If you haven’t jumped on the nice cream train yet, the hot summer months are the absolute best time to climb aboard. Traditionally made with frozen bananas, nice cream is a plant-based treat that mimics the sweetness and texture of dairy-based ice cream, using ZeroPoint foods as the base. Unlike most ice cream recipes, making nice cream at home doesn’t require the use of an ice cream maker or any other fancy kitchen gadgets. Bananas aren’t your thing? No problem! There are tons of variations on nice cream that use other types of frozen fruit and other ZeroPoint foods or low SmartPoints ingredients.
7 Tips for making nice cream at home
1. To make nice cream at home you’ll need either a food processor or high-powered blender. While both appliances will do a good job breaking down the frozen fruit, a food processor is preferable because it’s easier to remove all the finished nice cream with a spatula.
2. Use overripe bananas that are past their peak for the sweetest nice cream, soft bananas with dark skin are best. Before freezing, peel the bananas and cut them into small chunks. Arrange the banana pieces on a baking sheet in a single layer before putting them in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours, or until frozen solid. Once the bananas are frozen, they can be transported to a resealable plastic bag or container for future use.
3. If bananas aren’t your favourite or you’re looking for flavour variation, try using other types of frozen fruit. Frozen peaches, mangoes, berries, pineapple, and cherries are all delicious when blended into nice cream. To keep the nice cream silky smooth, use a handful of banana pieces as a base. Try using ripe unfrozen avocado or low fat vanilla yogourt as an alternative to bananas, blending either ingredient with a small amount of fruit before slowly adding the rest.
4. Begin making nice cream by blending only a small amount of the fruit until it’s creamy and smooth. Gradually add the rest of the fruit, a quarter or third of a cup at a time, until it’s completely incorporated into the blended nice cream. Taking the time to add the fruit slowly will result in less blending time and smoother nice cream.
5. Brighten up your homemade nice cream with flavourful add-ins such as freshly squeezed citrus or tropical fruit juice, grated ginger or turmeric, coconut milk, fresh mint or basil, wine, spirits, pistachios, flavoured salts, rosewater, or maple syrup. Add these ingredients after the frozen fruit is completely blended. If you’re blending in a liquid, you might need to add more fruit to keep the texture nice and thick.
6. Freeze the blended nice cream for another 2 to 3 hours before serving in a loaf tin tightly covered with aluminum foil or a lidded glass container. This extra step yields perfectly scoopable nice cream for cones and bowls.
7. All of your favourite ice cream toppings are just as delicious when sprinkled on top of a nice cream sundae. Shredded coconut, chocolate chips, finely chopped fruit, and whipped topping will transform your nice cream from blended fruit into your new favourite frozen treat.