EDITED TO ADD: For an updated version of this recipe with better pictures and directions, please visit this post: Vegan Ice Cream Sandwiches.
I haven’t been this excited to post a recipe in a long time. Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches. Does it get any better than that?! I think not.
So, how did this all come about? Well…..earlier this week I did a little experiment in the kitchen. My last Foodie Penpal sent me some dried turkish figs and I was trying to figure out how to use them. After some research, it seemed to me that they were kinda like dates. So I thought I would blend them up with some nuts and make a larabar type thing…kinda like these LaraBites I made last year. However, in the spirit of trying new ingredients, I decided to use pistachios instead of the almonds I would normally use. We don’t typically buy pistachios but we recently bought a giant bag at Costco so I had some to use up!
Then I started thinking about how it might be good to add some peanut butter in there.
At this point I wasn’t really sure what else to add…so I just turned on the food processor and hoped from the best. I ended up with a crumbly type mixture which, upon experimentation, appeared to stick together when pressed together firmly…and tasted good as well. I thought it might make a good crust, so I pressed it into a pan and stuck it in the fridge until I could come up with something tasty to use it for.
Later that night, I had an epiphany and decided to turn it into an ice cream sandwich of sorts. But instead of ice cream, I used banana fro yo.
That’s right…a 4 ingredient dessert that tastes great!
Here’s how you do it:Print
Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches
You read that right: nutrition in an ice cream sandwich. Can you hear the ice cream truck tunes playing now?
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- 1 cup dried figs, roughly chopped (or dates)
- 1/2 c pistachios, without the shells (or almonds)
- 1/3 c peanut butter
- 2–3 medium bananas, cut into chunks & frozen
- unsweetened cocoa powder, optional
- In a food processor, combine the figs, pistachios, peanut butter and cocoa powder (if using. I used about 1/4 cup. Start with a couple tablespoons, taste and add more if desired).
- Pulse until well combined into a crumbly dough.
- Transfer contents from food processor to a piece of saran wrap. Gather the edges of the saran wrap and squeeze dough into a ball.
- Wrap and place ball on a jelly roll pan. Use the saran wrap to press the dough flat on the pan, trying to make it an equal thickness all the way around.
- Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours until chilled.
- Remove from fridge and cut into sandwich sized pieces of desired size. Make sure you have pieces are the same size so the tops and bottoms will be even.
- Place the dough pieces back in the fridge.
- Clean out the food processor, then add the frozen banana chunks to it. Process until a smooth ice cream/fro-yo consistency is reached.
- Get your sandwich pieces out, scoop some banana ice cream onto one sandwich piece. Top with another and press gently to flatten.
- Wrap each sandwich individually in saran wrap and place in the freezer until desired firmness is reached.
*Side note, you can easily double this recipe! If things aren’t coming together in the food processor, add a couple tablespoons of water*
Making these is a little bit time intensive…but it’s totally worth it!
I’ve made two batches of these. One with cocoa powder and one without. They both taste great. My best advice is handle the “dough” as little as possible. Cut it into sandwich size pieces so you have tops and bottoms that are the same size, then stick them back in the fridge while you make the fro yo. Then make quick work of scooping some fro you onto one side of the sandwich, topping with the other half, pressing down gently and wrapping in saran wrap. Stick them in the freezer as you finish each one!
A few other things to note:
- Don’t make the dough too thin when you press it into the pan, otherwise it will crumble when you try to cut it into squares and remove it.
- You may need to trim off the very edges before cutting your sandwich sides as they tend to crumble.
- The dough is very oily. I’m not sure if it’s from the figs or the pistachios…but using a piece of saran wrap to press it flat into the pan helps a lot!
Since I know some of you will ask…here are my thoughts on substitutions:
- I think you could substitute dates for figs if you wanted to
- I also think another kind of nut besides pistachios would work equally well.
- I THINK the two statements above. I don’t know. I haven’t tried it. No promises.
Have fun with it. Play around. Try some different combinations. Feel free to make a mess!
And if you don’t want to go through all the trouble of making ice cream sandwiches, just roll the dough into little balls and eat it that way:
But trust me, the ice cream sandwiches are worth the work:
In my opinion at least…some people seem to disagree:
But hey, you can’t please everyone!
Get my free Table Talk email series where I share bite-sized nutrition information about carbs, protein, and fat, plus bonus information about snacks and sugar!
