This raw ice cream recipe is so simple that it can hardly be considered a recipe. More like a concoction. What it can be considered is delicious.
In raw desserts, bananas, avocados, and coconut seem to reign supreme, mostly because they give such great texture to desserts. In this recipe, bananas give creaminess and break down into very tiny ice crystals, so it really feels like you're eating ice cream. And somehow the bananas don't seem to impart much in the way of flavor. You get a subtle banana flavor, but the raw cacao mostly overpowers it.
Raw cacao is one of the great antioxidants of the world, and it even gives you other nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. I try to look for truly "raw" cacao, because now manufacturers are using that term but are really giving you roasted cacao beans that have been powdered. Buying a package can seem extravagant at first, but you tend to use so little of it that it lasts a really long time. Plus, if you're going to make a few raw desserts, you'll see this ingredient pop up often enough that it might be good to bite the bullet. You can typically get a pound on Amazon for about $10.
If you don't have raw cacao or don't like the flavor of it, you could used cocoa powder or carob powder. You might want to increase the amount you use in this recipe since cocoa powder has a less intense flavor than raw cacao.
You can either choose to eat this raw ice cream recipe soft serve style, or you could freeze the ice cream after you blend it and allow it to harden a little bit; your choice.
Note on freezing bananas: The flavor of frozen bananas comes out best when you wait until your bananas are pretty spotted and brown to freeze them. I just peel them, compost the peel, and then put them in a ziploc bag without any air in it. Label the baggie because the bananas typically only stay freezer burn-free for about three months.
Blend all the ingredients in a strong blender until smooth. You'll notice the color gets a little bit lighter, and the texture should be like smooth frozen yogurt. Depending on the strength of your blender, this could take anywhere from 20 seconds to a few minutes. I love my Vitamix for jobs like this because it churns the ice cream out in 20 seconds, and everything is perfectly pulverized and smooth.
Taste to see if there is enough cacao for your tastes, and add 1/2 teaspoon more at a time to increase the chocolately-ness of this recipe. If you have kids who like it a bit sweeter, you can toss in 2 dates to give it more sweetness without adding refined sugars.
Um, so that's the recipe. I told you it was simple. It's also really quick and easy, which means that about 2 minutes after you have the craving for ice cream you can be eating this healthy alternative and not giving yourself a stomach ache.
You can get creative with flavors. I love to make a raw strawberry-banana ice cream by omitting the cacao and adding in about 5-7 frozen strawberries. You could try any other fruit you love as well.
You can also play around with mix-ins. If you want some chunks of whole fruit in your ice cream, add them in after you're done blending. Chocolate chips, shredded coconut, raisins, or nuts would also be great added into this ice cream.
And reminder, if you like a harder ice cream, put the blended raw ice cream into a freezing container and give it a few hours to harden up before eating it.