Frozen banana ice cream (or banana nice cream) is a healthy take on traditional ice cream! With just 3 simple ingredients – frozen banana, almond milk, and maple syrup (or monk fruit) – this vegan nice cream takes just five minutes to whip up in a food processor or high-powered blender.
As a certified Health, Wellness and Weight Loss Coach, I am often asked for nutritious alternatives to traditional ice cream. In other words, clients want to know, “Do I have any healthy ice cream recipes?”
This banana nice cream recipe is always my answer.
It’s hard to believe that frozen bananas have the ability to turn into rich and creamy ice cream with just a splash of non-dairy milk and a touch of your favorite natural sweetener, but I’m here to turn you into a believer! I’ll show you exactly how it’s done.
No churning, no waiting, no dairy, and no refined sugars!
Once you learn how to make the base recipe you can create tons of different flavors like:
But this is just the beginning — there are so many possibilities that I actually wrote an entire ebook sharing over 30 different banana ice cream flavors!
Who says healthy dessert recipes have to be hard to make?! Not me!
What is ‘nice’ cream?
Have you heard of ‘nice’ cream or nicecream? It’s basically a simple banana ice cream made by food processing or blending frozen bananas until they resemble a creamy soft serve. So technically, this is a nice cream recipe!
It’s referred to as ‘nice’ cream because it’s a more nutritious ice-cream option and is made with ‘naners’, as some people refer to bananas.
Sometimes it’s called vegan nice cream since it’s 100% pant-based as well.
If you are here because you want to learn how to start eating healthy, remember, small shifts (like enjoying nice cream) make a big difference over time!
And I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious healthy eating can be.
Banana ice cream ingredients
When I say three ingredients I mean just THREE simple ingredients. Plus, any favorite toppings you might want to add. All you’ll need is:
- Frozen bananas. I recommend freezing your bananas when they are super ripe so that your banana ice cream is perfectly sweet and delicious.
- Almond milk. Use any milk you prefer – you just need the tiniest bit for the perfect creamy consistency.
- Maple syrup. Totally optional, but if you want your ice cream a little sweeter, add a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup, honey, or a monk fruit blend.
How to make banana ‘nice’ cream
This recipe is incredibly simple to whip up. Grab your food processor, and a couple of frozen bananas, and let’s go! You will see, that this recipe only takes 5-minutes to make and is best when eaten immediately.
- You’ll simply add your frozen bananas to your food processor and process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the edges as needed.
- You can skip the addition of milk, but I like to add a small amount for consistency. And to sweeten things up just a bit, I blend in just 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup.
- Scoop into two bowls, add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
If you absolutely have to save your ice cream for later, place it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer. But beware, it has the best texture when it’s freshly made!
Tasty ‘nice’ cream toppings
We love this banana ice cream recipe straight out of the food processor, but feel free to add fun toppings. Here are some delicious options:
- Homemade granola
- Mini chocolate chips
- Shredded coconut
- Fresh berries
- Chopped nuts
- A drizzle of nut butter
While banana ice cream is SUPER easy to make, I’m sharing some tips, so that your banana ice cream turns out perfect every time!
- Ripe bananas. You want to start with very RIPE bananas. The browner, the better! As bananas ripen and the peel turns brown, the banana gets sweeter.
- Freezing bananas. I like to cut my bananas into thirds, freeze them on a tray lined with parchment paper, and then, once frozen transfer them to a freezer-safe bag. If you try to pop them in the bag before they freeze, they will end up all sticking together.
- Before blending. I recommend letting the frozen bananas sit out on the counter for about 2 minutes, so they are not rock-solid when you begin to blend them. Just a couple of minutes out of the freezer is all you need to make them a bit easier to blend.
- Food processor. You can make your homemade banana ice cream in a high-powered blender, but I prefer working with a food processor because I find it easier to scoop the ice cream out once it’s blended.
Banana ice cream recipe variations
There are so many different ways to change this recipe up, depending on your preferences and cravings. Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Protein powder. If you are looking for a higher protein snack, you could easily blend in a scoop of your favorite protein powder, which is also super delicious!
- Toppings. You can serve this up and top it with some sprinkles or mini chocolate chips. More topping ideas are listed above.
- Different fruit. Try adding more frozen fruit for different flavors. Add an extra cup of frozen blueberries or strawberries to mix things up! If you don’t have any bananas on hand, try making my dairy-free watermelon ice cream instead.
The flavor options are truly endless, and if you think you will want to experiment with different variations of banana ice cream, I have a banana ice cream ebook that shares 30 different flavor combos to enjoy!
Make ahead (loaf pan option!)
You can make this homemade banana ice cream ahead of time! This will take about 6 frozen bananas.
Follow the same process in the recipe, and when the bananas turn to creamy ice cream, transfer the mixture to a loaf pan.
Freeze for 4-6 hours or for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let it sit out until slightly softened and then scoop just like you would traditional ice cream.
How to store nice cream
If you happen to have any banana ice cream leftover, simply store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Because it’s completely plant-based it will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Go ahead and make a big batch!
It will become quite hard when frozen, so thaw at room temperature until slightly softened.
Clean Eating Frozen Banana Ice Cream
- 2 frozen bananas, cut into thirds
- 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
- 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup, honey or monk fruit
- Pop bananas into a blender or food processor and blend until the bananas have a smooth and creamy consistency (just like ice cream). Depending on how powerful your blender or processor is, your bananas may clunk around a bit at the beginning BUT just give them a minute. Once they start to break down, they turn into this lovely, creamy treat.
- If you want, you can skip the milk addition altogether, but I like to add a little in. I usually use just a tablespoon or two along with the maple syrup. Blend until thick and creamy. Enjoy!