Jennifer Speer says
They look yummy! I just made some of the quinoa protein bars and for whatever reason (subconscious perhaps) I read to use prunes instead of dates, it worked pretty well and taste great! Reading this I am wondering if it wouldn’t work for these as well. I am still playing with it to make it a bit more solid and a tiny bit less mushy for the bars. Maybe the cocoa powder is the solution? I must try this though because I love the banana ice cream!
Debbie @ Live from La Quinta says
lol at the instagram comment. I think they sound (if not look) great! Healthy and vegan..I’m in!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table says
Haha – if this is what raccoon poop is, then I’ll take TWO!
i love you!
GiGi Eats Celebrities says
How did you even know that recipe was going to taste good??! LOL!! This may be the most creative recipe I have seen yet!
i didn’t! 🙂 pure luck!
Fancy Nancy says
Those look awesome….yeah totally not raccoon poop!
[email protected]&K says
These look amazing! I’ve been on quite a “don’t deprive yourself of treats instead make them yourself and make them healthier” kick. Especially now that I’m attempting low FODMAP eating, altering recipes to fit that type of diet is my new challenge. The less ingredients the better and these certainly fit the bill! Thanks for sharing!
awesome! i’m glad to hear it!
Michelle @ Eat Move Balance says
Raccoon poop? Hilarious. I think they look incredible. Especially after seeing such a simple ingredient list. What’s not to like?? 🙂
HAHA love the comment. Rabbit poop must taste good though 🙂
Linz @ Itz Linz says
lol that comment is ridiculous… who says things like that?! haha! i think it looks and sounds delicious!!! the balls look good too!!
Well, I don’t know what raccoon poop looks like.. who does?!? But since you posted this on instagram I’ve been eagerly awaiting the recipe!! Love it!!
it;s like a healthy bite ice cream sandwich! hehe. LOVE!
yes! just gave you your next business idea. perhaps a traveling healthy bites ice cream truck?
LITERALLY four of my favorite things put into one healthy, yummy-looking dessert!! Ahh! I was thinking of making pb banana fro-yo and sandwiching it between graham crackers to make ice cream sandwiches…But this looks better! 🙂 Thanks for another awesome idea, Lindsay!
ahhh and my child is worth the work too?
Kristen @ notsodomesticated says
Wow, very impressive work! I love that they require such minimal ingredients!
Tara | Treble in the Kitchen says
Yummo!! What a fun treat. These look delicious…as usual 🙂
Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness says
These look awesome! I love all the ingredients and none of them are anything I would ever think to put in an ice cream sandwich! Such a genius recipe 🙂
thanks so much danielle!
I’ve never tried a fig but I think this recipe is a great way to expand my palate. Awesome!
id’ never had them either!!
These look amazing! Yum!
Dana @momrunshalf says
Music to my ears, a healthy ice cream sandwich. Going to try these for my food prep this weekend
They look great~ and I’m happy to see that you use your mini-prep food processor. I have the same one and I haven’t tried chopping dates & figs because I wasn’t sure it could handle it….did you use your mini-prep for that step?
yep! i use it all the time. my fav kitchen appliance 🙂
Deb @ Dietitian Debbie Dishes says
What a creative way to make due with that you had on hand! Any way you can healthify an ice cream sandwich is a win!
Ang @ Nutty for Life says
I have been waiting for this recipe! Looks so YUM. The Instagram comment actually made me laugh out loud. She has a point… but that’s not going to stop me.
Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says
Raccoon poop?!?! That is hilarious… but I am totally with you. Pure genius!! I make a date/cashew mixture often, and banana froyo often… never thought to combine them!
definitely give it a try. i think you’ll loveit 🙂
Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free says
OMG. This sounds ah-mazing!!!
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
I love it when you can toss random ingredients in a blender, hope for the best, and have it come out amazing. Love the idea of a healthified ice cream sandwich, although I’d probably just go the lazy route and make the banana ice cream, toss in some pieces of the crust, and enjoy a cookies n’ cream version 🙂
Sara @ fitcupcaker says
I need to try these. I always want ice cream now that it is warm out!!
Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie says
These look AMAZING – Can’t wait to give them a try this weekend.
let me know how they turn out!
I can live with the raccoon poop appearance if they taste as good as they sound! Thanks for sharing.
Lisa @ RunWiki says
I think they’re genius! Can’t wait to indulge in this recipe after I get back from Boston!
Kelly @ Nosh and Nourish says
I’m soooooooooooooo ready to eat that raccoon poop :p Those look amazing, despite anyone else’s comments!!!! And the ingredient list? Perfecto!!
YUMMMMMMMM!!! I’ve been waiting for you to post this bad boy, can’t WAIT to try!!!!
