What is Banana Ice Cream?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Banana ice cream is a type of ice cream in which the primary ingredient and flavor is bananas. There are actually two kinds of banana ice cream. One is a traditional fruit ice cream made with bananas and heavy cream which are churned to make ice cream, and the other is a vegan ice cream replacement made with frozen bananas which are pureed to create a creamy mixture. While the vegan version might sound odd, it is in fact quite delicious, and it's suitable for raw foodists and fruitarians in addition to vegans.

Bunch of bananas.
Bunch of bananas.

In the sense of a traditional ice cream, banana ice cream is made by adding pureed bananas to an ice cream base. For a rich ice cream, it can be made with a custard base, but regular milk bases can be used as well. When the ingredients are thoroughly blended, they can be frozen in an ice cream maker. Banana ice cream is easy to make at home, for people who like homemade ice cream; it is also available from commercial ice cream producers and at some ice cream parlors.

Whipped cream is a popular topping for banana ice cream.
Whipped cream is a popular topping for banana ice cream.

In the sense of a vegan food, banana ice cream can be made in several ways. One of the easiest ways to make it is to freeze bananas and run them through a juicer or high-powered blender. By pureeing the bananas while they are frozen, cooks can ensure that the texture stays even, as well as eliminate the risk of developing ice crystals in the ice cream. It is also possible to puree bananas and freeze the puree, stirring it periodically so that it stays smooth and creamy.

Vegan or not, there are lots of ways to use banana ice cream. It can be eaten straight out of a bowl, or included in sundaes with toppings like chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and nuts. Banana ice cream can also be used in more elaborate ice cream confections like ice cream sandwiches and ice cream cakes. A tropical Neapolitan, for example, can be made with banana ice cream, passionfruit ice cream, and mango ice cream, or any combination of ice cream flavors made with tropical fruit.

Like all ice creams, banana ice cream needs to be handled carefully for the best flavor. When you made it at home, it is critical to puree the fruit as finely as possible because frozen chunks of fruit will disturb the texture of the ice cream. They will also interfere with the freezing process, potentially creating pockets of ice, which are not desirable. It should also be held at a cold temperature with minimal fluctuation, as each fluctuation can cause ice crystals form.

Heavy cream is used to make traditional banana ice cream.
Heavy cream is used to make traditional banana ice cream.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

sunshined

Whether you are making ice cream, smoothies or even cookies, bananas are one of those fruits that are so versatile and taste good in just about anything. I make smoothies several times a week, and a banana ice cream smoothie is a family favorite.

It is very easy to put some ice cream, bananas, and milk in the blender to make a smoothie. I like to add some honey and chocolate syrup sometimes too. The kids love them and ask for them all the time.

golf07

Homemade banana ice cream is very good and I have it at least once a summer. I love the combination of bananas and chocolate too, so that has become my new favorite. It is easy to flavor homemade ice cream with different flavorings.

I have also made banana ice cream in my Vita Mix. This is quite a bit healthier than regular ice cream has a texture more like a sorbet than ice cream. This only takes a couple of minutes and if you like the taste of bananas, makes a great treat.

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