Ice cream has always been one of my all time favorite foods. It is sweet, creamy, and a quintessential part of summer. Plus, it's a mix-in / topping dream, which we all know I love. What's not awesome? How I feel after eating dairy ice cream. A few years ago I developed a lactose intolerance and, while I can tolerate cheese and other dairy in small doses, unfortunately the fat and dairy combo of ice cream is a pretty solid no-go. So, instead of regular ice cream, now my go-to is banana ice cream. At first I was skeptical--is someone really going to convince me that bananas and ice cream are the same thing? But, after trying the banana ice cream from It's All Good, I was hooked. Could I swap out someone's ice cream and make them believe it's the same thing? No, but when I'm craving ice cream this is completely satisfying.
There are so many ice cream flavor combos I love, but whenever it's cherry season I die over anything with fresh cherries so obviously I had to have them in banana ice cream form. I started with frozen bananas and cherries and added in chopped almonds, fresh cherries, and some almond paste (easily found in the grocery store, too). The almond paste is completely optional but takes this over the top with the creaminess and flavor of the sweet almonds, so good!
Banana Cherry Almond Ice Cream
Loosely adapted from It's All Good
1/2 frozen banana
1/4-1/2 C frozen cherries
1/8-1/4 C almond milk (depending on the consistency you want)
1-2 T maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want it!)
Optional: 1/4 tsp vanilla / almond extract (if you want a stronger, less fruit flavor)
Ghirardelli Mini Chocolate Chips
Chopped, fresh cherries
Almond paste / Marzipan
Directions: Place base ingredients in food processor and blend just until ingredients mix together -- make sure not to mix for too long so that your 'ice cream' stays frozen and creamy, not melty. After blending, add mix-ins and then enjoy immediately!
Notes: We put ours into our slushie cup to keep it a bit more frozen for longer but this is totally optional. However, make sure to eat your 'ice cream' quickly as it does not freeze well.