This Banana Smoothie Bowl is the BEST rich and creamy nice cream. It’s healthy enough for breakfast and indulgent enough for dessert. All you need is 3 ingredients and 5 minutes to enjoy this healthy vanilla ice cream. Great for kids and adults alike.
Every time I make this banana smoothie bowl, my mind is blown over how rich and creamy it is considering it is made with just bananas. Ever since I went vegan almost 7 years ago, I haven’t missed dairy ice cream one bit thanks to this easy homemade recipe.
It is the BEST banana smoothie bowl recipe I promise you!
Why this banana smoothie bowl works
- Sliced frozen bananas are the easiest to blend! You’ll be able to blend your smoothie bowl completely smooth in just 1-2 minutes with very little effort!
- A healthy substitute for vanilla ice cream. If you’re looking for a new healthy dessert to enjoy, this smoothie bowl is the perfect recipe. It’s so rich, creamy and delicious – but naturally sweetened with just bananas.
- Easy to customize. We’ve given you a few of our favorite ways to top this smoothie bowl, but there are infinite options. Drizzle your banana nice cream with all of your favorites.
Ingredients and substitutions
- frozen bananas – We highly recommend using frozen sliced bananas when making thick smoothie bowls because they are much easier to blend than frozen whole or halved bananas and will help you get that beautiful Vitamix smoothie “swirl.” If you only have whole frozen bananas, you can use them, it will just be more of an arm workout to get it smooth.
- coconut milk – Full fat coconut milk is the best milk to use because it is extra rich and creamy. If desired, you can substitute heavy cream or a lighter milk for a less creamy version.
- vanilla extract – A small splash of vanilla helps make this banana smoothie bowl taste like vanilla ice cream! Optional, but highly recommended.
Banana smoothie bowl variations
There are tons of ways to change up the flavor of your smoothie bowl. I purposefully left the base flavor of the smoothie bowl plain so you could make it your own (eating it plain is delicious, too!).
Here are a couple of our favorite ways to make variations of this smoothie bowl:
- Blend with 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.
- Blend with 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder or cacao powder for a chocolate flavor.
- Serve with a sprinkle of chocolate chips and sliced strawberries.
How to make a thick banana smoothie bowl
- Allow the frozen banana slices and coconut cubes to thaw. The goal here is not to thaw them completely, but just enough to soften them up so they are easier to blend into an ice cream consistency. This should only take about 5 minutes, maybe up to 10 minutes if your home is cold.
- Add all ingredients to blender. Whenever using the blender, it is always best to layer in the liquids first and place the frozen fruit on top. In this case, the coconut milk is also frozen, so it won’t matter too much, but I’d still recommend putting the coconut milk on the bottom out of habit.
- Blend until smooth. If you are using a high-powdered blender, this should only take 1-2 minutes. Make sure to use the tamper to push the bananas into the blade. This will help you understand how to use the tamper and why it’s necessary when making smoothie bowls.
- Serve. Spoon your smoothie bowls into 4 individual bowls and serve immediately while cold and creamy!
Does nice cream taste like banana?
Yes, banana nice cream does taste like banana, but if you like banana you won’t mind it! It’s very natural and subtle tasting.
Is nice cream healthier?
Nice cream is absolutely healthier than regular dairy ice cream. It’s made without added sugar, is significantly lower in fat, and is cholesterol free. It’s also naturally vegan, gluten free and paleo friendly.
Do bananas have to be frozen for smoothie bowls?
Yes! In order to achieve that thick, ice cream like texture, the bananas must be frozen. If you are in a rush, the banana slices can be frozen for a minimum of 4 hours before blending into a smoothie bowl.
Should bananas be ripe for smoothie bowls?
Ripe bananas are preferred. They will be naturally sweeter and creamier.
- Use the tamper! Pushing the frozen bananas into the blade helps significantly and will make your smoothie bowl fast enough so it won’t melt from the heat of the motor.
- If adding milk, start with 1 tablespoon. You may not need any at all, but if you do, add it very slowly. It is easy to add more, but very difficult to thicken it back up.
Banana Smoothie Bowl Recipe
What You’ll Need
- High-speed blender
- 6 cups frozen banana slices
- ½ cup frozen coconut milk cubes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut milk - as needed to help blend
- Allow the bananas and coconut milk cubes to thaw at room temperature for about 5 minutes. This will soften them up a bit and help them blend easily into an ice cream like texture without the need for a lot of excess liquid.
- Place the vanilla extract, coconut cubes, and sliced bananas into the blender.
- Start the blender on a low setting and slowly work up to about ⅓ speed. Use the tamper to push the bananas down into the blade. Continue until the bananas are completely smooth and begin to swirl down towards the blade.
- Spoon into bowls and serve immediately. Enjoy plain or with toppings like extra fruit, chocolate chips, or peanut butter.
- How to make coconut milk cubes: Pour a can of full fat coconut milk into an ice cube tray, then freeze the coconut milk until solid. I like to do this in a silicone 2 tablespoon ice cube tray for easy removal.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
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