Don’t take that mean comment to hard — even storebought Larabars look like that! I will probably never go to all the effort of making these ice cream bars, but your fig & pistachio combo sounds awesome just for homemade larabars (or “schweddy balls” as we call them in my house!)
haha i love it!
Danica @ It's Progression says
oh, gotta love those types of comments 🙂 haha
I think you’re a genius for coming up with these – they look (and sound) fantastic.
Christine @ Love, Life, Surf says
haha. That comment is pretty funny. This look delicious. I love experiments in the kitchen like this!
I love your creativity – I would have never been able to come up with this!
And, haha, that last comment made me laugh. You can’t please everyone, right? 🙂
thanks! having this blog definitely helps the creativity flow!
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
Who knew ice cream sandwiches could be healthy?!? I am SO loving this!
Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing says
I fell in love with these when you posted the picture the other day. Can’t wait to try them! 🙂
Sarah Pie says
I dunno about the ice cream sandwiches (I’m not a big banana fan) but the dough “bites” look like a fantastic lunch box treat… I may have to mix up a batch for next week 🙂
awesome! the dough balls were delicious all on their own so i say go for it!
Renee @ Renee Runs Miles says
I’m definitely going to have to try that fig mixture. However, I’m allergic to bananas so I’ll have to come up with an alternative–they look fantastic though!
hmmm you could try yogurt!
Sylvia @ Frolic Through Life says
They look a little funky, but who can pass up a healthy ice cream sandwich? I wonder if I can trick my little guy into trying these. He’s an ice cream addict. :/
oooh i hope so!!! you could mix some pb in with the bananas and add a few chocolate chips to make it even more ice cream-ish!
WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! This looks INCREDIBLE! I’m excited to try this! Thank you so much for sharing. You are a GENIUS!
awww thank you! hope you like them!
Racoon poop! lol so funny. These sound good at least 🙂
these look great!
Kierston @candyfit says
Yummers! Love that tweet lol
Melissa @ Treats With a Twist says
These look great! I was on a homemade Larabar kick a few years ago, so I knew immediately when I saw your IG pic what that was!! Great idea! 🙂
Tina @ Best Body Fitness says
Like a larabar banana froyo mash up. Sounds good to me! And I don’t see racoon poop in there at all. Pure deliciousness only.
haha thanks lady 🙂
These look SO good! I love ice cream and have missed it terribly since trying out the Paleo Diet- I must try these!
yay! hope they can be a good substitute!
Most definitely trying this out!! Thanks for the recipe!
let me know what you think!
Amanda @ Run Principessa says
Ice cream sandwiches can be as time intensive as they please, as far as I’m concerned. They look so tasty! And unlike raccoon poop. 😉
haha love it. dessert is worth the time and effort 🙂
Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) says
Ahh, when I saw these on Instagram I knew they had to be Larabar-ish! And I love the banana fro yo in the middle, what an awesome idea. Perhaps I’ll cheat and just use premade Larabars to try this out. 🙂
i won’t tell 🙂 enjoy!
GENIUS!!!! WANT!! def making these soon!
let me know what you think!
Marissa @Barefoot Colorado says
These look dreamy!!! And who the heck knows that raccoon poops look like!?
right?! that’s what i said!
Jody - Fit at 55 says
I don’t have a food processor but you can send one my way! 🙂 NO, ya can’t please everyone! 🙂
it’s one of my fav kitchen appliances!
“Raccoon poop” … haters gotta hate!
And I’m sold on anything with just four ingredients. Because I’m lazy and forget to shop.
i agree. simple ingredient lists for the win!
Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef says
can’t wait to try them!
Nutmeg Nanny says
These are so interesting, I love the use of dates! I have to give this a try sometime soon 🙂
hope you like them!
Ha! You’re right, you can’t please everyone! Plus, if people didn’t eat things, solely based on their looks, I’d imagine that we’d be missing out on some amazing foods! I’ve tried a similar combination, sans the PB, but using almonds, dates, coconut oil, and cocoa powder, and it makes a similar concoction. It’s pretty versatile and tasty! Nice idea making it into an ice cream sandwich!
thanks girl 🙂 i’m a sucker for desserts!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables says
Whether it looks like raccoon poop or not, I think it sounds delicious! Wanna share?? 😉
[email protected] says
Mmmmm! Yummers! Ice cream anything is a winner in my book!
Can’t wait to make these later tonight, can you tell me an estimate on how many these make so I can get the nutrition facts?? Thanks!!