When we talked about developing some fun ice creams for Planetarian Life, we realized that even though making plant-based ice cream is simple, you still need an ice cream freezer, which most people don’t have. (And even if you do, it’s a project, and therefore something you’re not likely to make.) Our challenge was to develop amazing plant-based ice creams that didn’t require an ice cream freezer. This chunky monkey n’ice cream is one of four amazing and easy n’ice creams we came up with that are made easily without an ice cream maker.
After the successes of Strawberry N’Ice Cream and Pistachio N’Ice Cream, it was time to develop one that kids would especially love. Dash and I had recently made Dirt Dessert, so I had some Oreos hanging around. With bananas in the freezer, all we needed was peanuts to create a Chunky Monkey version. Not a banana fan, Dash still gave this one two thumbs up.
We later rounded out the quartet of flavors with a plant-based chocolate n’ice cream made with an amazing, healthy, secret ingredient!
How Long to Freeze
As with the other N’Ice Creams, depending on the temperature of the bananas and the plant milk, it may be just right for scooping up straight from the blender, but it will likely need a little chill time. You’ll probably have two to four hours to serve it before the ice cream starts to harden, at which point, you can simply soften it in the microwave on the defrost setting. Like the pistachio ice cream, this one is not ideal for throwing back in the blender with a little plant milk to return to its soft, creamy scoopable state. The oreos get ground too much in the process.
This banana-based ice cream can be a base for so many other flavors—caramel, blueberry, pinapple, toasted coconut, or just about any roasted nut would complement this frozen treat. And, of course, my favorite way to enjoy this ice cream is not to add anything except a teaspoon of vanilla extract. If you’ve got vanilla bean paste, it’s even better!
Although it won’t be chunky anymore, you can turn Chunky Monkey N’Ice Cream into a milkshake by blendering any leftovers with enough plant milk to give you a shake consistency.
Chunky Monkey N'Ice Cream
- 4 bananas, quartered and frozen
- 1 cup plant-based creamer, such as oat
- 8 cream-filled chocolate cookies, such as Oreos, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
- Puree bananas, creamer, 4 cookies, and the peanut butter in a blender until smooth. Turn into a medium bowl and top with remaining crumbled cookies and peanuts. Freeze to chill, about a half hour. (Best eaten within a few hours, but it can be frozen in a sealed container for several days, let sit to soften before scooping.)