Clever vegans discovered that if you blend frozen sliced bananas, it creates a texture very similar to real custard style ice cream. The term “nice cream” was coined for this frozen dessert.
You don’t need to be vegan or lactose intolerant to enjoy this light summer treat. Simply slice ripe bananas, freeze, blend with flavorings, freeze a little longer, then you have a scoopable, delicious nice cream with the texture and flavor of your favorite ice cream. With simple ingredients like banana, peanut butter, pure maple syrup and chocolate chips, who says it has to be dessert? I’ve been known to call this a snack or even breakfast.
How is nice cream made? It really is as simple as freezing some sliced bananas, blending, adding a few flavorings, freezing in a metal pan and scooping. Some nice cream recipes recommend adding a little liquid like almond milk, but I find it really does add too much moisture.
My recommendation is to use pure maple syrup or honey as the liquid to help blend and sweeten the nice cream. If your blender isn’t particularly strong, you can defrost the sliced bananas for a few minutes at room temperature before blending. If you choose not to do a second freeze in a metal baking pan, the texture is more like soft serve ice cream.
I chose peanut butter cup as my nice cream flavor for this recipe. Swirled into the banana base are chocolate chips and ribbons of peanut butter. Banana really creates the best consistency of traditional custard ice cream, but the flavor combinations really are endless. Strawberry banana makes a classic choice. Simply add a cup of frozen strawberries in place of one of the bananas.
To create a double chocolate banana flavor, add some chocolate syrup to the blending stage and fold in some chocolate chips before the second freeze. Banana with frozen pineapple and a splash of coconut cream creates a tropical pina colada flavored nice cream. Another form of nice cream that I often make is mango sorbet. Frozen mango blends into an incredibly smooth texture very similar to sorbet. Use a few cups of only frozen mango along with maple syrup or a few tablespoons of mango juice. Serve as soft serve or freeze again for firmer nice cream sorbet.
Peanut Butter Cup Nice Cream
7 bananas (cut into thin coins, then frozen in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware)
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
A few tablespoons of natural peanut butter for drizzling
1/2 cup chocolate chips
First start by slicing ripe bananas (only just starting to spot) into thin, coin-shaped slices. Freeze
the bananas in a Ziploc bag or Tupperware overnight or for at least 5-6 hours.
Next, in a large, high-speed blender (a Ninja or Vitamix works very well) on the highest setting,
blend the frozen bananas with the maple syrup for one minute. Don’t add the peanut butter and
chocolate chips. They do not get blended. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times
with a silicone spatula. Once you have moved the contents around, continue to blend for up to
2-3 additional minutes until everything is completely smooth like soft serve ice cream.
In a metal loaf baking pan, spread half of the contents of the blender on the bottom of the pan.
Layer in some chocolate chips and swirl in a few tablespoons of natural peanut butter.
Add the rest of the banana nice cream on top.
Swirl in a little more peanut butter and chocolate chips on top.
Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for an additional 4 hours until you can scoop like traditional
Serve with whatever toppings you like in a bowl or ice cream cone.