This recipe is the food equivalent of eXtreme sports. The totally healthy, whole-foods ingredients list may shave off a bit of it’s extreme, bad boy looks, but don’t be fooled by its safe image! This is no ordinary healthy dessert.
Sure, bananas are present, but, unlike many desserts that tout their healthiness without disclosing the fact that bananas replace much (if not, *gasp*, all) of the much-needed butter or oil, this n(ice) cream loudly and proudly declares it is BANANAS.
In other words, the frozen bananas are not meant to replace anything; this is not intended to be a “low calorie” or “low fat” ice-cream. Although it’s obviously far lower in sugar and calories than conventional cow’s milk ice-cream, there is a lot more to say about this ice-cream than simply what it is LOW in.
Simply put, this banana ice-cream comes in peace. It isn’t meant to supplant your love of gelato or McDonald’s Mcflurries. By all means, keep those loves close to your heart; however, might I suggest making a bit of room to nurture a new kind of love? Specifically for salted caramel PB ice-cream, of course.
The frozen, speckled (i.e. RIPE) bananas provide the sweet cement for this ice-cream, but the striking flavors in this creamy concoction are no doubt salted caramel + peanut butter (a match made in culinary heaven).
I’m often a little underwhelmed by the “salted caramel-ness” of recipes that, well, promise SALTED CARAMEL. If you’ve perused my blog for more than a few minutes you’ve probably gathered that I gravitate towards healthier recipes, i.e. desserts that call for less sugar and refined ingredients. With that in mind, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that my search for truly WOW-level salted caramel has left me empty handed.
Well, this isn’t a salt-free cooking website. The thought of such a thing makes me shudder. Of course, some people have health conditions that require them to limit their salt intake. If that’s the case for you, I don’t recommend following my recipe to a T. As you will find, I like salt. Especially when it’s paired with gooey date caramel (yes, the “caramel” component of this ice-cream is constituted by DATES. A fruit. Um, amazing?!).
Full of fruit (and the vitamins + minerals that are bound up in it!), fiber, healthy fats, and a large pinch of protein (thanks to the hemp seeds and natural PB!), 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 (although, when I do, I like to double-fist a drive-thru burger and Oreo milkshake, and have an all-around wild ball).
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 are not human beings).
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.
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!)