5 Ingredients or Fewer

The Kitchn's One-Ingredient Ice Cream

August 22, 2012
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4-6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ryan Ochsner
    Ryan Ochsner
  • Taylor Stanton
    Taylor Stanton
  • Alaina Cillis
    Alaina Cillis
  • Giustina
  • Bubbawubba Gump
    Bubbawubba Gump
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

61 Reviews

Chef G. August 20, 2023
This is just frozen mushed bananas. Save yourself some time and just eat your banana instead.
TKT August 13, 2020
I wonder - Could I add a little rum or vodka to keep it from getting too frozen when stored?
joannajw August 14, 2020
Yes you could (but not for the kids!). How about rum & a little pineapple - pina colada ice cream :). Also, what I do if it freezes too hard is just blend it up again.
LULULAND August 1, 2018
Maybe this is a silly question but here goes, how many bananas are in a bunch, 6 or 7?
joannajw August 14, 2020
It really doesn't matter as this is the only ingredient you can use as many as you like. I've done it with one banana though that doesn't blend up very well & makes a kind of skimpy dessert!
PAt August 30, 2017
an excellent mixin-cookie butter YUM
Ryan O. November 19, 2016
Where can I find a serving dish like this? It looks like an aluminum pudding mold. Any help?
Amanda H. November 19, 2016
Hi Ryan, I bought these at Divertimenti in London about 15 years ago. The store is still around so you might want to reach out to see if they still carry them. Good luck!
Taylor S. June 2, 2016
DELICIOUS, especially with some dark chocolate peanut butter or rum :)
This and gin + tonics have been my go-to summer dinners...probably not the most nourishing but refreshing, yes!
tamater S. June 8, 2016
It might be a good idea to buy a blood sugar testing kit. I'm sure the buzz is great, but seriously. Don't want to sound sarcastic, because I really am wishing you the best. Just know that doing this kind of thing on a regular basis could cause the pancreas to quit (type 2 diabetes).
Lynnie August 30, 2017
It's bananas, with no added sugar. Peanut butter is not necessarily a sugar spiker and as for chocolate, depends on the particulars. With the high fiber, bananas are mid-range in terms of glycemic index...ie, blood sugar spiking. Tonic is low glycemic index. A shot of gin...meh. Your advice is random and ill-informed, not knowing anything else about Taylor's physical condition or lifestyle. Eating frozen bananas/p-nut butter with a gin/tonic chaser is not particularly more egregious than a whole slew of typical carb-based meals (think pasta, risotto, pizza, etc) with vino.
tamater S. August 30, 2017
Maybe I was over reacting, because I was newly diagnosed with T2d not long before I wrote that, and as the news got around my village, I was approached by several people with T2d, and they all know others with it. Nowadays, I waver between wanting to raise alarm bells like an evangelical, about our collective sugar consumption, and keeping my big mouth shut. But it's hard. I think it may take a while, but one day historians will look back with incredulity at our sugar/carb consumption, as we now look back on the Victorians' consumption of opiates.
witloof April 21, 2016
Here is a three ingredient wonder that does not require freezing the banana: A bag of frozen raspberries or blackberries, a banana, and some vanilla. Put the raspberries into the food processor and make sure there are no large frozen chunks. Start the motor and drop in the banana in two inch pieces. Blend until creamy and add a splash of vanilla. I often eat this for breakfast in the summer.
Alaina C. October 23, 2015
Adding peanut butter also makes this amazing...!
Giustina August 13, 2015
Oh my goodness, this is so wonderful! I froze my chopped banana for 1.5 hours and put it right in my ninja blender. (Too excited to wait for defrosting!) It has the texture of a soft ice cream but it's filling like a banana. I ate It right out of the blender. :) Can't wait to try variations.
Bubbawubba G. August 3, 2015
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".
Gal July 13, 2015
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.
Kate July 6, 2015
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.
Diana W. May 30, 2015
1 frozen bananna + 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp honey = awesome kid-aproved smoothie...
Mari G. April 19, 2015
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!! =)
booglix February 27, 2015
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.
pfarra August 10, 2014
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.
Monaeats August 2, 2014
This is a staple of the raw food community, but ripe bananas are KEY.
RoseTex10 June 27, 2014
Can't beat this! Sooooo good. Thanks
tulip549 May 30, 2014
Oh my goodness, you guys are SO innovative. I am never going back to regular ice cream again- this is DELICIOUS! And so healthy!
sevenfaces May 28, 2014
This + salted macadamias = simple dessert heaven!!