Chocolate Cherry Banana Ice Cream reminds me of a certain iconic ice cream flavor, with fewer calories, no dairy, and no added sugar!
Have you tried banana ice cream yet? Unless you’ve been living under a rock (like me), you probably have, and fallen in love with it. I think I’ve had it maybe 1-2 times before, but as someone who prefers to use frozen bananas in smoothies, I just never thought about using them for ice cream, not even when I did my Whole 30. In case you’re wondering, you aren’t supposed to have banana ice cream on a Whole 30 anyway. But back to the point of this story and how this recipe came to be…
A few weeks (months?) back, a blog friend of mine, Jennifer, posted this recipe for a strawberry cheesecake banana ice cream and all of a sudden I *needed* banana ice cream. I had frozen cherries on hand, and the Godfather and I had recently had a conversation about Ben & Jerry’s – or maybe we just drove past one – and so I decided to make a clean version of a classic Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, Cherry Garcia. Only my version was going to have the newer cherry ice cream base instead of the old vanilla ice cream base. One time I made it I used cacao nibs, and another time I used dark chocolate chips. My family said they preferred the dark chocolate chips, but I think both have their merits and leave it up to your personal preference. 🙂
Making banana ice cream is very easy, you just put your frozen fruits into your food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. It takes a few minutes, and there’s a bit of time where you might think the ice cream won’t come together, but keep going and you’ll see that it does. Because of the cherries, my ice cream was a bit soft, so I placed it in a container and returned it to the freezer to harden. The consistency was perfect after about an hour! I could remove it from the freezer and immediately scoop a creamy bowl of a healthier Cherry Garcia copycat ice cream recipe for a snack. The trick to storing long term is to keep a bit of plastic wrap pressed along the top of the ice cream. That way ice crystals can’t form and you have perfect ice cream for several weeks.
Enjoy! Be sure to check out Jennifer’s website for healthier eating inspiration. I love her creative recipes and balanced approach to feeding herself and her family. I’ve tried a few of the recipes on her site and they are delicious!
- 2 cups frozen banana slices, about 2 medium
- 2 cups unsweetened frozen cherries, divided
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
- Place the frozen bananas and 1 1/2 cups of the frozen cherries in the food processor.
- Process 20 seconds, scrape the bowl, then process in additional 5 second increments until smooth and creamy, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Thaw the remaining 1/2 cup cherries and cut in halves.
- Stir the cherry pieces and chocolate into your banana ice cream base.
- Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze 1 hour until firm.