Chocolate and bananas together are always a good idea. But ice cream like frozen bananas coated in a rich layer of chocolate, and topped with pistachios and raspberries is a much better idea, if you ask me :) It's a lovely way to enjoy some vegan "ice cream" in a more wholesome kind of way.
True story: chocolate covered frozen bananas were the very first recipe I ever followed. Funny to say, since it's such a non-recipe in many ways, but it's true. Coming from a family of non-bakers, and as someone who thought cookies only came from a package, following a recipe to make dessert was a complete novelty. I mean, my mom had a friend who once baked a cake for a birthday from scratch and I thought she was extremely gifted... That's how foreign baking was to my little world.
Anyways, I was 13, saw the chocolate covered frozen bananas recipe in a magazine and thought oh wow, I can totally make that! It made dessert-making approachable for me. I clipped the recipe and began a notebook of things I'd like to try.
Of course that version was not dairy-free, and was generously sprinkled with funfetti (which was my favorite on anything), but tweaking the concept with some slightly more wholesome ingredients was an easy task whenever I wanted to revisit this treat over the years.
Frozen Banana Recipe Variations:
By no means do I want to understate the deliciousness of simple frozen bananas dipped in chocolate. I mean, it's like having creamy dairy-free ice cream with crisp and rich chocolate. Delish! But, there are also a ton of ways to improvise here and countless variations to try.
Here are some ideas to play around with as well as some tips:
- The deliciousness of this simple treat depends greatly on the chocolate you use. So I recommend using a brand of chocolate you love. You can use dark chocolate chips, or chop up an actual chocolate bar. Use a raw vegan chocolate bar for a raw and refined sugar-free version. Or you can use this DIY magic shell recipe if you prefer. You can even use a carob bar (or make that magic shell with carob) for a non-chocolate alternative. Vegan white chocolate is quite nice on these too.
- Sprinkling toppings: gosh, so many things can go here. I used pistachios and freeze dried raspberries because that's what I had on hand while making this particular batch, and also because I like the colors (a more adult funfetti alternative ;) ). But chopped toasted peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, etc. go amazing on these. You can also use some natural funfetti sprinkles, or some shredded coconut. You can drizzle some nut butter on top (it helps if you mix it with a tiny bit of coconut oil first so it sets better). You can also drizzle on some melted coconut manna for some rich coconuttiness and a beautiful white drizzle. And then there's always dried edible rose petals, and other dried flowers (like blue cornflour, lavender, etc.) which add a dose of bright colors.
- Note: you'll want to sprinkle the toppings on right after dipping in chocolate, as the chocolate will set fast and you want the sprinkles to stick.
- Tip: the parchment-lined chilled metal tray helps the chocolate to not spread out too much all over the place while the bananas are setting -- this is why I recommend using a metal tray as opposed to a plate, as it retains the cold much better.
- Another tip: you want to use bananas that are ripe and sweet, but not so ripe that they'd mush up or fall apart if you tried to skewer them.
- And speaking of skewers, these are quite tasty without them as well, though they do make them easier to handle.
- You can add a layer of nut butter underneath the chocolate for the ultimate frozen banana treat. That's actually my favorite way to eat these. I love using hazelnut butter, peanut butter, or almond butter, or even some good tahini. There are two ways I do this:
- If your nut butter is runny, you can mix some of it with a bit of coconut oil and place in a glass or narrow jar (1 cup nut butter + 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil), dunk the frozen bananas into this mixture. Hold up for a few seconds to set. Place on the parchment-lined tray and freeze for 20 minutes. Then dunk the bananas into the chocolate mixture as per the recipe.
- If your nut butter is thick, you can just spread some of it on the bananas (I find it's easier to spread it more gracefully on just one side of the banana when it's thick like that as opposed to all around, but up to you). You can also thicken nut butter for this purpose by refrigerating it first. Return the nut-butter coated bananas to the freezer for about an hour before dunking in chocolate.
I kept the recipe below more basic, but I hope you give some of these variations a try at one point or another -- they're all so good! It's such a simple treat these frozen bananas, but can satisfy so many sweet tooth moments in so many ways.
Oh, and last but not least, with recipes that require dunking things in chocolate, you'll always have a bit left at the end (as you need plenty of chocolate to coat things). You can freeze that little end bit of chocolate in small silicone molds for future use (or for eating) or make some chocolate bark out of it.Print
These chocolate covered frozen bananas are an easy way to have a wholesome & vegan delicious ice cream treat.
Banana Ice Cream
- 3 bananas
- 6 popsicle sticks or skewers (optional)
- 1 ½ cups vegan chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1-2 tablespoon unscented coconut oil or cacao butter (optional)**
- dried raspberries
- chopped pistachios (omit or use hemp seeds if nut-free)
1. FROZEN BANANAS: Cut the bananas in half horizontally (so that you're left with 2 short thick pieces). If using a popsicle stick, skewer each banana half down the middle. Place the bananas on a parchment-lined metal tray and freeze for 1-2 hours (until the bananas become very firm up and cold to the touch).
2. CHOCOLATE COATING: Once the bananas are frozen, melt the chocolate coating ingredients in a double boiler. Transfer the chocolate mixture into a narrow glass jar or drinking glass.
3. ASSEMBLY: Have the optional toppings handy on the counter (ready for sprinkling). Remove bananas (and the chilled metal tray they are on) from the freezer. Briefly dip a banana half in the jar of melted chocolate to coat. Sprinkle with some toppings, hold it up in the air upright for a few seconds for the chocolate to firm up a little, then place back on the parchment-lined metal tray. Repeat with remaining bananas.
4. Return to the freezer to set for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!***
*If you prefer, you can make your own chocolate coating instead by using this DIY vegan magic shell. Note, it tends to spread a little thinner than melted chocolate, so you might want to do a double coating.
**The coconut oil just helps to thin out the chocolate so it's easier to dip. You can skip it if you prefer, or use some cacao butter instead for a richer chocolate flavor.
***Store the bananas in a sealed container in the freezer.