Perspectives

Make Vegan Coconut Banana Ice Cream


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By Marc Matsumotom / PBS Food

This decadent ice cream is as much about saving time as it is about saving the planet. Whether you’re vegan or not, I think everyone can get behind the idea of a rich, creamy ice cream that comes together in less than a minute.

“What sorcery is this” you ask? The reason this seemingly magical feat works is because of the bananas and coconut cream. The bananas provide the viscosity necessary to allow the incorporation of air into the ice cream. This is a role usually played by eggs. The coconut cream provides the fat needed to keep the ice cream from freezing solid, a role normally played by dairy cream. Lastly, by using frozen bananas, you can skip the step of adding the “custard” to an ice cream maker to churn it.

Yes, it does take more than a minute to freeze the bananas, but they’re so versatile, I’ve started keeping a trove of overripe bananas in the freezer. If you’re anything like me and always end up with a stray banana or two that get too ripe before you have a chance to eat them, just peel them and toss them in a freezer bag for recipes like this, my peanut butter and banana pancakes, or my chocolate banana bread.

Vegan Coconut Banana Ice Cream Recipe

This Vegan Coconut Banana Ice Cream recipe comes together in less than a minute. (Recipe Credit: Marc Matsumoto of Fresh Tastes)

Ingredients
12.7 ounces (360 grams, about 3 large bananas) bananas
0.70 ounces (20 grams, about 1/3 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
6.8 fluid ounces coconut cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Peel the bananas and break them up into chunks. Wrap them and freeze overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees C. Spread the coconut onto a baking sheet or a piece of foil, and put it in the preheated oven. Toast the coconut until it’s a golden brown, being careful not to burn it (about 5 minutes). Let the coconut cool to room temperature.

To make the ice cream, put the frozen bananas, coconut cream, maple syrup and vanilla into a high speed blender and blend starting at low speed and working your way up gradually to high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Do not over-blend, otherwise the friction will melt your ice cream.

The ice cream can be served immediately as soft-serve, or you can put it in an air-tight container and place it in the freezer for a few hours to set it so that it has the texture of a store-bought ice cream.

Serve the ice cream with the toasted coconut sprinkled on top.
Yield: 2.5 cups of ice cream