Banana Soft Serve: This Post Will Change Your Life

by Gena on June 27, 2009

ice-cream3

One of the challenges I enjoy most–both as a coach and with friends–is persuading newcomers to raw foods that there is a divine-tasting natural equivalent for for every man made concoction on earth. For every bottle of Gatorade there is a cup of young coconut water; for every dab of cream cheese there is a smear of avocado and salt; for every glass of chocolate milk there is a cup of carrot-romaine juice; for every muffin or cookie there is a soft, satisfying bite of baked kabocha squash (HEAB, I know you’re grinning right now).

To me, nothing embodies this truth more than the following recipe. I hesitate to call it a recipe, even, because it’s so damn simple.

Back in my pre-vegan days, I, like so many girls, was obsessed with “healthy” soft-serve ice creams – Tasti-D-Lite, Crema Lita, etc. (I’m sure that if I would have loooved Pinkberry, too, but it appeared on the scene long after I went vegan!) If my friends and clients are any indication, the stuff is like crack for many NYC ladies! And that’s OK: it’s definitely a healthy upgrade from, say, Haagen-Daaz. But it’s still not necessarily the best or most natural snack option out there—especially since lots of women tend to eat it as a meal in and of itself! (Note to my sistas everywhere: a cup of froyo is not nourishing enough for a meal!)

Well, if you’re into the pinkberry or Red Mango, boy, do I have a treat for you. It’s the best soft serve ice cream you’ll ever taste, but it’s 100% raw, 100% vegan, 100% unprocessed, and 100% delicious. It’s also kid-friendly and ridiculously simple to make.

Friends, behold banana soft serve.

ice-cream1

That’s right. Who knew that frozen bananas could, if given a spin in the food processor, rival the best fro-yo in town? Well believe me, they do. Once you try this recipe, I guarantee you’ll crave it instead of your usual ice cream—at least some of the time.

It couldn’t be more simple. Take 2-3 frozen bananas (you can freeze them in ziplock bags or in tupperware), like so (this was about 2 and a half):

frozen-bananas

And throw them in your food processor (I’ve tried this in a Vitamix, but the results weren’t great — you could also use certain juicers). Then turn the processor on and let it run for about five minutes, stopping every now and then to scrape it down. The bananas should get increasingly light, fluffy, and smooth. By the time you’re done, they’ll resemble a creamy bowl of soft serve, like so:

in-the-processor

Scoop them into a bowl and prepare to marvel!

ice-cream2

If you’re really feeling decadent, make some raw chocolate “syrup” by combining 2 tablespoons of agave nectar with 1 tablespoon raw or dark cocoa powder:

sauce

Drizzle it on top of the frozen bananas, and voila:

ice-cream-sauce

It’s a dessert or afternoon treat to rival the best sundaes and scoops out there. Really, I can’t begin to do justice to how delicious this is! Even if you don’t eat a lot of fruit, it’s worth treating yourself to this one every now and then. Trust me. It’s also a sweet treat you can feel great feeding your kids. Dairy and soy and preservative free ice cream? Yes please!!

So what are you waiting for? Stop reading, and start freezing those bananas you’ve got sitting on the counter.

You guys can thank me later ;-)

Have a beautiful, sunny Saturday.

xo

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{ 414 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard March 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

I Love your blog;thank you very much for the interesting ideas.|I really like your blog;thanks for the great ideas.}

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Dana March 23, 2013 at 11:38 pm

The Vitamix is the ‘perfect’ appliance for making this soft serve. That is one of the common uses for the Vitamix. You simply need to use the tamper while the machine is on high—pushing the frozen banana down into the blades. Perhaps this is the step you missed (?). It’s super easy and you will have your soft serve in less than 1 min. —also, just so you know, agave nectar is not a “natural sweetener” and it has more concentrated fructose in it than high fructose corn syrup. There has been a huge misconception regarding agave nectar and so many people don’t realize. If you research this, you will find this to be true. Try raw honey for your sweetener for this soft serve instead.

1 tbs. honey, 1 tbs. organic coconut oil, 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. raw cacao, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract makes a great (and healthy) choc. topping. Fill a small skillet with about an inch of water, place all ingred. in a ramekin, place in water and turn on high heat. Soon as it starts to boil, shut off heat (to keep topping from reaching over 118° to keep raw) and stir until completely melted. :)

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Moriah April 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Honey isn’t vegan!

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Gena April 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

No, it isn’t!

And I think the alarmism about agave is somewhat…well, alarmist. It’s no health food–no syrupy sweetener is–but there are still some reputable makers, and in moderation it’s not an enormous health risk

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trinity May 30, 2013 at 11:39 pm

The best thing to do is just let the bananas get really ripe before freezing them, they will be much sweeter and then you don’t need sweetener.

