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Dairy-free one-ingredient strawberry ice cream

Since discovering how easy it is to make banana ice cream by simply blending frozen banana until it becomes creamy, I’ve wanted to try other fruit flavours. However, living in the UK doesn’t usually lend itself to eating much summery food. But this glorious summer, yes!

Banana is the perfect fruit to use in a one-ingredient ice cream because it’s naturally creamy and high in sugar. Strawberries on the other hand have a high water content (that’s why frozen strawberries become mushy after defrosting) so can easily produce an icy consistency when blended. But I thought I’d give strawberry ice cream a go seeing as it’s Nicholas’ favourite ice cream flavour.

sugar-free strawberry ice cream

The frozen strawberries blend at a very similar speed to frozen banana and you need to regularly scrape down the sides of the bowl. The result using strawberries was definitely less creamy with a texture of ice cream verging on icy sorbetto. It was sweet enough for both Nicholas and me, but hubby (being Italian and therefore believing strawberries are never sweet enough on their own!) wasn’t so sure. If you’re not sure either, you could add a little honey, agave nectar or icing sugar while you’re blending.

I’ve since read adding a handful of frozen banana slices to the frozen strawberries adds creaminess and sweetness without taking away from the berry flavour. That’s definitely something I’ll try next time.

Like the banana version, it’s easier to blend the pieces of frozen fruit if they’ve been left to defrost for a couple of minutes. If the resulting ‘soft serve’ texture is too soft for you, put the blended mix into the freezer for 15 minutes or so for it to firm up.

If there’s any leftover ice cream, put it into a freezer-safe container for another day (letting it defrost for a couple of minutes and then reblending it before eating, or mush it up with the back of a spoon if you’re lazy like me). I’ve also poured leftovers into ice lolly moulds (sometimes also adding a layer of plain yogurt).

There are lots of other fruit I want to try this with. Jamie Oliver does a similar thing with mango in his 30-Minute Meals although he also adds yogurt, honey and lime juice.

DAIRY-FREE ONE-INGREDIENT STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

Preparation time is cutting up the strawberries, waiting for them to freeze and then blending them.
A 300-400g punnet of strawberries makes about 4 adult servings.

Cut your strawberries into quarters (or halves if they’re small) and lay them on a tray covered with baking paper. Put in the freezer for a few hours until frozen. If youโ€™re not going to use them immediately, put them in a bag after they’re frozen and keep in the freezer.

Put your frozen strawberry pieces into a food processor. Blend and blend, scraping down the sides, until it becomes creamy (about 5 mins). Donโ€™t worry if you think itโ€™s not going to get creamy, just be patient and keep blending.

Variations:

  • add a handful of sliced frozen banana for a creamier texture
  • freeze a variety of berries, not just strawberries
  • add a little honey, agave nectar or icing sugar for extra sweetness
  • add a little rose water as you’re blending

Other uses:

  • pour leftovers into ice lolly moulds, alternating with layers of plain yogurt

What fruits would you love to try making into healthier ice cream?

Dairy-free banana ice cream

I can’t believe Nicholas has spent the afternoon in board shorts. It’s May. It’s the UK. I could get used to this weather!

What’s the perfect thing to eat when it’s hot? Ice cream of course! And I can’t get over how simple this recipe is. You don’t need an ice cream machine and you only need one ingredient. Yes, I said one. It takes very little effort and it tastes great. It’s great for all the family and it’s dairy-free. It couldn’t be more perfect.

I caught a bit of a cooking show recently where two contestants cooked dinner in their homes for a group of strangers who then paid what they thought the dinner was worth. One was serving ice cream for dessert, but I was confused as she hadn’t done any preparation. Where was her ice cream maker and how could she be making it while her guests were eating their mains? She used a food processor but it still wasn’t clear how she made it. Her guests loved it and I started searching online for recipes.

So what I discovered was that frozen berries blended together in a food processor become a wonderful creamy ‘ice cream’. It sounded too easy. Why didn’t I already know about this? Before I got the chance to buy some berries to try it out, I stumbled across a very popular recipe on Pinterest using bananas rather than berries. Even better!

The bananas I used weren’t overly ripe. However, the riper and browner they are, the sweeter your ice cream will be.

DAIRY-FREE BANANA ICE CREAM

Prep time is cutting up the bananas, waiting for them to freeze and then blending them.
2 bananas make about 2 adult servings.

Cut your bananas into slices about 1cm thick and lay them on a tray covered with baking paper. Put in the freezer for a few hours until frozen. If you’re not going to use them immediately, put them in a bag and keep in the freezer.


Put your frozen banana slices into a food processor. For the small amount I made I used my mini food processor.

Blend and blend, scraping down the sides, until it becomes creamy (about 5 mins). Don’t worry if you think it’s not going to get creamy, don’t be tempted to add anything, just keep blending.


That’s it, you’re done. Now all you have to do is grab a spoon and try it, and I’m sure you’re going to be impressed with your effort. Just make sure to leave some for your munchkin to enjoy!

When hubby tried this he kept asking questions even though I’d told him how I’d made it. ‘But does it have any dairy in it?’ ‘No, it’s just banana.’ ‘There’s no sugar?’ ‘NO, it’s just banana!’

It’s definitely creamier if you eat it immediately. Freezing it again makes it icy and colder to eat, although you could blend it another time.

Variations:

  • add tahini paste before blending for a richer flavour
  • add chopped nuts
  • swirl through caramel or Nutella
  • add chocolate chips
  • use berries instead of the bananas

Other uses:

  • sandwich between two biscuits and roll in chopped nuts