Banana Maple Walnut “Ice Cream” (Dairy- and Gluten-Free!)

I had heard you could make mock-ice cream out of frozen bananas.  I was skeptical, but I had a few spotted bananas on my counter, and I figured why not try! So, I peeled them, sliced them, wrapped them up and popped them into the freezer.While they were freezing, I contemplated what type of ice cream I would make.  You could easily make one-ingredient ice cream with just the frozen bananas, but I wanted to jazz it up a bit.  While the ripened bananas are sweet on their own, I wanted to add a little more sweetness.  I’m particularly fond of using maple syrup as a sweetener.  I thought I’d also throw in some nuts — walnuts to be exact.  Maple Walnut ice cream sounded pretty good to me — plus I figured the flavors would complement the bananas (think banana walnut muffin!).

I threw the chopped, frozen bananas into the food processor along with the maple syrup and pulsed it until it was smooth — like a softened ice cream texture. I then mixed in (by hand) the chopped walnuts.

The texture is definitely looser than ice cream, so you may want to put it in the freezer to set up a bit.  If so, a loaf pan covered with plastic wrap works out nicely.

This is a great mock-ice cream.  It’s creamy and delicious, and it is a perfect ice cream substitute.  It’s also ideal for those who follow a dairy- or gluten-free diet.

As far as my family goes, they really enjoyed it — in fact, they were asking for more!

While an ice cream aficionado might turn their nose up, a health-conscious ice cream-loving mom will love this recipe — not only will she get rid of the spotted bananas in the house, but she will reap a healthy frozen dessert in return!

Banana Maple Walnut “Ice Cream”Serves 4 people

4 ripe bananas cut into 1 inch slices and frozen3-4 tablespoons maple syrup ( I use grade B for thickness)1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

In the bowl of a food processor add your bananas and maple syrup (you can adjust the amount of syrup based on your desired level of sweetness). Pulse until the bananas break down, resembling a smooth creamy consistency.  Remove mixture and add to a bowl.  Mix in the chopped walnuts.  Serve immediately or pop back into the freezer for a more solid consistency.