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Eat Well May. 3. 2013


May. 3. 2013
McKel Hill

McKel Hill

MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian

Simply Bananas. I’m sharing with you all today one of my favorite sweet treat recipes, BanaNO Cream. We all love ice cream…right? Right! If not, most of us enjoy a nice cold treat to satisfy our sweet tooth and cool us down especially in the warm and sunny weather. I’ve always loved ice cream, especially as a little me, mint chocolate chip and classic vanilla were some of my favorite flavors, and this BanaNO Cream is simply delicious!

I often have memories of celebrating birthdays with ice cream cones in the summer, watching movies curled on the couch with family and bowls of ice cream, running after the ice cream truck with friends, visiting my hometown ice cream “shop”, and all the fun toppings that go along with “decorating” your favorite flavors. Wow, recapping all these memories is really solidifying the fact that I have a thing for ice cream (ha). Typically ice cream isn’t the best for our beautiful bodies especially store-bought ice cream which lacks quality ingredients especially in the form of dairy. With that being said, there are some great local and organic brands out there who take their time using good quality organic ingredients (grass-fed cows milk used), unfortunately these are the minority in the ice cream business.

When you browse the freezer isle for ice cream, you may see all types including; fat free, sugar free, high fiber(?), probiotics, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and more. When you’re shopping for ice cream, question the ingredients! If it’s marketed as low-fat or 1/2 the fat, ask yourself this question, “What is the fat being replaced with?”, most likely your answer is good ole’ sugar or some variant filler. What BanaNO-cream will NOT contain any ingredients on my personal hit list: cows milk, refined sugar, corn syrup, malt flavoring, cream, whey, mono and diglycerides, bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, tara gum, sucralose, cellulose, sorbitol, “natural” flavors, and/or added vitamins/calcium, stabilizes, emulsifiers, artificial colorings//flavorings of any kind.  

Why bananas are rockstar fruits? Not only are they packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and electrolytes (potassium), but they’re also one of natures “convenience” foods due to they’re natural packaging (a.k.a. peel). Bananas are great at providing cardiovascular protection due to the potassium and fiber content, as well as regulating bowel movements, ulcer healing/stomach lining protection, kidney health, eye/vision health, and bone health. Bananas are also touted by athletes and fitness enthusiasts everywhere as the perfect muscle fuel for quick replenishment before, during, or after a workout. They’re one of my absolute favorite fruits to add into The Stripped Smoothie when I need extra carbohydrates and calories after some good ole’ weight training, yoga, walking, etc. Let’s not forget the best thing about bananas, they’re extremely affordable, culinarily diverse, and have a fantastic creamy texture and taste!

Nutrient breakdown of BANANAS |

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Carotenoids
  • Fiber | mostly pectin, a soluble fiber and resistant starches depending on their degree of ripeness (i.e. the greener the banana->the less ripe->the more resistant starches; the more spotted->the more ripe-> the less resistant starches)
  • Energy (a.k.a. calories)

BanaNO cream toppings |

  • Fruit | berries, tropical fruits, dried goji berries, dried apricots, banana chips, etc.
  • Nuts & seeds | raw varieties of almonds, walnuts, crushed cashews, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, etc.
  • Extras | cacao nibs, raw cocoa powder, spirulina, shredded unsweetened coconut, maple syrup, orange/lemon zest, etc.

Simply Bananas | BanaNO-cream
Recipe Type: dessert
Cuisine: ice-cream
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-2
A simple banana “ice-cream” recipe to be used as a base with any additional ingredients.
  • 2 frozen bananas (super ripe!)
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other varieties you choose)
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  1. Simply combine all ingredients in Vitamix//high speed blender or food process and blend until thick and creamy (it will resemble frozen soft serve yogurt).
  2. At this stage, you may eat as is or you may freeze for 1-2 hours and use an ice cream scooper to create a “harder” consistency.
  3. ENJOY!


