by Tammy Taylor
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It’s hot. I mean REALLY hot. Like ‘it’s hitting around 100 degrees every day for the past week’ kinda hot! WHEW! Now we’re in NE Texas y’all and to be honest, heat is just part of the game during the summertime. But I do whatever I can to combat the effects of the heat like making sun tea outside, using our homemade solar screens on the hot side of the house, and oh yeah – eating ice cream. Now I know it’s just not healthy to eat tons of ice cream but in moderation it’s a deliciously cool way to ward off that Texas summer heat. I make my ‘ice cream’ healthier by using frozen bananas, non-fat milk and instant pudding mix. But lately I’ve been experimenting with flavors for RancherMan and me, and Mint Chocolate Chip is my favorite flavor. So today I’m sharing tips on making delicious cold healthier ice cream in a mint chocolate chip flavor.
Now when I first started making this frozen banana ice cream it was usually pretty basic chocolate or vanilla flavored, but as time goes on I like to experiment with more & more delicious flavor combinations. (I’ll be sharing them on this blog so be watching!) I’ve experimented with various ways of making mint chocolate chip flavor too, but I’ve finally settled on what I believe to be the best recipe.
In past banana ‘ice cream’ recipes I’ve always used three frozen bananas. Although it was delicious to me, RancherMan felt that many bananas put a little too much banana flavoring in the ice cream. So I started experimenting with using only two bananas and it works just as well. To make this mint chocolate chip flavor I started out by infusing the milk with fresh mint from my garden. I measured out 1/2 cup milk and harvested a few sprigs of mint, washed & dried them & then chopped them coarsely and placed the whole shebangie in a small jar in my fridge, where I allowed the infusion to, uh, infuse for about 3-4 days. The milk turned a delightful color of mint green which I was really hoping would color my ice cream minty-green as well (it didn’t but…)
So now I’m ready to make my ice cream. I bring out all my ingredients: My mint-infused milk, frozen bananas, instant pudding mix, vanilla, some fresh mint and chopped candy bar pieces. I bought some little snack-sized chocolate candies after Christmas for a song & stuck them in the freezer for just these occasions. I unwrapped about 4 pieces and chopped them up for this recipe. These are Mr. Goodbar’s & they have chopped nuts for a little extra uumph in my ice cream.
I poured my mint-infused milk through a strainer to separate the milk from the mint leaves. I guess just because they had been sitting in the milk for a few days I thought I’d remove those leaves but don’t worry, I’ll add plenty of fresh leaves to my ice cream mixture! When all the milk had dripped through the strainer I pressed the leaves to make sure I got every precious drop. Ummmm… it smells wonderful. I poured this minty deliciousness into my *Ninja Blender (Dang this thing is a no-churn banana ‘ice cream’ making beast!)
Then I bring out my two frozen bananas and chopped them into about 1/4″ coins – it just makes it faster & easier to get everything smooth if the bananas are chopped a bit. I add about a tablespoon of vanilla and a few sprigs of fresh washed mint from my garden and blend until smooth.
When it’s all smooth I add my instant vanilla pudding mix (I make my own homemade instant pudding mix but you can use the 4-oz commercial stuff if you like) Then I quickly blend again until smooth and voila!
The ‘ice cream’ is already pretty thick so I poured it into a double bowl I use for freezing the mixtures when I’m making ice cream – I made Rocky Road flavor for RancherMan & this Mint Chocolate Chip flavor for me. I take those chopped chocolate pieces and stir them into my Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, and into the freezer it goes.
I pulled the ice cream out when it had been in the freezer about an hour and gave everything a good stir. This keeps your ‘ice cream’ from freezing too hard. I put it back into the freezer & when it was fully frozen I served it up good and cold. Ummmm… minty-delicious cooling from the inside out!
And this recipe is so much less expensive than buying commercial ice cream, not to mention it’s healthier and has much less landfill-bound trash. SCORE! Here’s my recipe:
Mint Chocolate Chip ‘Ice Cream’
- 2 peeled & frozen bananas, chopped into 1/4″ coins
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 4-oz box vanilla instant pudding mix (or 1/2 cup of your own homemade instant pudding mix)
- 1/2 cup milk, infused with crushed fresh mint leaves
- 4 mini chocolate candy-bar pieces, chopped fine
- Additional mint leaves (optional)
Bring out frozen bananas and chop into approximately 1/4″ rounds. Strain mint leaves from infused milk and add milk and frozen bananas to blender or food processor. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla and optional mint leaves if desired and blend until smooth.
Add instant pudding mix (or 1/2 cup of your own homemade instant pudding mix) and blend again until thoroughly combined. Pour into freezer-safe container and stir in chocolate pieces.
Freeze for about an hour, then bring ice cream out of the freezer and stir more solidly frozen outer section of the ice cream into less-frozen inner section and return to freezer until completely frozen.
Serve up & enjoy cold!
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