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yo January 25, 2014 at 1:44 am

As well as honey not being vegan, reaching boiling temperatures certainly isn’t raw! Food is considered raw under 118 degrees *centigrade*, not Fahrenheit!

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Some Dude February 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Actually, 100 degrees centigrade is the boiling temperature for water (212f). 118c = 244f.

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Annaham February 20, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Yeah I think you got centigrade and Fahrenheit mixed up there, yo. 118F is 47.77C, for us metric folk.

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Dana March 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Hi there. Me again. I should have given you the link to this eye-opening article on Agave Nectar.

http://www.foodrenegade.com/agave-nectar-good-or-bad/

Cheers and live awesome! :)

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Anonymous April 26, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Your opinion…

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Chris May 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I know science can hurt the brains of alarmists reading random un-credible websites and blogs by “nutrition experts” but they have no idea what the biochemical pathways used to metabolize fructose actually are or what biochemistry is for that matter. They throw random words at you like ” amino acids, vitamins, minerals, pectin, and fiber” NONE of which are needed in the metabolism of simple sugars into energy. those are all made inside your body and most are replenished easily and quickly enough anyways. That whole page is irrelevant to the concern of fructose. Be aware, I’m about to throw some science at you! By the looks of your posts you may need to take a breather every sentence or so to take this all in and make sure you are following along. All of this is readily available information on how fructose is metabolized. Look it up, not on a random health blog tho.

The initial breakdown of fructose is sometimes referred to as fructolysis, like glycolysis, the catabolism of glucose. In fructolysis, the enzyme fructokinase initially produces fructose 1-phosphate, which is split by aldolase B to produce dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde. Unlike glycolysis, in fructolysis the triose glyceraldehyde lacks a phosphate group. A third enzyme, trioskinase, is therefore required to phosphorylate glyceraldehyde, producing glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate.

Break time, SO in case you were unaware, phosphorylation requires a molecule of ATP to push the reaction in the direction needed. So we are two steps in and we are already using energy to digest fructose!!! Can you feel all that fructose just burrrrning up? I can!

The resulting glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate is identical to that obtained in glycolysis and can enter the gluconeogenic pathway for glucose or glycogen synthesis, or be further catabolized through the lower glycolytic pathway to pyruvate.

So let’s recap. After two reactions the EVILLLLL concentrated (Scary word there!) fructose is no different than your average glucose molecule. Glucose is the monomer of every carb you heath alarmists eat. Even your veggies, your whole grain pastas and rice. As a new constituent of many pathways available to it, its residing location will be determined by YOU.

Worked out recently? BAM straight into your muscles for conversion into glycogen to fuel that exercise or just basic walking around.

Blood sugar low? BAM straight into the bloodstream to keep your brain happy at 5mM.

Sit on your butt all day trolling health forums? BAMALAM! straight into ya beer bellyy!

Conclusions, It doesn’t matter the TYPE of sugar you eat. No one cares and neither will your body. The only difference is how MUCH you eat. With some being sweeter than others you may consume less fructose or glucose from one syrup than the other. And your current energy demands. It all comes down to ATP baby, everything you eat =ATP that little molecule that keeps your body movin and grovin. So is Agave or any other high fructose whatever scary name you call it good for you? Depends on how active you are. Very active people need to add in extra carbs as simple fructose and glucose to refuel after a tough workout. So don’t go spouting your nonsense because everyone’s needs are different. That “raw” honey you have can still be bad for you if you don’t need that energy. EVERY macro-nutrient (sugars, carbs, fats, proteins) can be broken down into pyruvate and stored as fat. With the exception of fats, they just get broken down to fatty acids and stored as fats, either way.

Ahhhhh rant over! lol

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Gena May 7, 2013 at 7:05 am

Hahaha. Thanks, Chris. Agree re: sugar alarmism. The fury over agave seems to be predicated on the idea that it was considered a health food in the first place, which it’s not. I like using dates because there may be some marginal added benefits (fiber, etc.), but really, a sugar is a sugar is a sugar — and some sugar is necessary.

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Will-Yum August 31, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I really want to read the rest of your post but I just can’t finish a post from someone who uses the word anyway with an s at the end. :(

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hkeller January 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

Are you a Dr. or do you just play one on TV? If you want to hear what a REAL Dr. has to say about the dangers of fructose and you think you can understand the science, try watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

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JC March 28, 2013 at 1:35 am

Love this, so easy and tasty!
Regarding replacing healthy food/drinks, I was with you until, “for every glass of chocolate milk there is a cup of carrot-romaine juice.” What?! Carrot romaine juice is so not a good, satisfying equivalent to good chocolate milk! You’ll scare people away from eating better with suggestions like that, LOL!
I highly recommend sugar-free chocolate almond milk, or soy milk. Very good, and I doubt your kids will even notice that it isn’t dairy. I also love Horizon’s Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk. It’s my favorite. I could down that stuff all day long. However, it still comes from a cow’s udder.

