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Beat the heat with the best recipe for banana chocolate chunk ice cream

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It is summer now and we are definitely feeling the heat. Sure, you can jump in the pool or crank up your air conditioning, but wouldn't a nice bowl of ice cream taste good right about now. We used to be able to buy banana chocolate chunk ice cream at the store, but it is not longer available. With that being my favorite ice cream flavor, I needed another way to get my 'fix'.

We always keep an ice cream freezer container frozen and ready so that when the mood hits us, we can make our favorite flavors. My favorite ice cream maker is a Cuisinart with the removable bowl. We also tried a freezer with the compressor so that we were ready at a moments notice, but found that the one we purchased did not do a good job. Whichever type of ice cream freezer you prefer, you will need one to make this recipe.

This is a slightly lower calorie version since we use half and half instead of heavy cream. If calories do not matter to you, feel free to use cream instead.

Make sure you use ripe bananas that are still firm for the best flavor and texture. If you decide to make it and do not have ripe bananas available, stores like Albertsons, Fry's and Safeway in Mesa, often have ripe bananas available in their store. Sometimes you have to ask the produce manager for them because they are usually not on the same shelves as their 'regular' bananas.

If you do not have an ice cream freezer, they are available at Bed Bath and Beyond in Mesa, and sometimes Costco and Sam's Club will have them in their stores, too. You will definitely want one once you taste our favorite ice cream recipe.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Yield 8 servings

  • 4 Ripe bananas, broken into chunks
  • 1 tbsp Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 ⅓ cups Half and half, chilled
  • ⅔ cup Cold milk
  • ½ cup Walnuts, optional
  • ½ cup Semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
  1. Break bananas into chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Add in lemon juice. Blend until bananas are smooth.
  1. Add in vanilla, sugar, half and half and milk. Blend until smooth.
  1. Transfer mixture to the freezer canister of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
  1. Meanwhile, toast walnuts, if using, but placing in a dry frying pan and stirring occasionally. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Watch closely or the nuts will burn quickly. Remove toasted nuts from pan, allow to cool, and chop into medium-sized pieces. Set aside.
  1. When ice cream begins to stiffen, add nuts, if using, and chocolate. Allow to blend. Place ice cream in the freezer for 2-3 hours to ripen or eat immediately for a softer texture.

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