The Kitchn's One-Ingredient Ice Cream

By • August 22, 2012 46 Comments

1,085 + Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!


Author Notes: Making one-ingredient ice cream couldn't be simpler. It comes out like the frozen bananas you ate at the boardwalk as a kid, except (thanks to the high pectin content) it whips up like Marshmallow Fluff. Vegan and raw foodists have long known this trick, but a few years ago, The Kitchn published a photo tutorial and one-ingredient ice cream went mainstream. Bloggers spread the gospel and suddenly it wasn't just a workaround for ice cream, but an exciting dessert in its own right, regardless of its pure reputation.Genius Recipes

Serves 4-6

  • 1 bunch bananas
  1. Peel your bananas.
  2. Cut them into small pieces.
  3. Freeze for just 1-2 hours on a plate or tray. (Or leave them in the freezer indefinitely -- just let them thaw a little before making the ice cream.)
  4. Blend, blend, blend in the food processor -- scraping down the bowl when they stick.
  5. Enjoy the magic moment when they turn into ice cream! Try mixing in other fruits, nut butters, or chocolate.
  6. Freeze any leftovers and process again when ready to serve.
💬 View Comments ()

Comments (46) Questions (1)

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar
23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar
535dbf20-a3d3-4941-b965-f18c11dace6d

about 23 hours ago Bubbawubba Gump

I just don't understand how anyone can call frozen bananas "ice cream"? It doesn't remotely taste like ice cream. It is akin to calling sliced zucchini "steak".

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

22 days ago Gal

I made this yesterday and couldn't believe how good it was!
I added some toasted walnuts on top for some crunch and it was perfect!!
If you’ve never toasted nuts before, toasting nuts releases their essential oils. This causes the nuts to become more fragrant and flavorful than in their raw state. To toast the walnuts heat a frying pan on the stove top and turn on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add a single layer of the nuts. You do not need to add any oil or cooking spray - the nuts have enough oils on their own to cook. Stir frequently with a spatula until the nuts turn golden brown and smell amazing (about 10-15 minutes) then remove from heat, and if necessary, from pan, as they will continue to cook after being removed from the heat.

A028427c-7b8b-4d1e-a589-76ec9811f6fd.photo

29 days ago Kate

This with cardamom is to-die-for. You could probably add some cinnamon and ginger to make it more chai-ey. Or some mint to make it brighter.

37e59917-56fc-42ab-b777-606d91d0fc57.fb_avatar

2 months ago Diana Wilks

1 frozen bananna + 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp honey = awesome kid-aproved smoothie...

38ccba0c-2ce9-40df-be40-33eee27c883a.stringio

4 months ago Mari G

I read about this through Pinterest a few days ago.
Today I had a ripe banana that got warm in the car while I was shopping a flea market. When I got home I put the banana in the freezer (still in it's peel) to cool it down. I forgot about it and 30 minutes later pulled it out.
It didn't look that great to eat as is.
I remembered this recipe. I peeled the banana and put it in my Magic Bullet. Seconds later I had ice cream!!
Next time I'm going to try this and add some chocolate! =)
Thanks for this recipe!! =)

3b0261fe-5abd-4f30-a098-ecfdcd951065.16324330541_56657aa2b8_b

5 months ago booglix

I had heard about this, but didn't try it until tonight. It was delicious. Observations: banana chunks needed to thaw a while after being frozen for 2-3 hours (and they still caused my food processor quite a workout - maybe a Vitamix would be better?), it went very well with the "magic shell" recipe on this site (only three ingredients in the final dish!), and next time I plan to try this with cardamom.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

12 months ago pfarra

I'm happy for the comment from MrsBeeton. I don't really like ripe banana taste, so have unripe banana slices freezing now. Hopefully, it will turn out well. Plan to make the chocolate peanut butter version, but with crunchy peanut butter, not smooth.

8e0edf25-c5ac-4b3a-9a6f-fec23e1b0199.img_5217

about 1 year ago Monaeats

This is a staple of the raw food community, but ripe bananas are KEY.

Da02b5aa-4631-4649-ac82-ce4e637a0caf.p5230044

about 1 year ago RoseTex10

Can't beat this! Sooooo good. Thanks

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

about 1 year ago tulip549

Oh my goodness, you guys are SO innovative. I am never going back to regular ice cream again- this is DELICIOUS! And so healthy!

