Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Ice Cream

July 11, 2017

Is a sweet tooth heredity? Because if it is, I definitely inherited one from my parents.

As much as I love sweets, I cannot bake or make them at home because I will eat them until they are gone. Since I don’t keep any unhealthy desserts in the house, I usually find a healthy alternative when the sweet tooth kicks in after dinner: dried fruit, yogurt, or my new favorite: banana ice cream.

Not only is banana ice cream sweet AND healthy, it even looks like ice cream, has the texture of ice cream, and tastes good!

I’ve made banana ice cream before, but this time I wanted to take it to a new level and add some mix-ins to amp up the flavor. I combined some sweet, savory, and tart flavors together that will make you forget that this treat is even healthy.

The ingredient in this “ice cream” that you may not suspect: sunflower seed butter. It adds just the right amount of savory flavoring to pair alongside the tart cherries and sweet chocolate, yet it isn’t overpowering to distract from the other flavors.

We’ve been eating sunflower butter in our house for years, but I especially like SunButter® No Sugar Added sunflower butter because it doesn’t have any added sugars and tastes just like sunflower seeds with a hint of salt. Not only does it taste really good, it is free of the top 8 allergens including peanuts, tree nuts, and soy. Plus, SunButter packs as much protein and more micro nutrients such as magnesium, Vitamin E, zinc and iron, than traditional nut butters (including peanut butter and almond butter) and contains less saturated fat.

SunButter is found at your traditional grocery store chains nationwide, but it will soon be coming to local buying clubs here in Alaska! Learn more about their products and where to purchase on their website.

This recipe is: dairy free, vegan, peanut-free, gluten-free, and includes only six ingredients. It does take a while for the “ice cream” to freeze, but otherwise this recipe comes together in minutes.

I started by chopping and freezing yellow bananas (not green, not brown) in a baggie. It is important to cut the bananas into smaller pieces before freezing otherwise it could damage your food processor.

After they are frozen, (I usually free them overnight) dump all the banana pieces into a large-cup food processor. Process on high until the mixture is smooth and creamy and even looks like ice cream!

I then transferred the banana puree to a large mixing bowl and added the SunButter, cherries, and shredded coconut.

I mixed everything together and then transferred the mixture to a large glass container to be frozen for a couple of hours.

I would recommend freezing for 2-3 hours. I froze the mixture for 2 hours, and the mixture was mostly frozen and easily scoop-able. If you wanted a harder ice cream and chewy cherries, freeze it for longer.

After taking the “ice cream” out of the freezer, I heated up the coconut oil and chocolate chips on the stove top, which only took a couple of minutes to melt. The I scooped a portion of the “ice cream” into a bowl and topped it with some smooth dark chocolate. So good!

I loved the texture of the chewy cherries, and the dark chocolate put the flavor over the top!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Banana Ice Cream

Serves: 6
Time: 20 minutes + 2 hours for chilling

Ingredients

4 frozen bananas

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons SunButter No Sugar Added

1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

Directions

  1. Process frozen bananas in food processor until smooth and creamy.
  2. Transfer banana puree to a large bowl and add SunButter, cherries, and coconut. Stir to combine.
  3. Pour mixture into a glass container and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  4. When ready to serve, melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
  5. Add chocolate chips to saucepan and melt chocolate chips. Stir frequently.
  6. Take banana ice cream out of the freezer and scoop into bowls.
  7. Drizzle chocolate on top and let harden.

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