Learn how easy it is to make indulgent banana ice cream with chocolate chunks and walnuts–all in the Ninja Creami!
You’ll love this easy Ninja Creami copycat chunky monkey ice cream recipe!
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If you’ve been feeling intimidated about making homemade ice cream, you don’t need to feel that way anymore!
Several years ago, I began making homemade ice cream and sorbet for my family, using an ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid mixer.
That method has served me well for many years now. I’ve also made many easy no-churn ice creams, which don’t require an ice cream maker at all!
These methods allowed us to enjoy some of our favorite homemade frozen desserts every summer.
But more recently, I invested in a Ninja Creami ice cream maker, which uses a different method for preparing cool and creamy frozen treats. And I have to say, it’s super easy!
Because my husband is a fan of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream, he asked if I could try to create a Ninja Creami chunky monkey copycat recipe. I was happy to oblige!
The result is a creamy, indulgent ice cream that he gave his stamp of approval. 🙂 That’s why it’s on my list of the best Ninja Creami recipes–and I’m sure you’ll love it, too!
As a bonus, it’s filled with simple ingredients you can actually pronounce, and it gets most of its sweetness from ripe bananas–so you can enjoy it without the guilt!
More Ninja Creami Recipes You’ll Love:
- Easy Ninja Creami Vanilla Ice Cream
- Decadent Ninja Creami Chocolate Ice Cream
- Ninja Creami Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Easy Ninja Creami Pineapple Sorbet
- Ninja Creami Pumpkin Ice Cream
Making Ice Cream in the Ninja Creami
First, let’s take a look at how traditional ice cream is often made, then I’ll share an overview of how the Ninja Creami works, so you’ll understand why this machine makes it really easy for you.
Traditionally, many ice cream recipes are made with a custard-style base typically made with eggs, sugar, and milk, and cooked on the stove top.
After the custard base cools in the refrigerator for a while, it gets churned in a pre-frozen ice cream drum.
This churning not only helps the custard freeze, but also aerates it and breaks up ice crystals, so it ends up nice and creamy. After churning, it gets transferred to the freezer for a few hours.
Then there’s no-churn ice cream, which gets its sweetness from sweetened condensed milk, and its creaminess from light and fluffy whipped cream. It’s a simple method of making egg-free ice cream that doesn’t require any cooking, and no ice cream machines!
The Ninja Creami sort of reverses the whole process, eliminating churning all together.
Instead of churning your base into a light and creamy dessert, then allowing it to freeze, you begin by preparing a liquid ice cream base and freeze it for at least 24 hours.
Once that liquid is frozen solid, you transfer it into your Ninja Creami, which “creamifies” the base with one of seven settings, by finely chopping or shaving the frozen concoction.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this “backwards” process would really work well, since there’s no aerating or breaking up crystals prior to freezing.
But I was happily proven wrong! The result is rich and creamy “banana nice cream” that my whole family loves!
How to Make Copycat Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in the Ninja Creami
It’s really easy to make this simple banana ice cream.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Ripe bananas
- Whole milk
- Heavy whipping cream
- Vanilla extract
- Optional: maple syrup
- Chocolate chunks
- Chopped walnuts
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Mix the base. First, you’ll start by combining mashed ripe bananas, whole milk, whipping cream, and vanilla extract in your Ninja Creami pint.
Sweeten if needed. Give the liquid a taste to see if it needs any added sweetener. This will largely depend on the sweetness of your bananas, as well as your personal preferences.
If needed, add 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup and mix well.
Freeze. Next, close the lid on the Ninja Creami pint of liquid. Transfer to a flat location in your freezer (you want it to freeze nice and level) and freeze for 24 hours.
Creamify. After 24 hours, remove the lid from the pint and insert into the bowl of the Ninja Creami. Lock the lid and click the bowl into place.
Select the Ice Cream function and let the Ninja do the rest!
Add chocolate chunks and walnuts. Once the ice cream has been spun, remove it from the machine.
Use a spoon to create a hole in the middle of the pint, about 1 1/2 inches wide, that reaches all the way to the bottom of the pint. Add chopped chocolate and chopped walnuts.
Return the bowl to the machine and use the Mix In function to incorporate the nuts.
Once the ingredients are mixed in, it’s ready to serve! This is a rich and creamy treat, and a great way to use up ripe bananas, if you ask me!
Notes and Adaptations:
- If your ice cream is crumbly after the first round of churning, you can put it through a Re-Spin cycle. If that doesn’t result in a nice, creamy texture, I like to add a tablespoon of milk and Re-Spin again, which usually does the trick.
- You’ll want to complete any necessary re-spin cycles prior to adding your walnuts and chocolate.
- If you need to make this dairy free, you can try using unsweetened oat milk instead of milk, and unsweetened coconut cream instead of heavy cream.
- 2 small ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 TBSP maple syrup (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped chocolate chunks
- 2 TBSP chopped walnuts
- Combine mashed bananas, whole milk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in Ninja Creami pint (or other small bowl).
- Use an immersion blender to pulse a few times, breaking up any chunks of banana (alternatively, you can use a regular blender for this).
- Taste the mixture to see if it needs added sweetener. If so, add maple syrup and stir.
- Close lid on Ninja Creami pint of liquid and transfer to a level location in your freezer. Freeze for 24 hours.
- After freezing, remove pint from freezer and take off lid. Insert pint into Ninja Creami bowl and secure lid. Lock bowl into place in the machine.
- Select the Ice Cream function, which will run for about 2 minutes.
- After cycle is complete, use a spoon to create a well in the center of the ice cream, about 1.5 inches wide and reaching to the bottom of the pint.
- Mix together chocolate chunks and walnuts, then add mixture to the well.
- Return bowl to the machine and use the Mix In function to incorporate nuts and chocolat einto the ice cream.
- If your ice cream is crumbly after processing, you can use the Re-Spin function to see if that helps the texture. If not, add 1 tablespoon of milk and Re-Spin again. This usually does the trick. Any necessary re-spin cycles should be completed prior to adding chocolate and walnuts.
- If you need to make this dairy free, you can try using unsweetened oat milk instead of milk, and unsweetened coconut cream instead of heavy cream
Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 31mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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