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Lulu April 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm

This is AMAZING!! I am sooo making.this in the summer haha. Thank you Gena!

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Donna April 8, 2013 at 12:50 pm

My kids grew up on this. (Now in late 20′s) I put the frozen bananas in the blender with some juice or soymilk. Frozen grapes, strawberries or peaches are good with the banana. I once tried sneaking a few frozen cherry tomatoes in once but my oldest, the tomato hater, noticed.

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cindyloohoo April 16, 2013 at 8:17 pm

huh?

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kat April 17, 2013 at 8:02 am

If you don’t have a food processor I make this by mashing the banana with a fork then freezing, you can add coconut cream for a bit of indulgence

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Tonya April 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm

I love your recipes. I see your in Pinterest, but there is no Pin It button on your post. Am I missing something? I would really like to Pin some of your post.

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ash_03 May 1, 2013 at 6:08 am

Wow! This is amazing! I just discovered your website and I love love LOVE all of your recipes so far! I also think your story is amazing! So excited to have found you and am looking forward to trying more of your yummy recipes! :)

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Gena May 3, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Thank you so much!

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Kristy May 20, 2013 at 11:39 am

So every time I try this, the blade just flies off my food processor. I’ve tried it in the big bowl & the 4 cup. Am I missing something?

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coby May 29, 2013 at 2:19 pm

can this be frozen after it has been whipped?

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Emily - It Comes Naturally June 5, 2013 at 8:46 am

I came across your recipe on Oh She Glows – amazing. I’ve been using it in my breakfasts ever since! http://itcomesnaturallyblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/midfields-granola-review/

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Elaine July 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Okay, as crazy as it sounds–I hate, nay, loathe bananas. Any way to do this with a different fruit? Would plaintains work? Avocado with some sort of sweetner?

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Gena July 2, 2013 at 7:23 am

I’m working on it! I’ve had a bunch of requests from banana-haters, so don’t worry.

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Jo July 31, 2013 at 9:20 am

I sometimes make avocado-cocoa-maple syrup pudding. I haven’t tried to freeze it to see if it would be good as “ice-cream” but it’s great as pudding. I sometimes add a banana to it too and a touch of vanilla.

A great thing to add to the banana ice cream is simply fresh strawberries processed into a liquid in the food precessor. Makes like a strawberry sundae! Yumm!

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Audrey September 1, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Plantains are not bananas and therefor will not work. You never eat plantains raw.

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Joan July 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

Ok – So I have a major sweet tooth which is my last “bad habit” . I am crazy interested in your comment … ” for every muffin or cookie there is a soft, satisfying bite of baked kabocha squash “. Don’t tell me you have ‘squash chunks’ for dessert??? Really? Do you dazzle them up or ?????

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NaturesComplete July 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm

This sounds amazing. I have some bananas at home. I will have to try this. YUMMY!!!

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margaret August 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I eat this almost every day! I add 1 T, of cocoa powder, I never liked ice cream but this…THIS is wonderful.

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margaret March 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm

add 1 T of nut butter and it’s wonderful!!

Make sure bananas are rock hard.

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Lisa August 27, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Tried it, but it didn’t one out like soft serve more like a baby food consistency. What did I do wrong? I put it in the food processor like the directions said.

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Shawnna October 5, 2013 at 5:54 am

Still a favorite in our house! Made it again today for my 7 year old who can’t have any sweeteners. We skipped the syrup step, but added a scoop of peanut butter. He loved it!

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Jeff October 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

Just wanna throw out there that agave nectar isn’t healthy. It’s a processed form of agave created in the 90′s that contains 90% fructose, making it worse for you than high fructose corn syrup.

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Toby October 27, 2013 at 7:28 pm

This is a topic which is near to my heart… Best wishes!
Where are your contact details though?

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Sue November 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Natural maple syrup is good :)

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Jenny November 27, 2013 at 4:54 am

I mjust had this with my morning protein pancake and you have CHANGED MY LIFE!

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Jenny November 27, 2013 at 4:58 am

I just ate this with my protein pancake breakfast and it changed my life! so so so amazing!

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website development agencies December 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Highly descriptive blog, I liked that a lot.
Will there be a part 2?

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Gianna February 21, 2014 at 11:16 pm

This looks delicious and convenient! I wonder if it will work if I use the nutribullet instead of a food processor?

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Aqiyl Aniys February 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

This is so simple yet so good!

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Carolina April 2, 2014 at 1:06 am

Great post! This is amazing simple to create, just bananas and caramel. I will do it today, I think I will impress my boyfriend with it. Thank you!

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Gena April 7, 2014 at 8:02 am

You will DEFINITELY impress your boyfriend, Carolina! Trust me!

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