Guiltless Softserve Banana Ice Cream

The best factor about this recipe (besides the guiltless part) is that it’s a use for browned bananas. How many times do you accidentally buy too many bananas that go uneaten, turn brown, and end up in the trash? I’ve heard browned bananas are great for banana bread, but I’ve got a quicker, easier, and healthier solution for you: make ice cream!

Here’s the trick: any time you have a banana that’s a little browner than you’d like, throw it in the freezer. Then, when you’re ready to make this recipe, pull two bananas out and let them thaw for about 15 minutes so that you can work with them. Otherwise, they’ll be hard as a rock and really rather cantankerous.

By the way, you don’t need an ice cream maker. I hate coming across ice cream recipes in low calorie recipe books or magazines and finding out half way through that I need a necessary tool I don’t have. So I’ll tell you right now– a food processor or blender will do the trick. There really isn’t anything fancy about this.

So it’s not really ice cream. It’s just blended frozen bananas, vanilla extract, and a little milk. But it’s delicious and it’ll really help those midafternoon cravings. Typically, nutritionalists suggest eating a piece of fruit when those cravings hit. I don’t know about you, but for me, the piece of fruit doesn’t always cut it. Here’s a way to make two pieces of fruit into something a bit more satisfying.

The Banana Debate

Some say one banana counts as two pieces of fruit. I don’t really agree. The average banana is about 100 calories. Diabetically speaking, a fruit serving should be about 60 calories, but then, most fruits are somewhere around 80. And is it a huge banana, a medium banana, or a small banana? I always told my clients, “Just eat the darn banana, geesh.” It’s your call…I mean, if it’s huge, okay, maybe it counts as two fruits, and maybe it’s 120 calories. But if we’re gonna be that detailed about this, we might go crazy, or quit altogether. So in the nutritional information section, I’m counting two bananas as 200 calories and two fruit servings. And I’m gonna like it. If you want, cut the recipe in half– you’ll still have a substantial amount of ice cream for a guiltless dessert.

Guiltless Banana Ice Cream - calories per serving
Guiltless Banana Ice Cream – 266 calories per serving (½ Milk and 2 Fruits)

Yields: 1 serving of about 1½ cups
Cook time: None.


2 frozen bananas
½ cup skim milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
cinnamon, to taste

Peel frozen banana by cutting it into 1 to 2 inch pieces, then cutting those pieces lengthwise. Remove the peel and put the frozen banana pieces in a food processor or blender. Add milk, vanilla, plus a couple dashes of cinnamon, and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:

Nutrition Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist…these are just the calculations I’m pretty sure are close to correct. I use BodyMedia to generate my information.

Calories: 266
Fat: 0.8g
Saturated Fat: 0.4g
Cholesterol: 2.5mg
Sodium: 54.4mg
Carbohydrates: 58.4g
Dietary Fiber: 5.8g
Sugar: 34.7g
Protein: 6.5g

Dietary Exchange: ½ Milk, 2 Fruit servings
Jenny Craig: See “The Banana Debate” above, but I see this as ½ a Milk and 2 Fruit servings. If you cut the recipe in half, you can look at it as 1 Fruit and 1 Limited Free.
Weight Watchers: 7 Points (using

3 thoughts on “Guiltless Softserve Banana Ice Cream

  1. Now this is a recipe that’s not difficult. I think I’ll add some cinnamon, too, with a dab
    of anise extract. Thank you, Kathleen!!


      1. Okay, so after I made this again using the cinnamon, I cheated and added the cinnamon to the original recipe above. The cinnamon is a delicious addition, and it’s really good for you. I guess it’s supposed to improve the effectiveness of your insulin and boost brain function. So, um, awesome. Anyway, I just wanted to give Papa John the credit of making this recipe that much better.

        On a side note, Ginny LOVES this. She loves ice cream too, but this treat is far better for her. She calls it “crea,” which is how she says ice cream. Success!

        Funny thing…Ginny and I were watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and in one of the episodes, they make “Banana Swirl.” I couldn’t believe it. The recipe was basically the same thing…blend frozen bananas. Hilarious. They didn’t have the extras (milk, vanilla, cinnamon), but it just goes to show. 🙂


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