This recipe is the food equivalent of extreme sports. The totally healthy, whole-foods ingredient list may shave off a bit of its extreme, bad boy looks, but don’t be fooled by its safe image! This is no ordinary healthy dessert.
Unlike many healthy dessert recipes (you know, the ones that boast about being “low-sugar” or “low-fat” without disclosing the fact that they are also
“low-flavor”), this salted caramel banana ice-cream is beaming with intensity of flavor.
It no doubt sounds a little bananas to whip together frozen fruit and call the resulting mixture “ice-cream” (I mean, who are we trying to kid?).
Ice “cream” needs just that; a source of cream (i.e. fat!) to provide it’s namesake. Enter peanut butter. And hemp seeds.
In addition to providing a heap of creaminess, peanut butter is packed with nutrients. Rich in essential amino acids like niacin and lysine, it is a great source of plant-based protein.
Peanut butter is also chalk full of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Oh, and it’s also incredibly cheap compared to other nut butters. All in all, it’s a worthy pantry staple item.
Hemp seeds are another rich ingredient. Not only are they one of the best plant-based sources of Omega-3’s, but they also contain a significant amount of protein, which accounts for ~25% of total calories.
The frozen, speckled (i.e. ripe!) bananas provide the sweet cement for this creamy concoction, but the striking flavors are no doubt salted caramel and peanut butter (a match made in culinary heaven).
If you’re often underwhelmed by the “salted caramel-ness” of recipes that, well, promise SALTED CARAMEL, then you’ve come to the right place. This ice-cream isn’t tame in the “salt” or “caramel” department.
To achieve truly WOW-level salted caramel, you’ll need:
1. Two generous tablespoons of salted peanut butter
2. A few soft and gooey medjool dates (translation: naturally-sourced caramel galore!)
3. A couple pinches of flaky sea salt, to finish things off (and to taste).
Full of fruit (and the vitamins and minerals that are bound up in it!), fiber, healthy fats, and a large pinch of protein, this ice-cream is only extreme in the sense that it is located on the very far end of the healthy-dessert spectrum.
McDonald’s milkshakes are another culinary extreme, and one that I excitedly slurp down every full moon or two (figuratively speaking), but, like dirt-bike racing and cliff jumping and sky-diving, fast-food-chain milkshakes reside on the end of the extreme lifestyle spectrum that I try not to frequent too often.
Some people are wizards, and claim they can eat ultra-processed, high-sugar foods day in and day out without any ill-effects, but those people, well,… I suppose I shouldn’t speak for them (other than hypothesize that they possess some magical capabilities).
I’ll just say that I am most definitely not one of those people. Hence, the creation of this salted caramel PB nana ice-cream. It’s for those of you who, like me, have a sizable sweet-tooth that isn’t going away, but who also have an unwavering desire for healthy living and feeling that you aren’t willing to compromise on. Hoorah for the magic of bananas!
On a final note, this ice-cream is what I imagine exists at the end of a rainbow. A pot of salted caramel gold. With a generous sprinkle of salted chocolate granola to top? Yes, please, Mr. Leprechaun.
salted caramel peanut butter banana ice-creamPrint Recipe
- 2 medium-large ripe & spotty bananas (pre-frozen)
- 2 tbsps salted natural peanut butter (if yours is unsalted, simply add ~a couple pinches to taste)
- 2 large medjool dates (or ~3-4 deglet noor dates)
- 2 tsps hulled hemp seeds
- Dash or two milk, such as nut or coconut (add gradually as you go, keeping it to a bare minimum)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- To top:
- Salted dark chocolate granola or chunky monkey granola (or other 'nola of choice!)
- More peanut butter (obviously)
- Shredded coconut
- Chopped gooey date and/or sliced banana
- Pinch or two (or three) flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (this really elevates the salted-caramel flavor!)
To begin, add the frozen bananas, peanut butter, dates, hemp seeds, and vanilla extract to your high-powered blender. Blend on high speed, using the tampering device to nudge the ingredients along until they are well incorporated and begin to take on a creamy consistency. Add 1-3 dashes of milk as you blend, trying to keep the additional liquid to a bare minimum as too much will yield a liquidy ice-cream.
You’ll know the ice-cream is done when no noticeably large chunks of frozen banana or date remain. Now for the fun part: pour it into a bowl and top things off with generous sprinkles of granola, shredded coconut, flaky sea salt (if you’re looking to elevate the salted caramel flavor just a tad more), and whatever other toppings suit your fancy! Enjoy immediately, as it doesn’t retain the same texture after freezing.