Nice Cream has gained popularity in the health food world over the last few years, and for good reason! As a dairy free, added-sugar free, vegan, and all-natural alternative to ice cream, it’s easy to see why.
Yes, we know it’s December, but is there ever a wrong time to enjoy nice cream? Besides, there are plenty of holiday foods this time of year that are anything but nice to your healthy eating efforts. It’s not a bad idea to have some healthy sweets in your freezer for the days when baked goods and buttery bread rolls are challenging you to a face-off.
So, what’s in this magical frozen delight? The answer is fruit! Plain, frozen fruit; typically, with banana as the base ingredient for that craveable creaminess.
How to Make Your Own Nice Cream
The one thing better than the taste of fresh fruit in nice cream, is how easy it is to craft your own. There are almost no limitations to what you can create when all you have to do is freeze some fruit and blend it together! Any flavor combination in the world is open to you.
The How-To Breakdown
- Cut up some fresh fruit of your choice into pieces that will easily fit into a standard blender or food processor. We recommend freezing over-ripe bananas whenever possible because adding them is what gets you closer to the creamy texture of real ice cream, but you can leave them out if you prefer.
- Pop your fruit pieces into the freezer and wait impatiently for them to freeze. Alternatively, freeze them in advance so they’re ready to go whenever the craving hits.
- Toss your frozen fruits into a blender or food processor and hit the magic button. If you like, you can add some sugar-free non-dairy milk for an even smoother texture and an easier blending process.
- Scoop your masterpiece into a bowl and top it off with nuts, granola, coconut, dark chocolate crumbles, fresh fruit pieces, or even a drizzle of honey. Don’t forget to freeze the rest (if there’s any left to freeze).
The process itself is really that simple. Now, depending on how creative you want to get, your flavor profiles can add some extra time and effort.
Here are some fun (and in-season) flavor combinations for you to try with your Nice Cream:
Bananas, pumpkin puree, and some pumpkin spice give you this guilt-free treat. Feel free to add ingredients like Medjool dates for sweetness, and vanilla extract, cinnamon, or nutmeg to add some winter-time flare. Toppings like sunflower seeds or crushed almonds will also go nicely with these warm and spicy flavors.
Clementines, Mandarins, and Tangerines are in season during the winter months. You may have heard them called by all these names but Clementines and Tangerines are really just classifications of Mandarin oranges. Match the tart orange flavors with some sweet pineapple or even strawberries, blueberries, and bananas to create a party of fruity flavors.
This is a frosty take on the festive classic: apple pie. You may need some non-dairy milk to help the ingredients blend smoothly for this one. Feel free to experiment with the flavors of Flax milk, soymilk, walnut milk, almond milk, and others. All you need to add is banana, apple, cinnamon, and perhaps some vanilla extract to close in on that apple pie flavor. You can also substitute the apples for blueberries or cherries to achieve a different fruit pie profile.
If we’re going for an apple pie flavor, we can’t leave out pecan pie! You’ll follow the same procedure of blending pecans into your frozen bananas, and you can add some dates to mimic the sweetness of caramelization. If you don’t want crunchy bits of pecan, blend them into a “butter” first, the same way you’d blend peanuts to make peanut butter. This will help them blend more smoothly with the rest of your nice cream.
Cranberries are also very much in season and they can add a lip-smacking tart to your nice cream. Because of their tartness, it would be a good idea to add some sugar substitute to help sweeten this mix. Other fruits that pair well with cranberry include oranges, apples, peaches, and even pears. Again, blend your walnuts into a paste before adding them into your mixture. You can also add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves to give it the zing of seasonal spices.
For more happiness-inducing holiday treats, read our registered dietitian’s article on Nutritious, Mood Boosting Holiday Foods. To learn about fruit, its sugars, and the time of day to eat or avoid it, check out the answer to this reader’s question. To access our monthly blog post highlights, subscribe to our newsletter today!