This vegan banana soft serve is a creamy, delicious frozen treat! Made with only one ingredient, it’s plant-based, dairy free, and refined sugar free. It’s also totally kid friendly.
One of the things I delight in most is to create vegan alternatives to beloved and familiar treats. Nothing embodies this process more than the following recipe for life-changing vegan banana soft serve. I hesitate to call it a recipe, even, because it’s so ridiculously simple!
Back in my pre-vegan days, I was obsessed with low-calorie soft-serve ice creams—Tasti-D-Lite, Crema Lita, etc. (I’m sure that if I would have loved Pinkberry, too, but it appeared on the scene long after I went vegan). I’m now thankfully past the point of insisting on low calorie treats, but I’ve kept my love of soft serve ice cream. I prefer it, honestly, to traditional, firmer scoops.
If you happen to share my weakness for this type of froyo, then this is the treat for you. It’s raw, vegan, made from fresh fruit, and 100% delicious. It’s also kid-friendly and ridiculously simple to make. And, while I’m a big believer that desserts don’t have to be nutritious in order to be worthy, this one happens to be.
Friends, behold banana soft serve.
That’s right. Who knew that frozen bananas could, if given a spin in the food processor, rival the best frozen yogurt in town? Believe me, they do. Once you try this recipe, I guarantee you’ll crave it as often as conventional frozen treats. Maybe even more often. And you won’t believe how straightforward it is to make. See for yourself!
There are two ways to make banana soft serve: with a food processor, or in a blender. I’m devoted to using a food processor. I think it gives the soft serve the richest, creamiest texture. If you’re willing to be patient, you won’t need to add any milk to get a beautiful, whipped, smooth texture. The downside of this method is that it can be noisy and dramatic (more on this below). And of course, you’ll need a powerful food processor (at least 7 cups) to do it.
You can also use a blender to make your banana soft serve. If you do, you’ll probably need to add some non-dairy milk to get things blending. How much milk you add will depend on the blender you use: the more powerful, the less milk you’ll need to add. If you have a blender with a tamper, you can use that to keep the bananas blending without using a lot of liquid.
If you use a food processor to make your banana soft serve, you’ll need to be patient. It takes a few minutes (about 5) for the bananas to reach a good consistency. The process is a lot like making homemade nut butter. There will be a moment when it seems as though the bananas will never turn into ice cream, but if you allow them to do their thing, they will.
If you use a blender (or a Nutribullet), start with a small amount of non-dairy milk and add more slowly. I recommend one tablespoon at a time. If you add a lot of liquid at once, you’ll end up with something that’s more of a smoothie than ice cream. And while that’s lovely, it’s not the goal!
This applies only to blender banana soft serve, but use your tamper tool if you have one. Using the tamper as you go will ensure that the soft serve can blend into creamy goodness without the need for a lot of non-dairy milk.
Once your soft serve is ready, you can jazz it up with the addition of favorite mix-ins! Mine include melted vegan chocolate, peanut butter, vegan chocolate chips, cinnamon, and toasted coconut flakes. You can either sprinkle these add-ins on top, or you can quickly pulse or blend them into the soft serve to distribute them. A little dollop of raw, vegan whipped cream is also a nice treat.
I think that this vegan soft serve is best enjoyed when it’s just been made. However, you can re-freeze it once if you end up with extra on your hands. If you do this, you can actually return it to your blender or food processor when you’re ready to eat the leftovers. This will help you to get a creamy, whipped texture once again.
Readers often ask whether you can create fruit ice cream with other fruits. The short answer is yes, of course! Frozen cherries and mango also make wonderful fruit ice creams. When it comes to texture, though, I think bananas can’t be beat. No other fruit has given me the same smooth, creamy consistency that bananas do.
If you’d like to add another fruit, I recommend starting with a base of at least 2 bananas and adding one cup of another fruit. This will ensure that your ice cream still has that lovely, frozen yogurt consistency. My favorite fruit additions are blueberries, cherries, and peaches. If you’d like more tips (and a great recipe that includes peaches), you can check out this article.
I can’t begin to do justice to how delicious this is! So what are you waiting for? Stop reading, and start freezing those bananas you’ve got sitting on the counter. You can thank me later 😉
Have a beautiful, sunny Saturday.
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Hi Gena, would a Ninja foodie work in place of a food processor or blender?
It ought to work! You may need to add some plant milk to help facilitate the blending. Add it 1 T at a time, so that you don’t add too much and turn it into a smoothie 🙂 I hope that you enjoy!
Can you slice the ripe bananas before freezing them? It will make less noise and may take less time to make the finished product.
Yes, you can definitely slice them!
I will definitely try this on home, recipe looks really delicious
Re banana soft serve
What do you mean non dairy milk. I am no longer using milk products(exception organic cheese occasionally) I’ve been using hemp milk, almond milk and cashue milk. I hate assuming. It never goes well for me to assume
Almond or cashew milk will work well!
Hi, can you freeze the soft serve once you’ve made it or do you have to eat it right away?
