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Discover how simple it is to make Paleo diet dessert recipes like banana cranberry ice cream and other delicious Paleo diet recipes at Original Eating!

Banana Cranberry Ice Cream

It is completely possible to have something as completely decadent, creamy, sweet, and yet still good for you. Behold! I present to you my first ice cream creation: Banana Cranberry Ice cream! The amazing thing about this creamy treat, is it has two ingredients! I’ll give you two whole guesses on which ingredients those might be 😉

I don’t remember where I first saw the idea to freeze bananas to make a creamy ice cream, but it goes along the same idea I came up with for a simple chocolate pudding. Bananas truly do make a wonderful ingredient that binds in cooking for baking, adds creaminess to a wide range of foods, and generally provides a great substitute for eggs or fats in recipes. I thought that perhaps the frozen banana would be too hard or crystallized, but much to my delight banana provides the most creamy ice cream that truly replaces the creaminess of dairy! This ice cream is dairy-free, nut-free, and no added sugar!

Discover how simple it is to make banana cranberry ice cream and other delicious desserts at Original Eating!

The first step is to remember that you’d like some ice cream for the next day so you can put away a few bananas to freeze. I’ve heard of people freezing whole bananas, but I can’t imagine dealing with wrestling off frozen peel. I just peeled them and broke them into reasonably-sized chunks and put them straight away into a zip lock bag. I removed as much air from the bag I could by – yes – sucking out the air! I know a lot of people go to the trouble of inserting a straw into the bag and extract the air out that way, but I’m a quick and dirty kind of person so no saving appearances here! Sticky table happy kids I say!

The day you want your ice cream, soak your cranberries in some water to help them get nice and soft for the ice cream. This will help them to match in general texture in the ice cream otherwise they’re a bit too hard. I tried it once without soaking them and it was pretty noticeable that they could have used a soaking.  The measurement of water to cranberries doesn’t really matter, just put the cranberries into a cup and cover them with enough filtered water to completely cover them.

Discover how simple it is to make banana cranberry ice cream and other delicious desserts at Original Eating!

I used my food processor with the regular cutting blade and pulsed the bananas a bit. At first they kind of look grainy like cauliflower rice might, but they’re deceptively creamier than you might think. It’s possibly you’ll have to stop the processor and scrape down the sides with a spatula to get everything evenly chopped. When they look all evenly chopped up into bits, we’re ready to go on to phase two.

Discover how simple it is to make banana cranberry ice cream and other delicious desserts at Original Eating!

I scooped out all of the banana into a dish, and replaced the cutting blade of the processor with the dough blade used for mixing bread dough. I did this because I don’t really want the cranberries to become pulverized in the food processor. I like having bits or chunks of things in my ice cream. I like chunky food, it makes me feel happy to be able to identify what the bits of food are. Perhaps this is a subconscious defense mechanism for me to avoid highly processed foods where you can’t identify the individual ingredients if your life depended on it. I want to say “Yep, those are definitely cranberries”.

Discover how simple it is to make banana cranberry ice cream and other delicious desserts at Original Eating!

After you’ve switch out the blade to the dough mixing blade, just throw the banana back into the food processor and dump in the cranberries that have been soaking to become plump. While I think it’s possible to hand mix in the cranberries without too much fuss, I’m really lazy. So yea, the food processor it is! Just a few pulses to mix things up well. At this point you can scoop up some banana cranberry ice cream and eat it immediately, or pack it into a resealable container and put it back in the freezer to get a little more firm again strictly for photography reasons. That’s what I did as I really needed time to take some good photography for you before everything melted before my eyes! Straight out of the processor it’s creamy and delicious and I highly recommend it this way.

Discover how simple it is to make banana cranberry ice cream and other delicious desserts at Original Eating!

Let me tell you, to date I believe ice cream is the most difficult thing in the world for food photography. I’ve always heard of professional food photographers substituting in Crisco for vanilla ice cream or some other elaborate concoction. I wanted to take the real deal for you, and it was kind of funny when it’s all said and done. Having two young *very interested* children begging for the beautiful scoops of banana cranberry ice cream, shifting perfect sunlight leaving the table, and a flashing light on the camera warning me that at any second now the camera is going to die, ALL THE WHILE seeing that with each photograph I take the banana cranberry ice cream melts just a wee bit more……Yes, yes I ate the whole thing when I was done.