6c39e401-a5d2-453b-8a57-a6c116647fa1.wrong_apple

about 1 year ago sevenfaces

This + salted macadamias = simple dessert heaven!!

A0e77f54-634f-4ee3-a40d-1748c5d2f1f9.img_1575

about 1 year ago Scribbles

Thanks for the reminder about this super simple and so delicious dessert!

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

about 1 year ago Rosa

Oh, I do this all the time with bananas! The ice cream gets even deeper (sweeter) in taste when you use overripe bananas (I only freeze them once speckled). It doesn't sound appealing, but it's worth it.
I've always been a banana lover, but ever since I discovered this recipe I've only eaten them in the form of ice cream, ha!

I use my blender as well, but first I definitely have to let my frozen bananas thaw for 20 to 30 minutes. Otherwise it's so hard that the blender gets stuck.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

about 1 year ago joannajw

I was given some fudge which I don't really like (too sweet) so I put a chunk of it in here. Very yummy but I've got a lot more fudge to go through!

C8f36883-b3c3-4922-b070-824e7a6e843e.031

over 1 year ago MaureenOnTheCape

Outrageously easy and so delicious. Thank you!

01c3fb8c-54c5-481a-98ca-6331078c8ddf.eydie_picture

over 1 year ago Eydie Desser

Love that ice cream spoon. Where did you get it?

39bc764f-7859-45d4-9e95-fc5774280613.headshot_2.0_crop

over 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It's from Amanda's vintage spoon collection -- the shape is similar to this (sadly currently out of stock) vintage butter spade in our online shop: http://food52.com/provisions...

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

over 2 years ago Jesse Raben

This works- wife said to me- ok promise there is nothing else in here?

6492210a-4ec2-46c6-b308-a3c62d7101e8.my_catering_(2)

over 2 years ago Aliwaks

Read this made it 5 min later (had some frozen bananas) added dash of salt & some vanilla, the salt kind of have it some more dimension, stirred in a few dark chocolate chips for good measure. Yum! May heat some peanut butter later to make it over the top. Also thinking it would be amazing with a drizzle of maple syrup & a few toasted walnuts

C03dbeb3-e16f-4f39-82ec-92e8f78dee95.stringio

over 2 years ago Nanny R Molina

Can I just use a blender? I also have a NutraBullet.. this smaller blender is very powerful and fast..

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

over 2 years ago Rachel McGuire

This sounds soo good. I'm going to try it when I get home tonight!

7768a174-efba-4616-9dd6-cea954623e5a.better_side_profile

over 2 years ago Laura Abbasi

Made it. Loved it. Can't wait to make it again!

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago dbrowning

sooo good. no need to add anything although melted peanut butter on top and/or drizzle of honey - very good!

Af38616b-d7eb-44d4-a1fa-b4d6163a347d.gill_pic_3

almost 3 years ago Gill Watson

Tried it and blogged it with pictures. Truly a miracle but as Alain B commented, it goes through a very scary grainy stage. http://gillwatsonlifebites...

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago mlledaffodil

thanks to mrs. beeton for her experience with ripe vs. superripe bananas. to gustus who doesn't want to reprocess leftover "ice cream" -- what if you tried adding a dash of alcohol? because alcohol doesn't freeze, this is a common solution for keeping philadelphia-style (eggless) ice cream soft -- it works. Maybe banana rum?


Dc4f378d-9c5f-4bc7-bccc-a12dec743a08.pic

almost 3 years ago AlainB

Great ice cream! My daughter loves banana ice cream, so she was begging me to make this all week-end. I finally threw some cut-up bananas in the freezer, waited a few hours, then threw them in my food processor. Well, it was chunking around and didn't look right, so I ran to the iPad to check the recipe, I thought I did something wrong. Looked simple enough, so I went back to the food processor (which I left running) and voila! Ice cream! I missed the turning point, but I have more bananas in the freezer already!

