At it’s bare minimum, nice cream (a.k.a. banana ice cream) can be made with one ingredient, so it’s allergy and special dietary needs-friendly. I’m going to show you my tricks to making the best nice cream, and 3 variations.
I discovered nice cream several years ago, and went on a big, long kick. But then, as most of my obsessions go, it kind of phased out of it. That is, until my pregnancy with my youngest. I was crazy craving ice cream ALL. THE. TIME. I couldn’t afford to go out and buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s or Haagen Daaz every day, financially or on the scale, so I got back into the frozen banana miracle. And that’s when I got the hang of it. I mean, you learn a thing or two when you’re making the same dish several nights a week.
I mean, have you tried this stuff? It’s so incredibly simple, yet mind-bogglingly yummy. And my kids are especially grateful because we occasionally have ice cream for breakfast. Why not, right?
First of all, use really ripe bananas. Like, ready for banana bread kind of bananas. Peel them and freeze them whole. Once frozen solid, slice them fairly thinly using a serrated knife. Trust me, I’ve almost cut my hand so many times trying to hack away at frozen solid bananas with a chef’s knife.
Second, use a food processor, not a blender. Yes, even a high speed blender. I have a vitamix that I am totally head over heels in love with, and it works, but the shallow base of the food processor is just meant for more solid foods while a blender is meant for more liquid foods. If you want a good, thick, non-runny ice cream, go with the work horse food processor.
And lastly, use fat. Yes, you can absolutely make it without fat, but the bananas really benefit from that lucious texture. In these three recipes I use almond butter, coconut cream, and whole milk yogurt. And they are yum. Enjoy!
- 5 ripe banans, peeled and frozen
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin or virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/4 pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup smooth almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar, optional
- pinch of sea salt
- Line a square cake pan with parchement paper. Stir together the coconut oil, dutch processed cocoa powder, maple syrup, almond butter, coconut palm sugar (if using), and salt. Pour into the prepared pan and freeze for at least 15 minutes.
- Once the chocolate mixture is frozen, using a serrated knife, slice the frozen bananas into 1/4~1/2 inch slices. Place the banana slices into the bowl of a food processor along with the 1/3 cup almond butter and salt. Pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides and redistribute the mixture several times.
- Break apart the chocolate bark into large chunks and place over the banana mixture. Pulse until combined. serve immediately.
- 3 ripe banans, peeled and frozen
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- Using a serrated knife, slice the bananas into 1/4~1/2 inch slices and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the strawberries (if using whole strawberries, you might want to cut them into slightly smaller pieces with the serrated knife) and yogurt. Pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides and redistribute the mixture several times. Serve immediately.
- 3 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen
- 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the solid coconut cream at the top. Reserve the remaining watery coconut milk for another use such as curry.
- Using a serrated knife, slice the bananas into 1/4~1/2 inch slices and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the pineapple and coconut cream. Pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides and redistribute the mixture several times. Serve immediately.