Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

A couple years ago when we started to get a little more serious about eating healthier, there was this popular idea floating around about making ‘ice cream’ out of frozen bananas. I was more than a little skeptical because ice cream is a food group unto itself in our family – it’s serious business to say the least. For years I used to make a different flavor of homemade ice cream every Sunday, (and yes… we went through a lot of heavy cream).

But I wanted to try and be open minded, so I froze some bananas and gave it a whirl. As my husband and I were trying the first spoonfuls straight out of the food processor, I think my exact response was, ‘this doesn’t taste like ice cream at all, I feel like I’m eating frozen baby food’. Since Tyler wasn’t a fan of it either, I gave up on the idea for awhile. After some time passed I just had to try it again, but this time with other ingredients instead of straight up banana.

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

I had a hunch that adding some peanut butter and creating some sort of chunky monkey situation might be a good place to start. And as a side note, you can use any nut butter here in place of the peanut butter if that’s not part of your diet. The peanut butter added just enough richness, and the cocoa powder cuts the straight up banana flavor, and a shot of vanilla extract rounds it all out.

I didn’t tell Tyler I had made another ‘banana based ice cream’ before he tried it, and he absolutely loved it! I’ve started making it almost every week as a little something sweet to have around for late night chocolate cravings. It keeps really well with a fairly soft creamy texture in the freezer above my fridge, but it does get a little too hard to eat when I put it in the chest freezer.

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

For this recipe you want ripe speckled bananas, which is another bonus I love because I almost always have bananas going brown before I can use them. Now, when I know I’m not going to use them in time, I break them up into quarters, and freeze them for ‘ice cream’.

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

I just froze mine in a plastic bag, but you can use any kind of reusable container you have as well.

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

I wasn’t very careful about chunking up my bananas before freezing them and there are some bigger pieces in the above photo. But over time I’ve learned that it’s better to break them into quarters or smaller before freezing them because it’s easier to process them into ice cream.

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

I usually have to stop the food processor a couple of times to scrape down the sides, and break up and chunks that form.

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

You’ll know your ‘ice cream’ is done when it’s all smooth with no chunks remaining.

Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream | Get Inspired Everyday!

I love how this ‘ice cream’ is so creamy with the texture of soft serve, and I would’ve never thought that bananas could create such magic!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 5 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen
  • ¼ cup peanut butter, or any other nut butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder, I used Dagoba
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Optional 'chunks' for mixing in:
  • sliced bananas, chocolate chunks/chips, roasted peanuts/nuts, and cacao nibs
  1. At least 8 hours or 1 day before you plan to make this recipe, cut/break the bananas into quarters and freeze them.
  2. Remove the bananas from the freezer, and place them into the food processor. Sometimes they freeze together and you'll need to break them up as you put them in.
  3. Add the peanut butter or other nut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Secure the lid and process until the mixture gets stuck in the food processor. Stop and scrape down the sides, breaking up and chunks that have formed. Continue processing, stopping when necessary until the the mixture forms a creamy smooth 'ice cream'. This takes anywhere from 3-5 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately or place in the freezer for a few hours to create a firmer texture.

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18 Comments on “Healthy Chunky Monkey Ice Cream”

    1. Kari

      I’m don’t think strawberries would give you the texture you’re looking for. Bananas get super creamy when they’ve been processed in a food processor or blender, but I haven’t had any lucky with berries. You could still try it, but I think it would be more like a textured sorbet or granita instead of being like ice cream.

  1. Heidih

    I tried this today and we loved how it turned out! I used slightly questionable cocoa powder (it’s hard to find in Argentina) so I’m sure it’s EXTRA delicious using a high quality ingredient! I added a bit of milk to help ease our old blender along but that didn’t seem to affect the overall texture at all. Thanks Kari!

    1. Kari

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! If you can’t find good cocoa powder, you can always just go with the peanut butter banana combo which is always great as well. 🙂

  2. Dilara

    Tastes Awesome!!!!!

    Just tried this and it was absolutely delicious. I am transitioning to vegan, and this really REALLY tastes like ice cream. I can’t get over it! And it was so easy. I did it in my regular old kitchen aid blender.

    The only thing I had to do differently was add a little almond milk – about 3 Tbsp or a scant 1/4 cup. My poor blender couldn’t mix it unless I did that.

    Thank you for this – another great recipe.

    1. Kari

      I’m so glad you liked it! I was pretty skeptical of banana ice creams at first, but after I started adding extra ingredients, I’ve been hooked ever since. Thank you for writing about adding almond milk, I’m sure that will be a help to lots of other people. I’m not a Vegan myself, but both my husband and I eat Vegan about 75% of the time because we feel really great when we’re eating lots of fruits and veggies. Two things that have helped my change my diet is a good blender (I have a Vitamix) and a powerful food processor (Cuisinart 12-cup) – between these 2 machines, it takes so much of the work out of eating healthy. And just one final thing, if you’re looking for more Vegan ice creams, I hoping to have my e-book out in the next few weeks with 32 recipes of ice creams and toppings. There are just a few recipes for brownies and such that call for an egg, but that’s easily swapped out, and all the ice creams are Vegan! 🙂

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