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How to Enjoy Healthy Ice Cream All Summer Long


Confession time!

A couple of years ago, I tried “nice cream” (also known as banana ice cream) and I wasn’t crazy about it.  But, as Zonya and I were recently discussing coaching tip ideas, I knew I had to heed the advice we give everyone else and try it again!

I am not sure what I was thinking before, but I’m thrilled to report that my mind has changed (to be more accurate, my mind is blown!).  What I have experienced over the past couple of weeks is a delicious, thick and creamy summer treat…that is also loaded with nutrients!  Plus, if you or your kids think you don’t like bananas, don’t worry…adding other flavors really hides the banana taste.  And, if that wasn’t enough, it's super-affordable!

 

So, what is “nice cream?”

Really, all you need to make banana ice cream is one single ingredient...frozen bananas.

Now, we aren't exactly sure where the name “nice cream” came from.  The Urban dictionary defines nice cream as "a fruit-based soft serve ice cream that is dairy free and gluten free, primarily made with frozen bananas."

In our experience, adding a little milk, nut milk or coconut milk (about ¼ cup per 2 to 3 bananas) helps to create an even creamier texture.  However, you don’t want to add too much milk or it becomes more like a smoothie than the creamy, dreamy texture you are looking for.  Then, a few other ingredients will easily take it to the next level of flavor!

 

A few tips for banana ice cream success:

 

  • For the best flavor, freeze ripe bananas.  The more ripe the banana the better, but you don’t want it to be overripe either.  Ripe bananas will provide a nice, sweet flavor and will also help produce the right consistency.
  • Remember to peel before freezing!  No one wants to try peeling a frozen banana…yes, I hate to admit it, but I made this mistake once and learned my lesson!  Freeze bananas for at least 30 minutes to one hour or longer.
  • Cutting the banana in half (or fourths) before freezing will let you easily determine how many bananas to use and will also make it easier to fit them in your food processor or blender.
  • For best results, use a food processor or Ninja to blend the ice cream.  Blenders may be challenged to blend frozen fruit, so you may need to let them thaw slightly before using.
  • Keep in mind, bananas thaw quick!  Blending may be easier if you let the bananas sit at room temperature for 3-5 minutes before blending.
  • Scrape the sides!  As you are blending, you may need to stop occasionally and scrape the sides.  It may take a few minutes of blending to get the nice, creamy consistency.
  • It's all about personal preference!  Remember, everyone has their favorite thickness and flavor of ice cream so adjust the milk and other ingredients to your preference.
  • Get creative!  We will give you a few ideas for flavor combinations, but mix it up and get creative...the possibilities are endless!  Some excellent add-ins include nuts, nut butters, coconut butter, fresh fruit, dark chocolate chips, honey, spices (like cinnamon, cardamom or ginger), fresh herbs (like mint) and more!
  • Enjoy the moment!  In our experience, it's best to enjoy your creation as soon as you make it.  If you don’t eat it all, you can freeze it, but it will lose some of its creamy consistency.  If you freeze it, you can let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving, and re-blend it if desired.  Also, we haven’t tried this, but some say adding just a little alcohol before freezing can make it easier to scoop.  We might just have to test this tip!

 

How do you make it?  Here are 3 great ideas!

 

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1/4 cup of milk (almond, skim or soy milk, add 1-2 more Tbsp if desired)
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Add to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, using a spatula to scrape down the sides occasionally.  Serve topped with dark chocolate shavings or chips if desired.  Makes about 2 cups.

 

Pina Colada Banana Ice Cream

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (add 1-2 more Tbsp if desired)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Add to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, using a spatula to scrape down the sides occasionally.  Serve topped with toasted coconut if desired.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

 

Mixed Berry Banana Ice Cream

  • 3 frozen banans
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond, skim or soy milk, add 1-2 more Tbsp if desired)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (or berry of your choice)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Add to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, using a spatula to scrape down the sides occasionally.  Serve topped with slices of fresh fruit if desired.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

 

Other flavor combos we love:

 

  • Mint Chocolate Chip - add the following to the chocolate version:  1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1/4 cup fresh mint (or 1/4 tsp of mint extract).
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate - add 2 Tbsp of natural peanut butter to the chocolate version.

 

If you haven't already, give this sweet treat a try and please let us know what you think!  Or share with us your favorite flavor combination!

 

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2 Responses to How to Enjoy Healthy Ice Cream All Summer Long

  1. Thanks for the inspiration. I am a sucker for ice cream on a long hot day and thanks to this tip, I will try banana ice cream again (as soon as I get to the store and buy bananas)!!!!!!!!!!

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