This strawberry banana ice cream is all of the banana split flavors you love in one scoop! And this dairy free ice cream is only sweetened with whole fruit – no added sugar needed!
We. Made. It.
Just *look* at those faces, my friends! Those are the faces of the last day of school, and we are pumped about the next couple of months of beach sand between our toes, sunshine on our faces….and summer ice cream!
A fun, fresh ice cream for summer!
We are *oh so close* to our Michigan strawberry season, but when I made ice cream last week, we weren’t quite there yet. So when the girls asked for strawberry ice cream for the first days of summer, I decided to combine the few strawberries I had with banana. The result is a sweet, creamy ice cream bursting with the flavors of a banana split! So fun!
So let’s talk about sugar…
Last summer, I started playing around with the idea of date sweetened ice cream to avoid added sugar in our beloved ice cream on a hot day. My kids were shocked that the ice cream was only sweetened with fruit, and it became an almost weekly staple for a fun, frozen weekend treat. When we use whole fruit to sweeten where we can, we can avoid huge the dramatic blood sugar spikes that white sugar can cause. The fiber in the fruit slows the spike, and I’ve definitely noticed how much of a difference that makes – even compared to honey-sweetening. For this strawberry banana ice cream, adding a whole banana to the dates adds even more yummy, sweet flavor, and my kids were all over this!
Those beautiful red strawberries!
I can hardly wait for fresh summer strawberries, but for this batch, I used frozen. Both work great, so use what you have. I didn’t add any sugar to the strawberry sauce that gets swirled into the ice cream because the ice cream itself is plenty sweet. To get the strawberry sauce made, simply simmer with some lemon juice for about 10 minutes until it cooks down.
Homemade summer ice cream game changers!
Because let’s face it…the last thing you need is something fussy on your plate whilst managing the summer activities for the next 2 months! So let’s ditch the multi-step ice cream approach and toss it all the blender! This method makes an ice cream base in minutes, which makes the thought of making homemade ice cream much more tolerable, yes?!
The ice cream maker investment
I am not a huge fan of multiple kitchen appliances on my counter. For the most part, I’m quite minimalistic when it comes to my kitchen. But my ice cream maker?! I’ll always recommend this one for any real food kitchen, because homemade ice cream is an easy swap for store bought – and way more cost effective than any healthier options in the store. I’ve had my ice cream maker for about 10 years, and it still works great. I’d say I have about the middle of the road when it comes to ice cream makers – there are some that are less expensive, and definitely those that cost more.
The strawberry swirl method
Once your ice cream is churned, we need to get that pretty little strawberry ribbon in there! Just put half of your ice cream mixture into the bottom of your freezing container, and then spoon half of the strawberry sauce on top in little dots. Use a spoon to gently swirl the sauce, and then layer the rest of the ice cream on top. Spoon the rest of the strawberry sauce on the top, and swirl again. This ensures those yummy strawberries are in every bite!
Ice cream container options
You can freeze your ice cream in any empty container that you have! For years, I froze ice cream in empty coconut oil jugs. I liked using old loaf pans for easy scooping for a period of time too. If you make ice cream often, I think you would enjoy getting an ice cream container like these for easy storage.
Swaps and switches!
One question I think some might ask is how strong the banana flavor is. I would say with the 1 banana, the banana flavor is pleasantly mild. If you prefer a stronger banana flavor, adding another banana would definitely work. I would suggest making the ice cream base as is, and then tasting it once blended – you can always add another banana if you want. I also wanted to mention that if you want to use oat milk, cashew milk, macadamia nut milk, or almond milk, any of those will swap for the coconut milk fine. If you tolerate dairy, you can swap the non-dairy milk for whole milk or cream.
Strawberry Banana Ice Cream :: Dairy Free & Fruit Sweetened – No Added Sugar!
- Make the strawberry sauce first so that it can cool while the rest of the ice cream is being made. Put the strawberries and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and bring the heat to medium. Use a potato masher to squish the strawberries into a sauce as it cooks. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes to reduce down. Set the sauce aside to cool for later.
- Put the rest of the ingredients into a high speed blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour the ice cream mixture into your ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions, until the ice cream is thick, and the consistency of soft serve ice cream. My ice cream maker takes about 30 minutes to do this.
- When the ice cream is done churning, pour half of the ice cream mixture into your freezer container (see Notes for container suggestions). Spoon half of the strawberry sauce over the ice cream, and lightly swirl it so that it is distributed evenly. Then, pour the rest of the ice cream mixture into the container, and swirl the other half of the strawberry sauce into the ice cream
- Freeze the ice cream at least 3 hours before serving. Let the ice cream container sit at room temp for at least 15 minutes to make scooping easier.
- I would say that the banana flavor is pleasantly mild. If you prefer a stronger banana flavor, you could add another banana.
- Want to serve in an ice cream cone? There are so many gluten free ice cream cone options these days – our regular grocery stores around here even carry them so do some looking around!
- You can freeze your ice cream in any empty container that you have! For years, I froze ice cream in empty coconut oil jugs. I liked using old loaf pans for easy scooping for a period of time too. If you make ice cream often, I think you would enjoy getting an ice cream container like these for easy storage.