Eat your heart out, Ben and Jerry’s! Homemade ‘Chunky Monkey’ ice cream

Homemade Chunky Monkey Ice Cream

Homemade “Chunky Monkey” ice cream, July 2012

For years I said no to ice cream because it’s so calorie-dense and so easy to overdo, but lately I decided that life’s too short to deprive myself of this little pleasure. I started making my own because I can control the amount of sugar and use really good ingredients. With the bananas and mix-ins in this replica of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, I’m enjoying some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. So far I’ve been able to limit myself to 96 grams’ worth (about 1/2 cup) at a time, which satisfies my ice cream craving without busting my calorie budget.

The nutritional pluses over the store-bought version can include the benefits of organic cream or even coconut milk. Also, the sugar content is 17 grams per serving versus 24 grams in the same amount of Ben & Jerry’s.

For the cream I use Kalona Super Natural organic whipping cream. The company, which provides excellent products, is based in my home town and retails across the country.

For the brownie bits you can make your own brownies or buy pre-made ones and cut them into small squares.

You’ll need an ice cream maker for the recipe. I use an electric one made by Krups. It has an insulated bowl that you chill in your freezer. For anytime ice cream making, I keep it in my deep-freeze.

For a gluten-free version of this ice cream, make gluten-free brownies from a mix (many are available), or there is a gluten-free brownie recipe on my blog that uses brown rice flour and almond flour.

For a dairy-free version, purchase or make dairy-free brownies, and use a 13.5- or 14-ounce can of coconut milk (such as Native Forest Organic or Thai Kitchen) instead of the cream. Enjoy Life chocolate chunks and chocolate chips are dairy-free and are also labeled as gluten-free.

Homemade "Chunky Monkey" Ice Cream
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
  • 4 medium bananas, frozen then partially thawed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup brownie pieces (2 to 3 ounces brownies cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes)
  1. In a food processor, combine bananas (partially thawed and broken into pieces), lemon juice, cream, and sugar, and process until smooth. Give it a stir to make sure there are no banana chunks left, and process more if there are.
  2. Place the mixture into ice cream freezer fitted with the dasher. Add the walnuts, chocolate chunks, and one-half of the brownie bits while the dasher is turning. Process according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Carefully add the rest of the brownie bits after the ice cream has set up.
  3. Chill in the freezer a few hours and serve.
Serving size: 1/2 cup (96 grams). Calories: 266; Fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 7g; Unsaturated fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 27g; Sugar: 17g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 4g; Cholesterol: 27mg.
Allow several hours in advance to freeze bananas and to make brownies (if not purchasing). Allow several hours after processing to chill ice cream.


(Recipe adapted from Special thanks to Gaby Dalkin for her advice about using frozen bananas and Elizabeth Wagner of for nutrition information.)

Shared at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and The Gluten-Free Homemaker Gluten-Free Wednesday.

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3 Responses to “Eat your heart out, Ben and Jerry’s! Homemade ‘Chunky Monkey’ ice cream”

  1. Miachel says:

    Love the coconut milk idea! Dang, my mouth is watering just reading all of this.

    And it’s true about using excellent ingredients. Makes all the difference!

  2. Amanda says:

    Chunky Monkey is my absolute favorite! Ah, knowing that I can now eat it without Gluten or Daily makes me smile. Thanks so much! Found you on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays – so glad I did!

    • Eileen Beran says:

      Thank you for your comment, Amanda! I hope you like the ice cream. I haven’t made the entire recipe gluten- and dairy-free because my husband can’t eat chocolate. I made him some with coconut milk and just the walnuts, no chocolate, and it was pretty good too. I love Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays too!

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