With summer upon us frozen treats are a must, but no need to wreck your body in the process. These Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches feature my popular almond butter chocolate chip cookies and a banana soft serve filling. Made without dairy or grains and they are low in sugar.
[This is an updated post from 2013.]
It’s truly been years since I have had an old school ice cream sandwich, ya know the ones, soft chocolate cookies, vanilla ice cream filling. While working an event a few years back, I came across a food truck that specialized in just ice cream sandwiches and they actually had a gluten-free and dairy-free option for someone like me. YAY! It was delicious and messy but probably loaded with sugar and lots of other stuff I prefer not to eat. It immediately got the gears turning in my head. I wanted to make a more healthful ice cream sandwich myself and I of course just needed to find the time to actually play with some recipe ideas.
I know we have all seen the one or two ingredient banana ice cream that has been making it’s rounds all over the internet for the last few years. If you haven’t tried it yet, you must. Stop what you are doing right now, put those bananas in the freezer and make some yummy dairy-free ice cream alternative. It is simple to make and sooo surprisingly creamy and delicious. I realized it would make the perfect ice cream sandwich filling since it is creamy, simple to make and literally has nothing more than bananas in it. A great compliment to some grain-free, dairy-free cookies!
While I have been experimenting with the keto diet and I’ve been eating high fat/low carb since January of this year, I also still find so much joy in creating more healthful sweets and treats for the website and to share with others, and I of course indulge and test myself too. So, while this recipe isn’t exactly a super low carb or keto-friendly dessert, I also know that when I step away from eating keto for a treat, I would much prefer to eat this real-food treat with the carbs coming from bananas and a small amount of more natural sweeteners, then to indulge in a grain and dairy-loaded, processed food based ice cream sandwich, cuz it’s just never worth it. I suppose the sweeteners in the cookie could also be replaced with natural sugar alternatives like monk fruit or erythritol, too, but I haven’t experimented, myself.
These Grain-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches have become a favorite of mine for serving to summertime house guests. They are simple to throw together ahead of time, the ingredients are simple and clean and although they are paleo-friendly and gluten-free, they truly impress ALL. Nothing makes me happier than telling people what these are made out of.
And while these ice cream sandwich treats may not be traditional, they are loaded with flavor and bring those kid-like vibes when you are eating them, plus you could have some fun with these. Try adding some mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs to the outside of the banana ice cream filling, or add raw cacao or baking cocoa to the banana mixture to make chocolate ice cream, swirl some almond butter in with the bananas, etc. Get creative.
- 1 cup creamy unsweetened, unsalted almond butter (if you are allergic to nuts, try sunflower seed butter)
- 1 large pasture-raised egg
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (maple sugar or regular granulated sugar would also work)
- ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life brand)
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, or the bowl of your standup mixer, add the almond butter, egg, coconut sugar, honey (or maple syrup), ground flaxseed, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Beat until smooth and creamy; approximately 2 to 3 minutes. You may have to stop it once or twice to scrape down the sides. Fold in the mini chocolate chips with a spatula.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies turn a slight golden brown; they will be slightly puffy but they go down as they cool! Cool the cookies right on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. They are quite fragile when they first come out, so don’t rush moving them, give them the full 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining dough. Makes 12-18 cookies, depending on the size you make your cookies.
- *I used local raw honey, in its liquid state.
- 8 to 12 (of the above) grain-free almond butter chocolate chip cookies
- 4 frozen organic bananas, peel and cut them into chunks before freezing*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- Once the cookies are fully cooled, take the ones you will be turning into ice cream sandwiches and place them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet or cooling rack, into the freezer, I would suggest leaving them there 15 - 30 minutes, if you can. Meanwhile cut the frozen bananas into 3 or 4-inch pieces, they will blend up easier this way. Place frozen banana pieces into the bowl of your food processor with the vanilla extract. Pulse, on high, until the bananas are broken down a bit and then let it process until it is smooth and creamy, but still frozen, don't process it too long or it will turn into a smoothie. You can add a splash or two of non-dairy milk or water if the mixture is having a hard time getting started.
- Take the cookies out of the freezer. To form the ice cream sandwiches take one cookie and top the flat side (the bottom of the cookie) with your desired amount of banana ice cream, then place the second cookie on top and gently, very gently, press down until the ice cream has spread to the edges of the cookies and you have an ice cream sandwich. You may want to scrape, with your finger or a knife, any ice cream that squeezes out the sides too far and drips down. At this point, I liked to put them back in the freezer to let them fully set up. At least 30 - 45 minutes. You can freeze them overnight if you wish, just be sure to wrap them individually in parchment paper, freezer wrap, foil, etc.
- *I suggest freezing the bananas overnight so they are fully frozen but you can freeze them as little as a few hours.