  • Choose spotted and very ripe bananas! This will not only help to naturally sweeten the recipe, but will also provide a better texture when blended.
    • I typically will buy extra bunches of bananas each week for the sole purpose to allow some to get very ripe so I may freeze them for banana ice-cream.
  • Once ripened, simply peel and store in a freezer safe storage bag or container and keep in the freezer.
  • Use a high speed blender to make this thick and creamy, I use my Vitamix.
  • If you choose to make the ice-cream “scoops”, note that there may be some ice crystallization forming (as this happens naturally when frozen). If you don’t like this texture simply eat it as soon as it’s blended like a “frozen yogurt”.
  • You may add protein powder to this recipe if you’d like something more filling (I’ve often eaten this post workout).

What’s your favorite way to eat ice-cream? Cone or sans cone? Leave your comments below, I love hearing about it!

xo McKel

The Recipe

Serves 1-2



  • 2 frozen bananas (super ripe!)
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other varieties you choose)
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut milk
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • dash of cinnamon


  1. Simply combine all ingredients in Vitamix//high speed blender or food process and blend until thick and creamy (it will resemble frozen soft serve yogurt).
  2. At this stage, you may eat as is or you may freeze for 1-2 hours and use an ice cream scooper to create a “harder” consistency.
  3. ENJOY!

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Did you try it out?

Share Your Thoughts & Images

  • Nikki Kingery

    I’ve been making banana ice cream for a while, but your recipe looks great adding the coconut milk, and even sea salt! Wow, can’t wait to try this! This was my recipe: Frozen ripe bananas (pre-sliced for easier processing later), pulse in a processor/blender, then keep pulsing until creamy. I’d add peanut butter, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Sometimes no pb, sometimes no cocoa powder… this simplicity is beautiful to play with! Chopped almonds were a fun topping too! I love your site McKel, keep up the great work!!

    • Hey Nikki! Thanks for the wonderful support and love! I love adding all types of fun toppings too like pb or chocolate, etc. I like to use the coconut milk because it add a little more thickness than just using almond milk and the sea salt just brings out all the flavors a tad more. I agree it’s so simple and fun to experiment with new flavors, thanks again for stopping by 😉

      • Sandra

        Could I just replace the coconut milk with almond milk? My daughter can’t handle dairy/soy, but she also doesn’t do well with the coconut milk. Anything else could to make it a bit thicker?

        • Great question, yes you can use almond milk, just use less and you can add in a couple dates to make it thicker (or chia seeds).

  • I’m a little bit obsessed with banana ice cream. I’m always trying to figure out new and different things to do with it. And it’s the only ice cream you can eat for breakfast! 😀

  • shay Negale

    Hi Mrs. Mckel Hill, I would love to ask you a few questions about your career. I’m currently in college working towards my degree in Dietetics. Please contact me.
    Thank you, sha

  • cindy

    hi mckel!

    i am in love with bananas and usually when i wait for them to ripe (or when i forget about them and they get overripe) i freeze them, and when i want to make a banana “ice cream” i just add in the frozen chips and some plain yogurt! i found out that banana itself when really ripe is just way too sweet for me, so with the tartness of the plain yogurt, it’s perfect 🙂

  • Meghan

    Just learned there’s another reason to choose extra ripe bananas for your recipes! The more spots on the banana, the more “tumor necrosis factor” aka cancer-fighting-goodness it has! The compound breaks down when you what it, so all the more reason to eat bananas in the form of ice cream 🙂

    • Meghan

      Heat it* 🙂

  • Courtney

    This looks wonderful! Such a great treat for the spring and summer! Could this recipe work with other fruits, like mango?

  • Jamie

    Do you perhaps know how one would make this in an ice cream maker rather than a food processor?

    • Making banana ice cream doesn’t require an ice cream maker! It actually will not turn into ice cream if it’s a raw banana put into an ice cream maker unless you have heavy cream, sugar etc.; frozen bananas and a blender is all you need!

  • Gray

    Can I also make this in an ice cream maker?

    • McKel Hill

      Yes! But I would recommend adding almond or coconut milk if you’re doing that. Using frozen bananas helps you make ice cream immediately just with those ingredients 😉