Protein Ice Cream

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This healthy protein ice cream uses frozen bananas as the base and can easily be made into two different flavors – chocolate and/or vanilla. It’s vegan and you’ll love how creamy and delicious it is!

If you’re someone who loves having a protein shake or protein bar for breakfast, have you ever thought about swapping that with ice cream? Ice cream for breakfast?! You heard that right!

Before you judge me for adding protein to ice cream… promise me you’ll try this recipe! It’s so creamy and delicious, no one will ever know that it’s a healthy recipe.

And yes, it can be served for breakfast or dessert!!

Large bowl of several scoops of chocolate and vanilla protein ice cream. Two spoons are beside the bowl.

I’m sharing two flavor variations which make great bases. From there, feel free to customize to your liking! When it comes to the toppings, I usually top mine with nuts, chocolate, berries – the works, but the options are endless.

Two bowls. Each has three scoops of protein ice cream. One bowl has vanilla protein ice cream and one bowl has chocolate ice cream.

Is This Ice Cream Healthy?

You better believe it! This ice cream is made with minimal, good-for-you ingredients and has no refined sugar or artificial preservatives. It has more fiber and less sugar than traditional ice cream, but is still absolutely delicious.

With 11 grams of protein per serving it can help balance your blood sugar and leave you feeling satisfied instead of hungry for more. If you’re someone like me who could easily eat a whole pint of ice cream in one sitting, this recipe is definitely for you!

Here’s What You Need

We’re using my banana ice cream as the base for both recipes. The two ingredients you need are:

  • frozen bananas – I peel and slice the bananas before freezing so they’re easier to process!
  • dairy-free milk – any dairy-free milk works. I typically use unsweetened almond milk but use whatever you have on hand!
Ingredients measured out to make chocolate protein ice cream: nut butter, banana, almond milk, cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder and chocolate chips.

Additional Ingredients Chocolate Protein Ice Cream

  • almond butter or peanut butter – look for nut butter that doesn’t have any added ingredients. I usually go for the store brand and read the label to make sure it’s just one or two ingredients, the nuts and salt. If you need a nut-free option, sunflower butter or tahini would be great substitutions.
  • chocolate protein powder – chocolate protein powder gives this ice cream a ton of chocolate flavor! I personally love the chocolate Nuzest protein powder. It’s plant-based, has a minimal, clean ingredient list and is delicious. You can use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
  • cocoa powder – add a little bit of extra chocolate flavor with the cocoa powder. Cacao works as well.
  • chocolate chips or cacao nibs – for added crunch and flavor! I like using Lily’s chocolate chips because they are dairy-free, low in calories and sweetened with stevia so there’s zero sugar added.
Ingredients measured out to make vanilla protein ice cream: almond milk, banana, cinnamon, protein powder and vanilla.

Additional Ingredients for Vanilla Protein Ice Cream

  • vanilla protein powder – get your protein and flavor in with this vanilla protein powder! I personally recommend Nuzest protein powder. It’s plant-based, has a minimal, clean ingredient list and is delicious. You can use my code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
  • vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste – either works to add a delicious vanilla flavor! I prefer vanilla bean paste but I don’t always have that on hand and vanilla extract is still delicious.
  • cinnamon – this adds the the perfect amount of spice to the ice cream.

How to Make Protein Ice Cream

To make either flavor, you simply add all of the ingredients into your food processor and blend! It’s that easy.

Side by side photos of bananas, protein powder, almond milk and nut butter before and after bing blended to make chocolate protein ice cream.
Side by side photos. One is of cinnamon, bananas, almond milk and protein powder in a food processor. The second is the mixture blended smoothly.

When to Eat Protein Ice Cream

You might be thinking… this is ice cream so should I have it as dessert? But it also has protein so should I be eating it around a workout? My answer: yes and yes!

This protein ice cream is healthy enough to enjoy after a workout or as an afternoon snack to curb those mid-day cravings, but delicious enough to satisfy your ice cream craving and enjoy as an after-dinner treat.

Three scoops of vanilla protein ice cream in a bowl.

How to Serve

There are two ways to serve this protein ice cream – as soft serve or a scoop-able ice cream. I personally like eating it right away as soft serve, but it’s also delicious frozen and served more like traditional ice cream.

Soft Serve: For soft serve consistency, you can spoon the mixture into one or two bowls and serve immediately after processing with your desired toppings.

Frozen: For a scoop-able ice cream, transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe dish (I like using a loaf pan lined with parchment paper) and freeze for at least 2 hours. Once ready to enjoy, pull the ice cream from the freezer, scoop and serve with your favorite toppings. If the ice cream gets too hard in the freezer, just let it thaw on the counter for 5-10 minutes before diving in!

Bowl and spoon with three scoops of chocolate protein ice cream.