B653a574-a411-44eb-aa90-6e1e397003d6.isabella_beeton

almost 3 years ago MrsBeeton

I've discovered that you can really vary this terrific treat with the ripeness of the bananas. A ripe banana will be unmistakably banana-ish. Which is fine, if you really love banana. But a not-so-ripe banana is a great launching ground for other flavors, as the banana flavor is quite a bit less apparent, and the other ingredients can shine: chocolate (we melted down some great chocolate and added it when it had come to room temp), or fruit, or . . . anything. YUM--different every time.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago gustus

Is there something you can add to eliminate the need to process the leftovers again?

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago mlledaffodil

I keep blackened bananas in the freezer to add to my dad's ice cream protein shakes (how to hide the nasty liquid supplement? ice cream + frozen banana + protein drink + cocoa powder + emulsion blender = super thick shake). But your photos here show yellow bananas -- preferable? has anyone experimented with degrees of ripeness? I am curious if 1) the pectin breaks down with age; 2) the extra sugar freezes less; 3) the color of the overripe is too unappealing?

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago Sara from Brooklyn

I made this last night, using a blender. It was as creamy as ice cream and loved by my whole family, even the non-vegans.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago bjcohan

My mom used to make this for me when I was a kid. (A very long time ago!)
Try adding a bit of cinnamon.
Or rum.
Frozen pineapple (preferably fresh, but even from a can if packed in juice not syrup) also makes up nicely, though I don't know if it does the pectin thing. It surely is delicious. (Yes, with cinnamon and rum too!)

38ccba0c-2ce9-40df-be40-33eee27c883a.stringio

4 months ago Mari G

Yea, when I made mine just a few minutes ago, instantly I thought about adding some cinnamon!
The pineapple sounds like a great idea!

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago Yogicfioodie

I would love to try!

Can I use a blender instead of food processor?

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago PCorbett

I added a little bit of Trader Joe's frozen yogurt that I had in my freezer. It was delicious.

4798a9c2-4c90-45e5-a5be-81bcb1f69c5c.junechamp

almost 3 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Ooooh, yummy! wil be making this VERY soon (like tonight?). It makes my Quick Strawberry Sherbet http://www.food52.com/recipes... look difficult!

(How do they do that?)

39bc764f-7859-45d4-9e95-fc5774280613.headshot_2.0_crop

almost 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

That sherbet is brilliant!

8fdf6cea-770b-4f0a-84d1-e1f3dd82915c.img_0949

almost 3 years ago stephanieRD

Wondering if it would work to add a little bit of avocado to this to amp up the creamy texture?

39bc764f-7859-45d4-9e95-fc5774280613.headshot_2.0_crop

almost 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It would! And the great thing is you can just keep tweaking to taste. Honey is good with the avocado and banana too.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago annaclarice

When freezing leftovers do you you break it down into smaller amounts for easier processing later?

39bc764f-7859-45d4-9e95-fc5774280613.headshot_2.0_crop

almost 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

That's a great idea, but it also doesn't take long for it to melt enough to break up with a spatula or spoon before processing either.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago sboulton

did you use a food processor to blend them or an ice cream maker?

39bc764f-7859-45d4-9e95-fc5774280613.headshot_2.0_crop

almost 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Food processor!

3483dd75-78ad-41f7-9457-317dfa0b9b36.prayerwheelme

almost 3 years ago Ray Cooper

How cool is this! I need to try the banana/pectin hint for strawberry jam too. Right now I use Pomona's Universal Pectin, which allows me to make really low sugar jams. Try peach/strawberry or cherry/strawberry. Use 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of fruit. Plenty sweet and only 1/4 the normal amount of sugar. I wonder how adding other fruits to bananas in this recipe would work?

39bc764f-7859-45d4-9e95-fc5774280613.headshot_2.0_crop

almost 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It works well! The Kitchn published some variations earlier this summer: http://www.thekitchn.com...

And Gena Hamshaw will share hers -- which sound delicious! -- in her New Veganism column on FOOD52 tomorrow.

23b88974-7a89-4ef5-a567-d442bb75da04.avatar

almost 3 years ago NunnGirl

Can you over blend?

39bc764f-7859-45d4-9e95-fc5774280613.headshot_2.0_crop

almost 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

NunnGirl, you can't really overblend, although you can keep going until it melts and isn't ice cream-like anymore (then you should just refreeze and blend again, or turn it into a smoothie).