Recipe of the Week: One-ingredient “Ice Cream”


So I want ice cream, low calorie, no fat, full-flavor, luscious texture, freshly made, but easy, and cheap. I know, you’re quoting the Stones, “you can’t always get what you want”, get ready to settle, just be happy with what you need—a little Ben and Jerry’s.

Well, you don’t  have to settle. This recipe is genius. It gets you all of the above—if you like bananas.

This recipe has been on the Internets for awhile but it is fascinating and perfect for a healthy, late-summer dessert.

It’s fascinating because it is so simple. Just peal and cut up some bananas, freeze them for 1-2 hours, whiz in the food processor until they become soft and fluffy—like soft serve ice cream. And eat. (1 bunch of bananas makes 4-6 servings. 2 bananas makes a small cup.)

Food 52 got curious about why the bananas don’t become just another fruit puree and so they asked erstwhile molecular gastronome Nathan Myhrvold for his best guess:

I am pretty sure the reason is that bananas are very high in pectin.” Myhrvold wrote. “So much so that if you add them to strawberry jam, you can omit the pectin you would otherwise need to add.

Of course, lots of fruits have pectin in their cell walls so I’m curious about whether other fruits will work. Food 52 says no. Myhrvold says mangoes, but only if you own a Pacojet. (Think ultra high speed food processor that cuts through ice.)

But don’t throw over-ripened bananas out; throw them in the freezer. If they are hard frozen, allow to thaw a little before processing. And if you have some left over, just refreeze and whip again. Add some peanut butter if you want.

This recipe is so good it should be illegal.



  1. love this – in fact, i recently got a “yonanas” as a gift and blogged about it… frozen bananas make the best “ice cream”…i often top mine w/ a few choc chips and coconut for an “almond joy” of sorts.

  2. Thanks for visiting healthy girl. I’ve seen the “yonanas” but I’m not sure I see why a good food processor wouldn’t perform the same function.


    Good suggestion. Avocados have plenty of pectin and a similar consistency to bananas. If you eat it right away oxidation shouldn’t be a problem. It’s worth trying.

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