This is a variation of our banana nice cream base recipe. Chocolate banana nice cream with cinnamon is a perfect lightened-up dessert when you get a craving for something cold, creamy, and sweet. The touch of cinnamon and sprinkling of mini chocolate chips add a more indulgent taste without sacrificing nutrition!
Must-Know Cooking Skill
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Nice Cream
Do NOT freeze bananas with the peel on!!! They are a nightmare to unpeel once frozen. To freeze bananas, peel, slice into quarters, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour before transferring to a freezer-safe bag or container. Although you can freeze bananas whole, they will freeze faster and blend easier if broken into smaller pieces.
If your nice cream is too thick after blending, add more liquid. If it is too thin, add more banana.
Don’t be deterred if the nice cream does not quickly turn creamy when blending. Use a spatula to scrape the sides, and continue to blend. It will get there!
Stir in the chocolate chips after blending, otherwise you will be left with chocolate shavings.
- Frozen Banana: substitute half of one banana with any frozen fruit of your choosing.
- Milk/Milk Alternative: use cow’s milk, a non-dairy alternative, or canned coconut milk. Note that different milks will yield slightly different tastes and textures. Choose unsweetened varieties and those with as few additives as possible for best nutrition.
- Cocoa powder: substitute 2 teaspoons melted and slightly cooled chocolate.
- Cinnamon: substitute pumpkin spice or apple pie spice.
- Mini chocolate chips: substitute full size chocolate chips or chunks or chocolate shavings.
Add any other ingredients of your choice to change the flavor and texture. Toasted chopped nuts and/or toasted coconut would all be delicious additions! Create a chocolate peanut butter nice cream by adding a dollop of peanut butter to the banana mixture.
Want more nice cream inspiration?
Use our banana nice cream base recipe as a guide, then adjust flavors to your taste!
Which Blender is Best for Nice Cream?
Any blender will work! While a Vitamix probably makes the creamiest ice cream, any full-size blender, single-serve blender, immersion blender, or even a food processor will do the job. If your appliance has a difficult time blending all of the ingredients, use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides between blending, or double the recipe to increase the blender volume.
Is this Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream?
Chocolate banana nice cream is certainly a more nutrient-dense alternative than traditional ice cream! The featured ingredients in this nice cream recipe are bananas, milk/milk alternative, cocoa powder, and less added sugar than store bought ice cream.
Bananas contain fiber and potassium. The natural sugar in bananas (and all fruit) does not count against your daily sugar budget. Aim to include fruit in all of your meals so that you fill up on beneficial vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and phytochemicals.
Milk or Milk Alternative
Cow’s milk is rich in calcium, B vitamins, and protein. Dairy-free alternatives provide different benefits depending on which kind you choose. There are now options available made from pea protein, bananas, oats, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, cashews, coconuts, and of course the originals: rice, soy, and almond. Soy milk is the most nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk. When choosing a milk alternative, try to limit added sugars, gums, and stabilizers. Some varieties, like cashew or oat milk are creamier, and therefore create a thicker ice cream.
Cocoa is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It contains no added sugar, so you reap the benefits of chocolate without the nutrient-poor calories!
Less Added Sugar
High sugar consumption is not good for health, and in general, most Americans eat way too much. Men should aim to consume less than 9 teaspoons (~36 grams) of sugar per day, and women should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons (~24 grams) of sugar per day. (3) If you use extra ripe bananas and omit the added sweetener, this recipe is free of added sugars! If you choose to add the extra sweetener, each ½ cup serving contains only ½-1 teaspoon of added sugar; FAR less than a ½ cup of regular ice cream!
Chocolate Banana Nice Cream Serving Suggestions
Chocolate banana nice cream makes for a perfect afternoon or evening treat. It’s also a great post-workout recovery snack because it contains muscle-restoring carbohydrates.
What about nice cream for breakfast? Sure! Because this recipe doesn’t contain excess sugar, it can definitely be included as part of a balanced breakfast! Serve alongside scrambled eggs, overnight oats, whole wheat pancakes, or avocado toast for a fun and flavorful meal.
Keep leftover chocolate banana nice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month for best quality. Note that the nice cream will solidify after 4-6 hours in the freezer, so you may have to let it sit on the counter for ~15 minutes before serving to achieve desired consistency.
Want more delicious dessert recipes?
Try out these favorite base recipes, and as always, adjust to YOUR taste!
Chocolate Banana Nice Cream
- 2 extra ripe bananas, peel off, quartered, frozen
- ¼ cup milk or unsweetened milk alternative
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Place frozen bananas, milk, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, using a spatula to scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Once smooth, stir in mini chocolate chips.
- Serve as is or freeze for 1 hour for a firmer texture. Enjoy!