I am such a bad food blogger. I’ve been enjoying this ice cream all summer long and I haven’t shared it with you until now. The biggest reason why? I can’t stop eating it long enough to take a picture.
But that’s okay, because there’s nothing bad in here at all. It’s literally just bananas, cocoa powder, and a hint of almond butter and vanilla. No dairy or sugar for those of us on anti-inflammatory diets, yet you’d never in your life know it. Technically, that makes it a banana sorbet, not ice cream, but who’s really counting? Whatever it is, it’s delicious and healthy yet feels like you’re indulging.
Plus, it’s a sneaky way to get extra phytonutrients into your day. Most people know that bananas are packed with potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, minimizes bone loss, and treats muscle cramps and spasms. But they’re an even better source of manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Plus, this recipe calls for extremely ripe bananas, which have higher levels of a powerful antioxidant called nonfluorescing chlorophyll catabolyte than their less-ripe counterparts.
But cocoa powder and almond butter play their part too. Cocoa has a similar antioxidant profile as tea and red wine, which helps to offset free radicals and inflammation. Almonds pack more manganese than the bananas, even, plus vitamin E, magnesium, and vitamin B2, among others, for even more anti-inflammatory power. Not bad for health food masquerading as dessert.
Chocolate-Almond Banana Ice Cream
4 very ripe bananas, sliced and frozen*
4–5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (use more if you love dark chocolate)
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon homemade vanilla extract (use less if store bought)
Place frozen banana slices in a food processor and blend until creamy. (You may need to let the slices thaw for a minute or two so they blend better.) Add cocoa powder, almond butter, and vanilla extract and blend until combined. Either serve immediately for “soft-serve” ice cream texture, or transfer to a freezer-safe container to freeze completely.
* Place slices on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet and freeze for several hours or overnight. If not using the slices right away, transfer them to a zip-top plastic bag for longer storage in the freezer.