1-ingredient Ice Cream

Picture of 1-ingredient Ice Cream
This ice cream recipe is almost too good to be believed - so rich, creamy and luscious, you'd never know it's fat-free, dairy-free, and with no added sugar or preservatives, is even good for you!

It only takes one ingredient to make this dreamy dessert - can you guess what it is?? (without looking at the next step)

You may argue that without dairy, this has no place being called "ice cream." But I challenge you to try this recipe, and tell me it doesn't taste EXACTLY like ice cream! Prepare to be amazed.

Thanks to everyone who pointed out the link to thekitchn's great post on this time-honored recipe!
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
Did you guess our secret ingredient?


I find bananas that have turned brown work best for this. You may already peel and freeze your bananas for smoothies or breads or dipping in chocolate. Now you can use them to make this luscious ice cream in no time at all!

Step 2: Blend to Perfection

Picture of Blend to Perfection
At first, the bananas resist the blending.

Don't panic.

Chop them up a few at a time, adding more bit by bit. They'll reach that nice chunky stage that you can use in smoothies. But you're not done yet! Keep that blender running for another 3-4 minutes, and watch in amazement as what you once saw as frozen bananas turn into a rich, creamy, silky blend.


Step 3: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!
For the first go-round, try this recipe as-is.

Thereafter, feel free to consider this a blank canvas for all of your ice cream dreams.

Try adding honey, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, peanut butter, flavored extracts, or additional frozen fruits! Go to town, and make sure you share your favorite remixes in the comments!
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kitchouha5 years ago
Hi! I tried  to add a little bit of cold water in the blender before blending the frozen bananas (To lower the viscosity) and it's a loooooooooot faster to turn the bananas into the creamy thing. Taste and consistency hadn't change.

Hope this will help!
Don't they use a bit of water in Dairy Queen too? Just wondering...
scoochmaroo (author)  kitchouha5 years ago
Good tip!
eulaliaaaa!5 years ago
I made some of this and it is AMAZING! It tastes just like ice cream. I made a cup in under two minutes (I already had some frozen bananas.)!  If you add some chocolate syrup it tastes just like chocolate ice cream. It is also good for you!
june91905 years ago
it sounds different. I like banana's and in my house they do go brown.. ok so has anybody really tried it? and did they like it??? I hate to go and buy a blender and find out it's not very good.. What a dilemma!!!
Use your food processor!! Does the same job and in a little less time even :)
Buy a blender. Find one at a thrift store (plug it in first, of course, to test it). Blenders are, like... awesome.
blenders are, like, a pain in the arse to clean. i have one, but never want to use it b/c you have to fill the whole dish drain with all its parts laying out to dry. then you have to reassemble and find cabinet space for it a few days later after everything's shifted. maybe i need the blender you've got.
my blender only has 2 parts that need cleaning...lid and pitcher
sugarego Zem5 years ago
well, my lid has two parts (lid, centerpiece) and my pitcher has several parts (glass pitcher, blade assembly, gasket, and bottom plastic piece that these set into, which has a guideline for when you set it on the base, so you know you've twisted it on safely). and honestly, i'm not sure i'd want an upright blender without the ability to get the blades off to make sure they're clean underneath, or without a replaceable gasket for when the rubber gets brittle (i've already replaced it once). but the convenience of just two pieces does sound nice.
my lid has a centerpiece too, but you don't have to take it out, just put it in the dishwasher and it gets clean.
I always dont use the center piece and just cover the top hole with my hand then lick off any thing thats gets on. I recomend trying to prep clean as much of the pitcher as you can with your tounge ! yum!

the ice cream tasted like rotten bananas

Did you use rotten bananas? You should only use slightly over-ripe bananas for this. I've accidentally done this too with over-over-ripe bananas, and it did NOT turn out well.
 it was a perfectly ripe banana & it tasted rotten after freezing

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again! :)
I seem to have luck using bananas in any recipe. I stop the
oxidation process by adding a tablespoon or so of lemon juice which
stops it from turning brown. Peel frozen bananas at the last moment and
toss into blender so their exposed to very little oxygen turning them
brown. Quickly remove out, place in freezer to harden a bit. Fresh
bananas are better because they don't get soft like brown
bananas.Another way is to peel bananas and dip immediately in lemon
juice, wrap in saran wrap and freeze till ready to use. Farmers around
here passed on their bananas tricks. Children love bananas frozen on a
stick, of course dipped in lemon juice to not turn brown. My babies just
loved them frozen except I dipped in chocolate and fine nuts, then
froze. Good luck. from Domestic Engineer, Quebec
Or try something else...
Zem sugarego5 years ago
Wow. Mine only has two lid parts and the pitcher and everything at all assembled together.
Zem Zem5 years ago
Are all*
yo, u can put it in th dish warshur.....


