What Is “Nice” Cream?
Nice cream a magical concept of blending frozen bananas in a food processor until they reach the consistency of soft serve ice cream (…seriously). With a little fat, like coconut milk or almond butter, the banana flavor starts to fade and bam ⚡️ …you have something very similar to soft serve, but HEALTHY.
Since bananas are naturally very sweet, nice cream has no added sugar. And it’s all the things: dairy-free, vegan, paleo, and gluten-free. Ideal for anyone on a special diet or just wants a sweet treat without the stomach ache.
Last summer, I posted a nice cream recipe in one of my all-time favorite ice cream flavors: mint chocolate chip. But right now, I’m alllll about the almond extract (I’ve been adding almond extract to smoothies and it 👏🏼 is 👏🏼so 👏🏼good) so this year I’m posting cherry chocolate chip nice cream.
Read on for the health benefits and some nice cream tips.
Some Ingredient Notes
This nice cream is packed with healthy ingredients. Let’s take a look:
- Bananas. Bananas are an unprocessed carbohydrate, chock full of minerals, particularly the mineral electrolyte potassium.
- Coconut Milk. Coconut milk and oil has been shown to raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which ultimately decreases the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. This decreased ratio can help reduce the risk of heart disease. It also helps boosts metabolism, reverses insulin resistance, and improves cognitive function (1).
- Cherries. Cherries are high in vitamin C and potassium and have many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Dark Chocolate. Cacao is loaded with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant compound that may lower your risk of several diseases by destroying free radicals in your cells and tissues. When compared to the antioxidant content of black tea, green tea, and red wine, raw cacao has the highest antioxidant activity. It’s also one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, the “anti-stress” mineral. I like this brand of dark chocolate or for a sugar-free option, I like Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips.
Equipment Needed to Make Nice Cream
The only piece of equipment you need to make nice cream is a food processor. Some websites will say that a blender will work, but I’ve never had success with the blender method.
This recipe is best with ripe but still firm bananas. I find that overripe bananas are too banana-y and sweet. Save those for banana bread ;).
It can take a while for the frozen bananas to be processed into the creamy consistency of soft serve, so be patient. Remember to scrape down the sides throughout the process.
Nice cream is best enjoyed right away. If you refreeze the nice cream, it will have a slightly icy consistency, though it will still be delicious. If refrozen, allow to thaw a bit before serving as the nice cream will get very hard in the freezer.Print
A healthy soft-serve cherry chocolate chip banana ice cream made with just a few simple ingredients: bananas, coconut milk, cherries, chocolate, and almond extract (optional)! No added sugar, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, and gluten-free.
- 3 ripe but firm bananas, cut into coins and frozen in a single layer
- 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, put in the fridge to set OR 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew or almond butter
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (see notes), plus more to taste
- sea salt
- 1 cup of pitted frozen cherries (unsweetened)
- 1 (3.5-oz) dark chocolate bar, coarsely chopped OR 1 cup of chocolate chips (for a sugar-free option, I like Lily’s Dark Chocolate Chips).
- Before you start. Cut the bananas into coins and freeze in a single layer on a baking tray or large plate lined with parchment paper. Put the coconut milk in the fridge to set, if using.
Process. Combine the frozen banana coins, the cream from the can of coconut milk (the cream should have separated from the coconut water in the fridge: discard the coconut water or save for smoothies) or the nut butter, almond or vanilla extract, and a big pinch of sea salt in a food processor.
Pulse until the mixture is the creamy texture of soft-serve ice cream. You may need to scrape down the sides throughout the process; it can take a few minutes, so be patient! Taste and add more almond extract (or vanilla extract), if desired. Once creamy, add the cherries and coarsely chopped dark chocolate and pulse until incorporated. Transfer to an air-tight container.
Enjoy. This nice cream will be best and creamiest if eaten right away. Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to serve. To save for later, store nice cream in the freezer. Allow to thaw for 10-15 minutes before scooping.
You can use vanilla extract if you don’t have almond extract.
Keywords: cherry nice cream, cherry garcia nice cream, cherry banana ice cream, vegan cherry ice cream
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