Bananas are naturally sweet and creamy which makes them the perfect base for banana swirl. Banana swirl is an "ice cream" made by blending up frozen banana chunks until thick and creamy. It's similar to the texture of ice cream but without all the guilt which is why it's commonly referred to as nice cream.
If your kiddos love Daniel Tiger like mine do you may have learned about banana swirl from the episode where mom tiger whips up a batch. It's almost as simple as she makes it look (notice I said almost).
For one she puts the frozen bananas into the blender whole. Yikes! That would put a lot of stress on the motor of your blender and it would take a while for them to blend. She turns it on and they immediately blend into a smooth nice cream.
I've not found this to be the case. I usually have to stop the blender a few times and scrape the sides with a spatula before the blender will really catch all the banana bits and blend them up super creamy.
If you haven't had banana nice cream then you're in for a treat. It's rich and creamy but entirely plant-based and healthy. I will say that it doesn't taste like ice cream, I mean after all it's bananas! But it IS really good!
Banana Swirl Ingredients
Bananas - Make sure you use ripe bananas. When bananas ripen the starch converts to sugar which naturally makes them very sweet. So be sure to use very yellow bananas or ones that are slightly spotted.
Milk (optional) - You can use regular, dairy-free, or plant-based milk here. You only need a very small amount to help the bananas blend. This is optional but recommended. It just makes it easier and easy is always good!
How To Make Banana Swirl
You can either use a food processor or a high-speed blender. Both work great.
At least one night before you plan to make the banana nice cream cut three ripe bananas into chunks and place into a freezer safe bag.
This is a great way to use up bananas that would otherwise go bad.
- Let the frozen bananas sit on the counter for 15 minutes. This allows them to soften just a smidge for easier blending.
- Place the banana chunks into the blender or food processor. Blend until the bananas stop moving and then stop to scrape down the sides of the blender or processor.
- Add the milk and then repeat the process again until the blades catch the banana mixture and it swirls around and gets thick and creamy! You may have to scrape the sides more than two times.
- Enjoy immediately or scoop the mixture into a dish and freeze for an hour or until the mixture is scoopable.
- Top with sprinkles and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- Cut the bananas into chunks before freezing. It's much easier to do it beforehand than when they're frozen.
- Use ripe bananas! Don't use black bananas as they get a fermented taste when they're too over-ripe. Use yellow or slightly spotted bananas.
- If you're bananas aren't swirling don't worry! Sometimes it takes several times of stopping the blender and scraping down the sides for it to finally blend.
Banana Swirl Variations
- Sweeter - Add maple syrup for extra sweetness.
- Chocolate - Add 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to make it chocolate. I like to use dark cocoa powder so it's really indulgent.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter - Add cocoa powder and peanut butter!
- Strawberry - Add frozen strawberries. You may need to use more milk to help it blend.
- Mint chocolate chip - Use a couple drops of peppermint extract and chocolate chips. Peppermint is very strong so remember less is more!
Toppings are one of the best part in my opinion! Here are some great ideas:
- Mini chocolate chips
- Rainbow sprinkles
- Chopped nuts
- Chocolate sauce
- Caramel sauce
- Cocoa nibs
- Mini M&M's
- Shredded or flaked coconut
- Fresh fruit
The opportunities are truly endless here!
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
- High-speed blender or food processor
- 3 bananas, frozen and cut into chunks
- 1 tbsp Unsweetened almond milk or regular milk
- Let the frozen bananas sit on the counter for 15 minutes just to soften slightly.
- Place the banana chunks into the blender or food processor and blend until the bananas stop moving. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides.
- Add the milk and blend again. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides again. Repeat this process until the blender (or food processor) starts to swirl the bananas around until thick and creamy. It may take a few times.
- Enjoy immediately or for scoopable banana nice cream scoop the mixture into a freezer safe bowl and freeze for an hour or until you can scoop it with an ice cream scooper.
- Add toppings and enjoy!