Updated December 2020
Enjoy your ice cream even more with this homemade simple vegan banana walnut ice cream recipe! You won’t believe how easy it is, and you are going to love that there are no added sugars! You won’t even need an ice cream maker to enjoy this! Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and oh so yummy!
Simple Vegan Banana Walnut Ice Cream
I’ve been making banana ice cream or “nice cream” for years. Every year around this time, I buy 2-3 extra pounds of bananas, peel them, slice them, and freeze them, so anytime I have a craving for something cold and satisfying, I have what I need on hand. That’s where my Simple Vegan Banana Walnut Ice Cream was born! I can have banana ice cream and feel no guilt about over indulging on a nightly basis.
Banana Walnut Ice Cream’s Secret Ingredient
Lately, I’ve been adding a secret ingredient to my banana ice cream to make it even more filling and also the perfect post-workout fuel – protein powder!
I use just half a scoop of vanilla protein powder added to my usual banana ice cream recipe. The recipe gets a little thicker and it’s a little sweeter from the stevia in the protein powder, but still has that amazing soft-serve ice cream texture! How to make this even better for you? Walnuts!
Adding Walnuts To Your Banana Ice Cream
Yup, walnuts are a great source of healthy fats! Omega-3 fatty acids to be exact. Healthy fats tend to help you feel satisfied and nourished, so adding them to a sweet dessert is the perfect way to increase your satisfaction without going overboard.
Banana Ice Cream – Less Calories Than Traditional Ice Cream
Let’s be honest, it’s so easy to go crazy with fun toppings in the summer at your local frozen yogurt store, right? Well, this simple vegan banana walnut ice cream is easy enough to make that you won’t have to take that trip to the frozen yogurt shop as often, and your waistline might actually start to shrink if you eat this every night instead of your typical sweet treat.
Love this idea of making your own ice cream at home? So did my clients! I’ve had so many clients make my Homemade Peach Ice Cream recipe on a hot evening. If you haven’t tried it yet, you have to!
Ingredients In This Vegan Banana Walnut Ice Cream
To make this simple vegan banana walnut ice cream, you will need a food processor, some frozen banana coins, milk (of choice), protein powder, walnuts, and whatever other toppings you want. The exact ingredient list is below.
- Frozen bananas, peeled and cut into coins
- Vanilla protein powder
- Fresh fruit of choice
Be sure to use a quality, high-powered blender or food processor to get the perfect consistency for your banana ice cream.
How To Make My Banana Walnut Ice Cream Recipe
Start by freezing your sliced banana until solid. I like to do this the night before to make sure the banana is thoroughly frozen.
Once frozen, defrost the bananas for just a few minutes on the counter.
Add bananas and process until chunky, about the size of rice.
Then add your milk and process until smooth. Once smooth, add the protein powder and blend again until smooth.
Spoon your simple vegan banana walnut ice cream into a glass and top with walnuts and fresh fruit of your choice.
Here are some tips to make this recipe as simple as possible:
- Let your bananas sit out on the counter for about 3-4 minutes to slightly defrost, which will make this easier to process.
- Once the frozen bananas have a rice-like consistency, add the milk and process quickly!
- Add the protein powder and be ready to enjoy immediately, or you can store it in the freezer for 1-2 hours to get the consistency you desire.
- If you let this sit in the freezer more than 1-2 hours, it’s going to be rock solid. If that happens, let it defrost slightly and use the banana ice cream instead!
How Do Bananas Turn Into Ice Cream?
The magic of frozen bananas blended in a food processor is truly awe-inspiring! Without adding too much liquid, blended bananas take on the actual consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Freezing the banana ice cream for an additional amount of time will harden it to a firm but creamy consistency.
Is “Nice Cream” Just A Thick Smoothie?
Technically, vegan banana ice cream could be classified as an uber-thick smoothie. Because of the thickness, banana ice cream should be eaten with a spoon! I recommend using any leftover ice cream for your morning smoothie, as it will add a lovely banana flavor and an ice cream-like texture.
Can You Make Other Banana Ice Cream Flavors?
The flavor possibilities are endless with this vegan banana ice cream. I like fresh fruit and walnuts to top off my banana ice cream, but you can use a variety of toppings and mix-ins. Add some cocoa powder to make a yummy and healthy chocolate banana ice cream. You can also add some fresh strawberries when blending to make strawberry-banana vegan ice cream. Feel free to add vanilla extract, coconut milk, or any other ingredients that you enjoy.
How Is This Ice Cream Vegan?
Ice cream is traditionally not a vegan food due to the dairy cream in the recipe. My vegan banana ice cream only uses frozen banana, plant-based milk, protein powder, nuts, and fruit, which are all vegan foods. If you are adding cow’s milk or any other non-vegan items to this ice cream, it will obviously not be vegan anymore, but it will still be healthy and nutritious.
Do You Need A Blender For This Banana Walnut Ice Cream Recipe?
A blender works best for this recipe. You could use an ice cream machine, but it would take a lot longer to freeze in the machine. A high-powered blender such as a Ninja or Vitamix will make quick work of this banana ice cream.
What Are My Favorite Toppings For This Vegan Banana Ice Cream?
Nuts add a lovely crunch to this soft banana ice cream, so I do prefer to add toppings with varying texture. Walnuts are my go-to, but macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, or cashews would all be delicious!
For additional flavor, roast the nuts in a dry pan on medium heat until they are fragrant and golden brown in color. Roasted nuts taste so much more intense than non-roasted!
For more crunch, add some flaked coconut, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or flax seeds on top. These are all super healthy toppings that will not compromise the health benefits of this dessert.
Simple Vegan Walnut Banana Ice Cream
- 2 small frozen bananas peeled and cut into coins
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 2 tbsp walnuts
- 1-2 tbsp fresh fruit of choice
- Freeze the banana coins until solid.
- Once bananas are frozen, defrost 3-4 minutes before adding to a food processor.
- Process by pulsing until it forms a rice-like texture. Add milk and process until smooth. Add protein powder and pulse until smooth.
- Top with walnuts and fruit, and serve immediately.