If you’re like me, you probably have some ripe (or over-ripe) bananas sitting on your counter right now. The beauty of bananas is that they are eminently useful, even when on the brink of death. They often get used to make banana bread, or cake, or muffins. But have you thought about using them in ice cream? They add a wonderful natural sweetness and great flavor, especially to tropically themed ice creams.
One of the first ice creams I made after getting my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker was a recipe called “Crazy Monkey Ice Cream” from a book called Chocolate Never Faileth. It was an instant hit, and my kids wish I would make it a lot more often. The recipe in the book made too much for my ice cream maker, so I altered it and changed the ingredients and instructions a little based on my experience. This ice cream has a wonderful mix of bananas and coconut along with cashews and chocolate. It’s the perfect treat for little monkeys. Or big monkeys. Or people.
Bananas are well-known for having high potassium levels. Potassium reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and the formation of kidney stones. Bananas are also high in fiber, which aids in promoting regularity, treating diarrhea, and reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. The tryptophan in bananas also can play a role in preserving memory and elevating your mood. A London study found that children who ate one banana a day were 34% less likely to develop asthma. (See Bananas: Health Benefits, Risks and Nutritional Facts).
Coconuts are considered “super foods” and have myriad health benefits. The type of fat in coconuts (known as “medium chain trigylcerides”) has been proven to aid in weight loss, improve brain function in Alzheimers patients, and even reduce epileptic seizures. Coconuts also have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. (See 10 Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil).
Cashews are high in magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks. The copper in cashews helps aid in producing collagen and elastin, resulting in greater flexibility for bones and joints. (See 7 Health Benefits of Cashews).
I recommend the Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt–Ice Cream Maker.
- 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp. coconut extract
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup salted cashews, chopped
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips, melted
- Melt the white chocolate chips over low heat on the stove with the coconut oil.
- Combine the milk, cream, vanilla, and sugar in a pan over low heat. When the sugar has dissolved, add the melted chocolate chips and coconut oil, as well as the coconut extract. Mix well.
- Chill for several hours.
- Just before churning, add the mashed bananas and shredded coconut. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on your ice cream maker for churning.
- When ice cream has reached soft-serve consistency, transfer to an airtight container, mixing in the cashews as you go.
- Drizzle melted chocolate on top. Chocolate will freeze on contact. Fold hardened drizzle into the ice cream, and continue drizzling and folding until all the chocolate has been incorporated into the ice cream.
- Freeze for several hours or overnight.