Now that temperatures have soared above 100 degrees here in California, I can’t stop daydreaming about ice cream. Since I was a kid, my favorite dessert has always been a big bowl of ice cream complete with all the toppings, especially chocolate syrup and strawberry jam. While I don’t mind indulging in that childhood favorite on occasion, I’ve turned my attention toward something just as creamy and satisfying with a fruit-packed twist.
Puréed banana chunks magically turn into soft-serve ice cream. Who knew? Delicious on its own or with flavors added, you’ll be amazed at how similar this tastes to real ice cream. I’ve been serving this cold treat to my two-year-old niece all summer, and each time she squeals with excitement. Want to take this idea to the next level? Let’s try a banana ice cream milkshake. I’ve included two of my favorite flavors here, Cherry Chocolate (which happens to taste like a blended Cherry Garcia Milkshake) and Peach Pie.
Make sure that your fruit is frozen; it won’t work the same if the fruit is room temperature. Lastly, to make sure this is a milkshake and not a smoothie, start off with 1 cup of liquid for every 2 bananas. You might need to add a little more liquid as you go, but if you go too liquid-heavy at the beginning it won’t be as thick!
Chocolate Cherry Milkshakes
2 bananas, frozen, cut into 1″ chunks
1 cup Hazelnut Chocolate milk (can sub regular chocolate milk or chocolate soy milk)
1 cup frozen cherries
½ – 1 tbsp. unsweetened chocolate powder (optional, if you want a more intense chocolate taste or if you are using plain milk)
Place the bananas, hazelnut chocolate milk, cherries and chocolate powder into a high powered blender and puree until creamy and smooth. Depending on the power of your blender, you may need to add a little more milk. You want the texture to be thick, similar to a milkshake. Pour into two glasses and serve!
Peach Pie Milkshake
For the milkshake base
2 bananas, frozen, cut into 1” chunks.
1 cup milk of choice
1 cup frozen peach chunks
½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the pie topping
4 Medjool dates, pitted
⅛ cup pecans
⅛ cup almonds
Place the pitted dates, pecans and almonds into a food processor or blender and pulse until finely crumbled. Set aside.
Place the bananas, milk, peach and vanilla extract into a high powered blender and purée until creamy and smooth. Depending on the power of your blender, you may need to add a little more milk. You want the texture to be thick, similar to a milkshake. Pour into two glasses and top with pie topping.
Photo Credit: Alex Caspero