How to Store Leftovers

This protein ice cream stores really well in the freezer. Just place leftovers in a freezer-safe container that’s covered completely and store for up to one month in the freezer.

tip!
Make sure your ice cream is tightly covered to prevent freezer burn!

More Frozen Treats to Try

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

4.77 from 17 votes

Protein Ice Cream

This healthy protein ice cream uses frozen bananas as the base and can easily be made into two different flavors – chocolate or vanilla. It's vegan and you'll love how creamy and delicious it is!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients  

Chocolate

  • 2 frozen bananas, chopped into chunks
  • ¼ cup dairy-free milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop (25 grams) chocolate protein powder (I used Nuzest)
  • ½ Tablespoon chocolate chips or cacao nibs

Vanilla

  • 2 frozen bananas, chopped into chunks
  • ¼ cup dairy-free milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 scoop (25 grams) vanilla protein powder (I used Nuzest)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions 

Chocolate

  • Place bananas, almond milk, almond butter, cocoa powder and protein powder into a food processor or high speed blender.
    Banana, cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, peanut butter and almond milk in a food processor.
  • Pulse/process until smooth and creamy. This should take about 3-4 minutes. You may need to turn off the motor and stir the mixture a couple times while processing.
    Food processor with blended chocolate protein ice cream base.
  • Add in cacao nibs or chocolate chips (if using) and pulse once more.
  • Spoon ice cream into a bowl and enjoy! If you want to be able to scoop the ice cream you can pour it into a loaf pan lined with parchment and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Once hard, use an ice cream scoop to scoop it out and enjoy. Ice cream can be kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Vanilla

  • Place bananas, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and protein powder into a food processor or high speed blender.
    Food processor with banana, cinnamon, protein powder and peanut butter.
  • Pulse/process until smooth and creamy. This should take about 3-4 minutes. You may need to turn off the motor and stir the mixture a couple times while processing.
    Blended base in a food processor for the vanilla protein ice cream.
  • Spoon ice cream into a bowl and enjoy! If you want to be able to scoop the ice cream you can pour it into a loaf pan lined with parchment and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Once hard, use an ice cream scoop to scoop it out and enjoy. Ice cream can be kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Notes

  • Toppings: Feel free to add your favorite ice cream toppings to this protein ice cream. I love adding chocolate chips, berries and/or nuts. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 of recipe | Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 445mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 14g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: protein ice cream
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
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20 Comments

  1. Just found your website and going over a million recipes!! What do you recommend if I only have vanilla protein and want to make the chocolate ice cream, should I double the cocoa amount?

    1. Hi Aurora – I haven’t tried this recipe without the chocolate protein powder, so I am not sure how chocolatey it will be. You could try doubling the cocoa amount, but I am worried that might change the texture of the ice cream a bit. Let me know if you give it a try!

  2. 4 stars
    There’s no way this can be 160cal per serving, right? Bananas are 100cal each (200 total), Peanut butter is 200cal for 2tbsp, Protein powder can be around 100cal for 25g, bringing us to at least 500cal for the whole recipe before we even consider the nut milk, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips (which I left out anyway). This recipe tastes great and is decent for protein, but by my calculations this recipe is closer to 250cal per serving at least.

    1. 3 stars
      Yes, If someone have any substitutes for the banana will be appreciated, I was looking for a low carb option and this is not the one.

      1. Hi Ashana. The banana adds a ton of creaminess, but I would think frozen berries might be the best sub that will still taste great and offer the lower carb option. You could try frozen blueberries, but it’ll change the flavor. Hope that helps! Let me know what you try!

  3. Okay I made the chocolate but it just tastes like bananas. I feel like there should be a note about what to expect for the taste. Also it would be better to peel and chop the bananas before freezing for anyone’s reference.

    1. Hi AK – This protein ice cream is made with bananas, so depending on how sensitive you are to the taste of banans that could be why it was so strong. Also, what protein powder did you use? That also makes a difference in the flavor.

        1. Hmm not sure why you had such a strong banana flavor. Although banana is the base, the flavor of the protein powder should have been more present.

    1. Hi Jessica – I haven’t tested this recipe in an ice cream maker (I don’t have one), so I cannot say for sure how it’ll turn out. Let me know if you give it a try and how it turns out! Enjoy!

    1. Hi Nik – thank you so much! I recommend frozen bananas in order to get more of an ice cream consistency! Hope that helps and you enjoy this recipe.

  4. 4 stars
    A delicious refreshing summer recipe! I particularly liked the chocolate flavour, as the vanilla one mostly tasted like banana ice cream in my opinion. I made sure the bananas were really frozen and didn’t let them thaw after I took them out of the freezer, which makes the blend perfectly creamy!

    1. YUM! I am SO glad you gave this recipe a try and it turned out great for you. Thank you for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  5. 5 stars
    It tastes great and has a great texture! If the icecream’s too hard after freezing, it comes out more easily if you dip the scoop in hot water.