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. So many different ways to flavour it 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 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
- Just 133 calories for a big bowl
- Lower in fat than ice cream
- Lots of different ways to flavour it
- Kids love it
- 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.
Step by step
One: Put the frozen bananas in a food processor and blend for 2 minutes until an ice cream consistency. 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.
Two: Serve in glasses topped with chocolate chips and coconut (or toppings of choice).
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 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.
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.
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 in to 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.
• You want to use really ripe bananas 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 in to 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.
More dessert recipes
Healthy Chocolate Nice Cream
- 2 Banana - peeled and cut into slices that have been frozen for at least 4 hours
- 2 tablespoon Cocoa powder - (unsweetened)
- Put the frozen banana slices into a food processor with the cocoa powder.
- Blend until it forms a creamy ice cream consistency. (see notes below)
- Nut butter (homemade peanut butter is my favourite)
- Other frozen fruits (strawberries or pineapple work well)
- A tiny bit of orange juice, or orange zest
- Chilli flakes (yes, chilli flakes! Chilli chocolate is amazing!)