
- Don’t forget the sea salt – it may seem like an arbitrary ingredient, but it helps to balance the flavors for a well-rounded flavor.
- Allocate plenty of space in the freezer to prevent the banana slices from sticking together. Most freezers should be able to accommodate this, so don’t worry too much.
Variations and Substitutions
- Switch out unsweetened almond milk for a dairy-free milk of your choice! You can use cashew for a slightly creamier taste, or coconut for a tropical tang.
- Add a spoonful of pure cocoa powder for a chocolatey alternative – pure cocoa powders don’t contain milk solids, so you’ll still maintain the dairy-free and vegan-friendly aspects of the recipe!
- In the same vein, you can add frozen strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries to the recipe to turn basic banana ice cream into a super-fruity version!
- Serve with a small amount of natural peanut butter to boost the fat content slightly – this should balance the sweetness of the recipe while giving it a more balanced nutritional profile.
To store banana ice cream, transfer it to a freezer-proof (preferably air-tight) container, cover it with plastic wrap, and freeze.
This recipe should be fine to store in the freezer for a few months, but it’s unlikely to last that long! Just make sure it’s covered properly (as I’ve mentioned above), or you risk it getting freezer burnt which will significantly alter the recipe’s taste and texture – no bueno!
Can I Freeze?
This recipe freezes relatively well and shouldn’t crystallize if stored properly.
Just be sure to leave it on the counter for a few minutes to soften before scooping it into bowls!
- Banana Cake
- White Chocolate Cherry Banana Bread
- Banana Nut Muffins
- Cinnamon Banana Pancakes
- Sunshine Salad
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
- 4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
- ¼ cup roasted almonds, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
- Pinch of coarse sea salt
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Freeze the banana slices in a single layer on a tray or plate lined with parchment or wax paper. Once the slices are frozen, use them immediately or keep frozen in a zip-top bag or airtight container for up to a month.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the almonds with 2 teaspoons of the maple syrup and the pinch of salt and set aside.
- Combine the frozen banana slices, the almond milk, the remaining 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and the vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is the texture of soft-serve ice cream, scraping down the sides as necessary. Don’t worry if the mixture is not totally smooth at first–once the bananas start to break down and defrost in the food processor, they’ll give in and the “ice cream” will take shape quickly.
- Spoon the banana “ice cream” into bowls immediately and sprinkle each serving with a bit of the almond mixture.
Recipe By Gwyneth Paltrow from It’s All Good (Used with permission).
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g