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A Paleo-Friendly, Non-Dairy AND Gluten-Free Dessert, Oh My! » Barnwood and Brick

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A Paleo-Friendly, Non-Dairy AND Gluten-Free Dessert, Oh My!


Go put a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator RIGHT. NOW. No seriously, you’ll thank me later if you just do it now because then you won’t have to face the disappointment that comes with forgetting to put it in the fridge at least 8 hours before making this recipe. Learn from my heartache, friends—always have a can of coconut milk at-the-ready for these situations. Into the fridge it goes.


Hmmph. Back to the recipe we go!

On average, I’d say I eat Paleo 80% of the time. I’ve become pretty good at adopting the “paleo ways” into my daily eating habits during the week, but do tend to indulge in a cheat meal (okay fine, or two) on the weekends. But here’s the thing about my cheat meals—if I’m gonna do it, I wanna go BIG on something messy like a burger and fries or pizza, I don’t want to waste one of my precious cheat meals on a tiny square of brownie or a small slice of cheesecake, you know what I’m saying??? Luckily, I don’t have to suffer through making the complicated decision of a “dinner cheat” vs. a “dessert cheat”, because this “ice cream” more than satisfies my sweet tooth.

This is what I like to call a “zero guilt” recipe, meaning that the ball of regret you’re feeling in the pit of your stomach is because you’re choosing to kick back and eat this while watching ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ instead of taking care of the growing mound of laundry thats been slowly taking over your apartment since last Friday (errrrr, maybe that’s just me).

Either way, feel free to grab a spoon, sit back, and enjoy—this recipe makes enough for two servings, but mum’s the word if you decide you don’t want to share…


  • 2 ripe bananas (sliced and frozen in a single layer on a plate—usually 1-2 hours)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (this creates a really rich chocolate flavor – for those looking for a less intense chocolate experience, start with half a tablespoon and slowly work your way up to the desired chocolate richness!)
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (can sub in one vanilla bean pod, if preferred)
  • 1 can refrigerated regular coconut milk (needs to be refrigerated overnight before making this recipe!)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, blueberries, or other berry of choice
  • coconut flakes (optional)
  • slivered almonds (optional)

Special Equipment:

  • Food processor or powerful blender

Directions (detailed in images below):

Step 1. 

Slice up two ripe bananas and place on a large plate or baking tray in a single layer. Place in the freezer for approximately 1-2 hours, or until banana slices are fully frozen.

Step 2. 

Add frozen banana slices to food processor or blender, along with 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Blend until smooth; the texture should be similar to that of frozen yogurt. You may need to scrape the sides of your food processor once or twice to make sure no banana slices are left behind. Remove food processor/blender from motor and place back in the freezer for 15 – 20 minutes (shorter time if you prefer soft serve consistency, longer if you prefer hard ice cream! Just be sure to check it occasionally so it doesn’t become TOO hard to serve).

Step 3. 

While the ice cream mixture chills in the freezer, take your can of coconut milk from the fridge and open it—SURPRISE!! Did you know that when you refrigerate coconut milk it separates into a lovely whipped-topping consistency? Now you do!!! Carefully scoop off the top layer of cream (avoiding the remaining liquid underneath) and whisk with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Step 4. 

Once the “ice cream” has reached the desired consistency, remove it from the freezer and serve immediately with the coconut cream mixture scooped on top. I garnished mine with fresh blueberries and coconut flakes for an extra bit of sweetness and crunch, but this would be fantastic served with any type of fresh berry. You can even add a few slivered almonds and a fresh cherry for the full “banana split” effect!

Enjoy! And don’t forget to let me know what you think by commenting below. Xoxo!





Cheri03/04/2014 - 9:23 am

Making this soon…looks delish!!!

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