When those ice cream cravings hit, but you want something a bit lighter, why not blend up a frozen banana and make yourself some Banana Nice Cream. A lower in calorie and fat alternative to ice cream, which kids love too. There are so many different ways to flavour nice cream and the topping choices are almost endless. This frozen dessert can be ready in just 2 minutes.
Nice cream just sounds so, well, nice, doesn't it? It implies that ice cream isn't nice, which is of course it is, but if you are looking for a lower in fat and calories alternative then this frozen treat is nicer. This nice cream recipe is also raw, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and with no added sugar.
It is basically a frozen banana that has been blended up to have an ice cream consistency. Yes, really! It's a great way to use up bananas that are going a bit brown, as super ripe bananas are best for this recipe.
Why you will love it
- Low calories - There are just 133 calories for a big bowl of this banana ice cream.
- Lower in fat than ice cream - Ice cream is very high in fat, but because this version uses banana rather than cream it is very low in fat.
- Lots of different ways to flavour it - We have kept this banana nice cream recipe simple, but have given lots of different add-ins so you can have it a different way every time.
- Vegan - Looking for an easy vegan alternative to ice cream? This is it!
- Kids love it - I don't know a kid that doesn't love ice cream, but they love this nice cream too. Perfect for hot summer days when they have already had 236 ice creams.
- Bananas - You need frozen bananas for this recipe. We always keep bananas in the freezer to use in either this, smoothies or our 5 minute healthy frozen yogurt. Make sure the bananas you freeze are really ripe.
- Cocoa powder - This is optional, if you want to make chocolate nice cream.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make nice cream - Step by step
One: You will need frozen bananas for this recipe. If you don't already have some in your freezer, you can break the bananas up and put into freezer bags. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
Two: Put the frozen bananas into a food processor and blend for 2 minutes until an ice cream consistency forms. You will need to stop the food processor a couple of times to scrape the sides down and carry on blending. It will look like crumbs to begin with, but keep going as it will start to get creamy. If your blender is really having trouble with the frozen bananas, add a little milk to help it.
Health benefits of bananas
Bananas are a great source of potassium, vitamin B6, fibre and carbohydrate, and some vitamin C too. They do have a lower water content than most fruit, so bananas typically have more calories as well as a higher sugar content compared to other non-tropical fruits. But, this is still a lighter version of ice cream.
Bananas full of potassium, which is one of the most important electrolytes in the body, helping to regulate heart function as well as fluid balance. It is a key factor in regulating blood pressure.
First I blended just a banana, to keep it simple and then I took it one step further. Oh yes - I live on the edge! I added cocoa powder and made chocolate ice cream. SO GOOD! The list is almost endless of the things you can add to make different flavours.
Some of the other ingredients we like to add to banana nice cream instead of cocoa powder include frozen strawberries or cherries to make a berry ice cream, peanut butter to make a nutty ice cream or vanilla extract for something subtle. You could even add some orange zest to this chocolate version. We like stirring in some of our Homemade Healthy Nutella too.
Basically, think of all your favourite ice cream flavours and you can probably recreate them with nice cream. Love mint choc chip? Mix in some peppermint extract and chocolate chips. Cookies and cream your favourite? Crush up an Oreo or two and stir it in.
Banana Nice Cream Toppings
Ice cream is all about the toppings isn't it? We added some dark chocolate chips and coconut flakes, but you can go really crazy here. Kids love this recipe anyway (it is tried and tested on many, many kids), but what they will really love is adding the toppings themselves. Sprinkle, sauces, chopped nuts, chunks of fruit, anything goes here.
If you don't like banana, then this isn't really for you because it does still have a banana flavour. But the creaminess of banana lends itself really well to an ice cream alternative when it is frozen.
Yes, this is naturally vegan. Just be mindful of what you mix into it or what you add as toppings. If you want going to sweeten it, don't use honey if you want to keep this vegan.
If you don't want to have to blend up the bananas every time you want some of this, you could make a big batch and then keep it in the freezer like you would regular ice cream. You would need to let it soften a big before serving though.
Eating this straight from the blender it has a soft serve consistency. If you want a more solid ice cream, then put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour and it will be more scoop-able.
Make sure you peel and chop the banana before freezing. This will make it easier to blend.
More dessert recipes
Healthy Chocolate Nice Cream
- 2 Banana - peeled and cut into slices that have been frozen for at least 2 hours
- 2 tablespoon Cocoa powder - (unsweetened)
- Put the frozen banana pieces into a food processor with the cocoa powder.
- Blend until it forms a creamy ice cream consistency. (see notes below)
- Really ripe bananas are best for this, so it's a great way to use bananas that are going a bit brown.
- You will be a high powered food processor to make this. You might also need to scrape down the sides a couple of times. If your blender is really struggling with this, add a little milk to make it easier to blend.
- To make this nice cream taste even more like ice cream a little more indulgent, it needs some fat blending into it like nut butter or coconut milk.
- You can make a big batch of this and then put it back in the freezer. It will need softening a little again before serving.
- Make sure you chop the bananas up before freezing them, as this will make it easier to blend them.
- If you eat the nice cream right away, it will be like soft serve. However, you can put it back in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden it a little and make it scoop-able.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.