Discover how simple it is to make banana cranberry ice cream and other delicious desserts at Original Eating!

Okay you got me, I wanted to but I shared it with my wonderful family! Here is one happy little boy who cleaned up his bowl almost too quickly for me to snap a picture of him enjoying his first bowl of banana cranberry ice cream! Smiles all around, and now it’s nap time. Bliss in this house!

Discover how simple it is to make Paleo desserts like banana cranberry ice cream and other delicious Paleo diet recipes at Original Eating!

Banana Cranberry Ice Cream

5.0 from 4 reviews

Banana Cranberry Ice Cream
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

  • ½ cup dried cranberries, soaked
  • 4 frozen bananas, in chunks

  1. In a food processor, pulse the bananas until evenly processed into granules.
  2. Transfer the bananas into a bowl, change the blade in the food processor to the dough blade.
  3. Replace the frozen bananas into the processor and add the soaked cranberries.
  4. Pulse until mixed well. Serve immediately or transfer to a freezer safe container to harden.

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{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Debra May 9, 2014, 5:15 pm

    Oh my gosh!!! This looks fabulous! One word, YUM!!!

  • Stephanie Stuart May 9, 2014, 5:46 pm

    Thanks so much Debra! Yes it was so much creamier than I expected! I’ll be making this again!

  • Marie Gervacio May 10, 2014, 3:40 pm

    Sounds yummy Stephanie, I love banana babies – banana dipped in dark chocolate on Popsicle stick then frozen.

  • Stephanie Stuart May 11, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Yes Marie! That is a very delicious classic! I never knew their name before though so thank you! I’d be tempted to also dip them in chopped nuts or dried fruit bits. Yum, I may have to do this soon! Thanks!

  • Hadia May 15, 2014, 4:08 pm

    Stephani this looks so good, and the best thing about it is that you used only two ingrédients.

  • Stephanie Stuart May 15, 2014, 11:28 pm

    Thanks Hadia! I actually shared some tonight with the hubby! I love simple recipes and I hope you enjoy it too! Nice to have something low sugar that is still yummy and healthy!

  • Eileen @ Phoenix Helix May 21, 2014, 8:11 pm

    This recipe looks delicious AND it fits the paleo autoimmune protocol (a rare thing). So, thank you! I host a weekly Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable through my blog, and I would love it if you linked up this recipe. I’m trying to expand resources for the AIP community. Here’s the link:

  • Stephanie Stuart May 21, 2014, 11:21 pm

    Hi Eileen! Thank you so much! I would be delighted to link up! I’ll also start putting more thought into AIP! Thanks for the idea!

  • Erin May 21, 2014, 11:29 pm

    Yay! Another recipe to try for the kids. Thank you for sharing! This looks so refreshing and delicious :)

  • Stephanie Stuart May 22, 2014, 1:06 pm

    Yes Erin it’s so great to know they’re eating only healthy foods! enjoy :)

  • Adam June 21, 2014, 6:44 pm

    Looks fantastic – a sure winner for the kids! I’m going to give this a try in the Blendtec blender as we don’t currently have a working food processor. Hoping it works…

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Stephanie Stuart July 1, 2014, 2:36 pm

    Hey there Adam!
    I would love to hear how your ice cream turned out in the blender! Feel free to snap a picture or two too!

  • Anyuta July 17, 2014, 4:04 am

    Thank you for sharing such a great recipe! I had some ripe bananas and didn´t know what to do with them. And this ice cream turns so creamy. I was really surprised! I added to it a spoon of rum for lowing the freezing point. So, when my husband eat it 6 hours later, it was still very creamy.

  • Stephanie Stuart July 17, 2014, 9:38 pm

    ohh I bet it was very tasty that way! So pleased you enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing your idea Anyuta!

  • Jackie September 20, 2014, 1:37 pm

    Are the dried cranberries part of the paleo food list? I love them but stopped eating them because I assumed they are not and are so high in sugar. Anything ideas on what we replace them with?

  • Stephanie Stuart September 21, 2014, 1:51 am

    Hi Jackie! Great question! Since the vast majority of dried cranberries are sweetened, I liken it to the grey area of other sweets like honey and maple syrup. They are best enjoyed sparingly. I think a great alternative would be slightly chopped, frozen raspberries. They’re low in sugars and sure to keep insulin in check if that’s a concern, they’re slightly tart, and will deliver the same beautiful red/yellow contrast. If you try that out let me know!

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