You have likely heard of or made banana ice cream by now, but have you ever thought of applying the super simple recipe elsewhere? Instead of using frozen bananas to make a soft serve ice cream, this recipe uses them to make ice cream bars that are perfect for serving at barbecues and other gatherings! Each of the three layers is a different flavor and is naturally colored. With the additional sweetness and texture of the cashew date crust, these little bite-sized treats are irresistible!
Banana Ice Cream Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free, Raw]
For the Crust:
- 2/3 cup roasted salted cashews
- 1/2 cup dates, roughly chopped and loosely packed
- 1 teaspoon water
For the Bars:
- 2 large bananas, cut into coins and frozen overnight
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 14.5-ounce can coconut cream (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons agave
- 1 1/2 cups halved frozen strawberries, lightly heaping
- Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving enough to hang over the sides to use as a handle. In a large food processor, process the cashews until broken down. Add in the dates and process until a crumbly dough forms. Then, with the food processor running, add in the water and process until well combined. Your crust should be sticky.
- Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan, making sure to pack it tight. Place into the freezer.
- Place one of the banana coins, along with the blueberries, into a high-powered blender and blend on the chop setting until crushed. Then, go back and forth between the chop and mix setting, scraping the sides as necessary until well mixed and creamy. You will need to stop your blender very frequently to scrape the sides in order to get everything mixed.
- Spread the blueberry mixture over the prepared crust and place it back into the freezer to harden.
- While the blueberry layer chills, scrape the coconut cream into a large bowl (don't add the coconut water) along with the agave. Use an electric hand mixer to blend until light and fluffy, and no lumps remain.
- Spread the coconut cream over the blueberry layer and let chill until firm to the touch, about 15-20 minutes.
- Once the coconut layer is hard, add the remaining banana and strawberries to the blender and blend just like the blueberry layer. Again, you'll need to stop your blender A LOT to scrape down the sides to get it all mixed.
- Spread the strawberry layer evenly over the coconut layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours up to overnight. When ready to slice, let the bars sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes to lightly soften.