I find it absolutely hilarious when people do this. It tickles me.
Quick, easy Blender cleaning: I add 2-3 drops of dish detergent, fill about 1/4 to 1/3 full with warm water. Blend on high for 30 seconds or so. Then rinse well. Done. Sparkling Clean!
  Oh, how much I learn just from reading comments. Awsome cleaning instructions. I'm not so afraid to get out of the blender now. :)
Solution: stick blender. I recieved one of these as a baby shower gift and wow! Soooooo easy to clean up and I've used mine for some pretty tough things. I made my own baby food for over a year and this thing never let me down.
you know, it had never occurred to me to get one of these, b/c it just doesn't look like they can do what a blender does. but per your suggestion, i'm going to research it b/c it does seem ultra convenient (and compact!) which would be a welcome change. i would say that i'll have to keep my upright blender for breaking ice to small bits, but my "ice crusher" blender does no such thing. it always leaves behind lots of large bits of ice, so making at-home frozen coffee drinks and the like isn't really feasible anyway. maybe i'll be so happy with the stick blender that i'll take my current blender to a thrift store. it takes up so much room in our small kitchen! :)
It does take some effort to get the stick to do a good job with ice, but it can be done. There's probably some out there that do a better job with ice than mine since I've had mine for almost two years and the specific brand I have has already come out with new ones. Happy researching :)
leave put together and fill with water and soap, give it a 30 second spin and presto clean. though you do need to take it apart for some things but for this i think it will do.
i'll have to try this. thanks 4eversixteen & devynhogan, for the suggestion. i'm sure that this would suffice for removing banana goo, or milkshake ingredients. since i'm lazy. :)
what blender do you have? o.O
smart thinking june9190.  i *finally* tried this recipe.  in order to facilitate easier blending, i smooshed the bananas up a bit before freezing.  this made it easy to put in small pieces that weren't like giant ice cubes.  and if you think where i'm going with this is that it worked fabulously, i'm afraid that's not so.

the frozen bananas were, of course, darkened, because that's what you do, you use bananas ready for banana bread, right?  well, the color of them when they were frozen and smooshed in the bag simply darkened as they began to melt.  never got white and frothy.  i ran the blender some more, wondering if magic might start to happen a bit later.  worried b/c the bottom of the mixture was getting stirred, but the top was sitting there in a sort-of gelatinous mass.  i tilted the blender to encourage the stuff on top to get mixed in, and even stopped to stir.

what came off of the spoon wasn't even cold: the blades had generated enough heat to completely melt any trace of freeziness.  i ended up with slightly-more-blended, smooshed banana.  basically what i put into the freezer in the first place.

my wife was there with me, b/c we were planning to eat a yummy freezy banana treat, and she just kept laughing and insisting the whole thing was a big elaborate hoax.  that no one could possibly have ended up with something that resembles ice cream, and that everyone else who left comments was in on the hoax.  so, my point is: don't get a blender just for this treat.  you may feel that you, too, have become the brunt of a giant hoax.

anyone else have this experience when attempting to make this?
Unfortunately I'm leaning towards the hoax side as well. I was excited to try this but ended up with some gloopy mush. I read other comments about it being better with a food processor but I thought my Ninja brand blender could accomplish the task of turning a banana into an ice cream like substance. I'm not completely abandoning this awesome idea but until I get a food processor or can convince someone with one to try this, I'm going to have to remain skeptical.
I also used a ninja blender, but mine was perfect!
Mine was delicious, but it wasn't working right away. When I made mine, I was a bit impatient so I just took the bananas I had even though they weren't brown. I froze them, and I stuck them in my magic bullet blender but nothing happened. So I added some milk in it and squished it with a spoon. When it had a creamy texture, I ate it. It tasted like ice cream, but at the same time, it still tasted like bananas. Of course it would taste like bananas, but it really just tasted like a regular banana with an ice creamy texture, which is what it is. Either way, I enjoyed making and eating it.
Mine was great. Fun to make. Great because it is dairy-free. And it was DELICIOUS. Need new snacks that are healthy and lactose-free? THIS ONE IS FANTASTIC!
I got fantastic results, largely meeting the expectations.
My tips:
  1. Cut the banana in slices before freezing; the smaller the better
  2. Freeze
  3. Blend using a cutting blade
  4. Progressively add some water (as kitchouha suggested) while blending, if it does not turn creamy
  5. Freeze again
  6. Serve with grilled sliced almonds
vCloud sugarego3 years ago
well i heard many roumors about this recipe, i am currently trying this today, i heard blenders don't work and you must use a food processor for the best results.
I'm right there with ya. I tried the brown bananas, cut in half, frozen solid in a sub-zero freezer, and blended with a Vita-Mix (same blender Bobby Flay uses.) What I got was a cold cream with a nice texture that tasted exactly like rotten bananas.

I figured maybe I had let the bananas go too long, so tried a second batch. This time I froze the peeled bananas when the skins were slightly brown, but the bananas were still white. EXACT same result. The banana "cream" tasted just as rotten as the first batch.

My guess is, unless you like the taste of way over-ripened bananas, you'll have to freeze the bananas when they are still fresh. I'm going to try that next. (Though I don't know if the freezing process itself is actually producing that "over-ripe banana" flavor.)

On another note, I find that if you add enough chocolate, caramel, nuts, and fruits to the "ice cream" it's almost edible, but that probably rather defeats the purpose.

I find it interesting that you used the word "hoax" as this is exactly the word my own girlfriend used when we tried it the first time. She refused to even taste it the second time around. Hopefully third time's the charm!
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