Banana Pineapple Italian Ice

Banana Pineapple Italian Ice is a simple frozen treat that is perfect on a hot summer day!! With just a few ingredients and a few hours in the freezer, you will have a delicious fruity treat to enjoy any time of year.

This is the perfect Dessert Recipe to enjoy during the Summer. For more frozen treats try our Roasted Peach Frozen Custard, Frozen Peanut Butter Pie, Peach Sherbet or Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles. They’re all delicious and sure to be family favorites.

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close up of a bowl of Banana Pineapple ITALIAN ICE

Why We Love Italian Ice

Does it ever feel like the summers just gets hotter every year? It just makes you want to stay inside, curl up in the air conditioning and wait for fall! 

The best parts of summer are obviously frozen treats and fresh summer produce.  And how better to combine the two than with Banana Pineapple Italian Ice?  

Ice cream can be a little hard on the hips, so we’ve been enjoying something a little more low cal but every bit as enjoyable! If you love the tropical flavors of banana and pineapple as much as I do, you’re going to be obsessed with how they come together in this quick and easy Italian ice recipe. 

Super refreshing, simple to make, healthy, and oh-so delicious! Italian ice is a true winner!

2 bowls of Banana Pineapple ITALIAN ICE with fresh mint

What Is Italian Ice?

Italian ice a cool and refreshing alternative to ice cream. Known as granita in Italy, it does not require dairy products or eggs, a bonus for the fat and cholesterol conscious. 

According to the “Yale Daily News”, traditional Italian ice has the same crunchy texture as a snow cone. Unlike a snow cone where the flavorings are poured directly on top of the ice, Italian ice flavors are blended uniformly into the ice. While sorbet has a smoother texture than traditional Italian ice because it is whipped without air. Granita is also very similar to traditional Italian ice, but it has more of a granular texture.

You might be thinking how is an Italian ice different than a Slurpee? Italian ice is denser, so it can be scooped and eaten with a spoon or in a cone, just like sorbet or ice cream. 

Besides being served as a light and tasty dessert Italian ice can be used to cleanse the palate between meals.

how to make ITALIAN ICE photo collage

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Banana Pineapple Italian Ice Ingredients

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

This Italian ice is an easy frozen dessert that’s ideal for hot summer days and has no added sugar. Music to my ears!

  • unsweetened apple juice – Remember to choose the no sugar added option. That’s how we keep the recipe from being too sweet and lower in calories!
  • mashed ripe bananas – You’ll need about 4 medium ripe bananas.
  • unsweetened crushed pineapple -Leave these undrained when added to make use of the sweet, fruity juice!
  • lemon juice – You’ll want to use fresh squeezed!
  • vanilla bean paste – This is one of those recipes where I love to use my vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract. I love how you can see the flecks of vanilla bean in the dessert – you don’t get that with vanilla extract.
  • fresh mint – To garnish, although this ingredient is optional. I enjoy the unique flavor added to the sweetness of the Italian ice.

Banana Pineapple ITALIAN ICE in a square dish

How To Make Refreshing Banana Pineapple Italian Ice

This easy Italian ice recipe is sure to become a new summer favorite. 

STEP ONE: In a large bowl or pitcher, combine the unsweetened apple juice, mashed bananas, pineapple, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste. Carefully pour everything into an 8 or 9-inch square dish (if you have one, a metal pan works great). Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours, just until almost firm.

STEP TWO: Transfer cold (not quite frozen) mixture to a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Another Option: Rake mixture with fork to break up the ice crystals until slushy.

STEP THREE: Return the mixture to the dish or an ice cream container and freeze until firm.

TO SERVE: Remove the container from the freezer to soften 10-20 minutes before serving into bowls or paper ice cream cups.

Garnish with mint leaves. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

 

two bowls of ITALIAN ICE

How To Store Italian Ice 

Once firm, you can serve it right away or store it covered in the freezer for up to 1-2 months. 

While Italian Ice can be refrozen if it begins to melt on you, don’t let it melt into a puddle before refreezing. It will turn into much harder ice (like a popsicle) and will need to be broken up and remixed to regain the right consistency. 

Banana Pineapple ITALIAN ICE on a spoon

Tips For The Best Italian Ice

Here are a few tried and true tips I’ve learned while perfecting this summery treat:

  • Use an electric mixer or blender rather than raking the ice by hand will result in lighter ice. The smaller the ice crystals, the smoother the icy mixture. And the more air beaten into the mixture the smoother it becomes.
  • For an extra fluffy texture, mix the ice several times during the freezing process.
  • If you prefer your Italian ice coarse, the hand method is the way to go. Simply freeze the mixture for one hour then scrape the ice with a fork until slushy, repeat scraping the ice with a fork in another hour then freeze until solid (about 3-4 hours).
  • Do not serve Italian ice rock-hard. Move to the refrigerator until it reaches an edible consistency (easily scoop with a spoon) or break into chunks and place in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth before serving.
  • If you prefer your Italian ice slushy, remove it from the freezer once it has reached the desired consistency.
  • If you’ve re-frozen the Italian ice and it’s too hard, you can break it up and toss it in a food processor. Pulse it a few times and you should be good to go!
  • This recipe is so easy to double or even triple to be able to make for a whole group! It’s always a crowd-pleaser at any of the summer holiday gatherings I’ve taken it to. Kids and adults go crazy over it. I recommend making several batches instead of a large batch.  Smaller batches are easier to freeze and mix.

bowls of Banana Pineapple ITALIAN ICE with spoons

Variations To Try

Want to experiment with other flavors?  You can make a simple Italian Ice with:

  • 3 cups fresh fruit 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups ice

Blend the first 3 ingredients in a blender or food processor, then add ice and blend until slushy. 

Follow the remaining directions as listed in the recipe card below.

There are so many flavor variations you can try with Italian Ice! Here are just a few you can try. 

  • Lemon, orange, lime, any citrus
  • Strawberry and raspberry (or strawberry banana)
  • Blueberry
  • Mango
  • Coconut

Like This Italian Ice Recipe? Pin It!

pinterest-image

Banana Pineapple ITALIAN ICE in a bowl and in a square pan

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close up of a bowl of Banana Pineapple ITALIAN ICE

Banana Pineapple Italian Ice

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freezer Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

BANANA PINEAPPLE ITALIAN ICE is super refreshing, simple to make, healthy, and oh-so delicious..... a true winner for dessert!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened apple juice (no sugar added)
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
  • 1 can (8oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • mint, to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or pitcher, combine all ingredients (except for mint). Carefully pour into an 8 or 9-inch square dish (if you have one, a metal pan works great). Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours, just until almost firm.
  2. Transfer cold mixture to a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Another Option: Rake mixture with fork to break up the ice crystals until slushy.
  3. Return mixture to the dish or an ice cream container, and freeze until firm.
  4. Remove the container from the freezer to soften 10-20 minutes before serving into bowls or paper cups.
  5. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Notes

Want to experiment with other flavors?  You can make a simple Italian Ice with:

3 cups fresh fruit 

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 cups ice

Blend the first 3 ingredients in a blender or food processor, then add ice and blend until slushy. 

Follow the remaining directions as listed in this recipe card .

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used.

Making this recipe? Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #TidyMom so we can see what you're creating in the kitchen!

Originally posted July 2011. UPDATED June 2021. We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe.

two bowls of Banana Pineapple ITALIAN ICE on a board