It’s best if you eat it right away. If you re-freeze, you need to re-process in order to get the whipped texture.
Yummy..I will try it at my home…Thanks for sharing amazing post.
This sounds soooooooo delish and super easy!!!! You are much appreciated!!!
This thing looks and(probably) tastes heavenly. My mouth is watering as I’m typing this. My eyes are also watering… 🙁
This soft serve absolutely hit the spot this past weekend when it was steaming outside. I had never heard of it, but was looking for things to try without going overboard with ice cream, and this was perfecto!
This is the perfect sweet treat, I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before! I’m a licensed acupuncturist and life coach, and I’m always looking for simple solutions for my patients. This should certainly help satisfy their sweet tooth! Thanks for sharing!
I have a whole bunch of bananas that I just threw in the freezer. Definitely going to use them to make this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂
Thanks, Jordasche! Enjoy.
I have been making this at least weekly (almost daily…) in the summer! I add a spoonful of chocolate peanut butter (or peanut butter and dark cocoa powder) for a creamy smoothie after a workout.
I’m trying to subscribe to your blog, but the subscribe button doesn’t seem to work after I enter my email! Please help!
Do the bananas need to be rock hard? I’m afraid it will burn out my food processor?
Do the bananas need to be frozen solid? Thanks.
I’ve made something similar to this, but probably the texture wasn’t nearly as perfect as the recipe will make…. I don’t own a blender nor a food processor, so I just chilled my bananas very cold (not frozen), added fully frozen raspberries and used my immersion blender. The frozen raspberries did the job for the bananas and I got something at least very similar to ice cream! Yummmmm!
I later tried the same banana idea but this time I had no frozen berries on hand, so now there was some more effort and lots of waiting time – and probably my banana-cream wasn’t too healthy…
I added sweetened vanilla soy milk and glucose-fructose-syrup to the very cold (but not frozen) bananas, mashed the bananas a bit and gave everything a good stir before freezing the mixture. I think I waited about 30-60 minutes before blending it all together with my immersion blender, then put the container back to the freezer for about 2-4 hours. Turned out so gooooood!
You can’t let it freeze all the way though if you still want to scoop it with a spoon, not drill holes into solid ice. And because it will turn into an ice block anyway if you freeze it overnight, probably any kind of sweetener (normal sugar or what ever you prefer to use) )will work and pure vanilla powder could easily replace the soy milk. Maybe the alcohol in vanilla extract could help with the ice crystals so it wouldn’t be so hard after over-freezing?
Just tried this for the first time adding two pitted Medjool dates for sweetener! Perfection!
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!
You will DEFINITELY impress your boyfriend, Carolina! Trust me!
This is so simple yet so good!
This looks delicious and convenient! I wonder if it will work if I use the nutribullet instead of a food processor?
Highly descriptive blog, I liked that a lot.
Will there be a part 2?
I just ate this with my protein pancake breakfast and it changed my life! so so so amazing!
I mjust had this with my morning protein pancake and you have CHANGED MY LIFE!
Natural maple syrup is good 🙂
This is a topic which is near to my heart… Best wishes!
Where are your contact details though?
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.
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!
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.
I eat this almost every day! I add 1 T, of cocoa powder, I never liked ice cream but this…THIS is wonderful.
add 1 T of nut butter and it’s wonderful!!
Make sure bananas are rock hard.
This sounds amazing. I have some bananas at home. I will have to try this. YUMMY!!!
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 ?????
Danielle Beauparlant Moser of Blended Learning Team, LLC,
thinks,” During 2010 social media marketing with more than $18m in sales and marketing objectives. With Black Friday 2012 quickly approaching, it is accepted as suffering to be endured. For the marketing cycle, the Internet has become a mandatory guideline to follow for updates. Search the Internet for the person.
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?
I’m working on it! I’ve had a bunch of requests from banana-haters, so don’t worry.
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!
Plantains are not bananas and therefor will not work. You never eat plantains raw.
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/
can this be frozen after it has been whipped?
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?
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! 🙂
Thank you so much!
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.
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
Thank you. I was looking for a recipe that didn’t require a food processor.
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.
This is AMAZING!! I am sooo making.this in the summer haha. Thank you Gena!
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.
Hi there. Me again. I should have given you the link to this eye-opening article on Agave Nectar.
Cheers and live awesome! 🙂
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
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.
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. 🙁
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
I’m shocked by the unkind and mean-spirited comments so many of you write! This isn’t a free-for-all to hurt others. Try a little kindness. If you don’t care for the blog, then don’t follow it. Maybe bite your tongue and consider someones else’s feelings.
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. 🙂
Honey isn’t vegan!
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
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.
As well as honey not being vegan, reaching boiling temperatures certainly isn’t raw! Food is considered raw under 118 degrees *centigrade*, not Fahrenheit!
Actually, 100 degrees centigrade is the boiling temperature for water (212f). 118c = 244f.
Yeah I think you got centigrade and Fahrenheit mixed up there, yo. 118F is 47.77C, for us metric folk.
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