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!
I remember reading about this trick in a cookbook a while back, but was skeptical. You’ve made a believer out of me, and I’m going to make sure to pick up some bananas today so that I can try it out. I love when the easiest method turns out to be the healthiest!!
Wow, what a great idea. Is the nutritional info for the entire recipe?
Katie – I can understand how one might be a skeptic and am glad you are gonna give it a try;). It’s too good and to easy not to.
Melissa – The nutritional info is for two servings and does not include any toppings!
Okay, you’ve convinced me. I’m going to go buy bananas and try this right away. If this is as good as ice cream I am going to be a VERY happy woman!
Karen D. says
My dad used to do this using a juicer and a special attachment. I didn’t know you could use a food processor. By the way, he used to use peaches and strawberries with the banana. I wonder if this works in the food processor as well.
Jen @ MaplenCornbread says
Ive been seeing this hit many blogs this summer! I really do need to try!
[email protected] says
I’m really loving the sound of this! Mmmm I’m ready to pop a banana or two in the freezer now. Thanks so much for sharing!
My son and I make banana shakes from frozen bananas and milk. That’s it. We both love them. He used to think I was putting ice cream in, too. They are THAT creamy.
My own tip is to cut the bananas into rounds and then freeze them in a zipper bag. Makes life (and blending) soooo much easier.
Tip #2? Try some coconut milk or coconut cream in your “ice cream.”
Phoo-D – Oh man… I hope you like it as much as we do around here:).
Karen D – Love the idea of playing around with different frozen fruits… thanks for the tip!
Jen – Yes you do!! Now go freeze some bananas!
Desiree – Anytime!
Roland- Great point… slicing the bananas makes a world of difference AND OMG… I can’t wait to try this with coconut milk. I can already taste how good that combo will be!! Thanks for sharing… I will be trying this ASAP.
That sounds easy and healthy too..
This is the coolest trick ever.. I have been doing it with a little light chocolate silk soy for awhile now and I even add some whey protein and almond butter and it is like a chocolate almond milkshake..
Love your picture of the banana ice cream…
holy smokes – this was the best dessert ever! we made this over the weekend at a friend’s house after dinner and everyone raved even though we added too much milk. we were calling it banana ice cream soup. 🙂 topped with a little chocolate syrup and whipped cream. it was the perfect treat and we’ve got more bananas in the freezer waiting to be blended.
To peel or not to peel before freezing?
I’ve tried both and peeling before is easier for me. What do you do Dani?
ps My husband and I think this dessert is just heavenly!
Snacksgiving – It is!
Deborah – I like the idea of adding some protein to this dessert… I also really want to try coconut milk! thanks for the tip.
Elizabeth – I know… it’s crazy good, isn’t it? I now have frozen bananas on hand at ALL times;).
Kay – Peel first… I always peel first!! Makes things a lot easier when you are ready to use them.
Dave Cave says
WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?
I just made a batch of this…this…I don’t know. It’s not ice cream, so I’m calling it Nice Cream. (not+ice cream=nice cream.) I’m so confused and bewildered and feel like I’m at the end of a M. Night Shymalan movie where everything I thought was true is turned upside down.
Had it for dessert after a lunch of quinoa and steamed red cabbage. Dani your videos are controlling my life and I like it!
Dave Cave – I LOVE it!! So funny… and I really like the idea of “Nice Cream”… very clever.
Posted this link on my facebook page for my friends to enjoy!
Amy Eileen says
THANK YOU! Oh wow, I just love this idea. I read it yesterday, ran to the store right away, froze some bananas, and am currently eating this dish! SO GOOD! My 7yr old son loves it! Thinks its ice cream! 🙂 I put some dark chocolate shavings on it, great stuff!
Wonderful,yummy site-thanks for the pictures and info! Betty
Billy Jean says
try adding a couple of spoonfuls of sugar free chocolate pudding powder to the mix. thickens it up even more, besides giving you chocalate banana flavor.
I tried this last night for dessert, delish! The only prob was my food processor literally exploded and the liquid came out the sides. Did I do something wrong? I took them from freezer to food processor…and then added in some almond milk as it was whirling. Should I have waited for the bananas to defrost a little?
This was amazing!!! Thanks so much for the recipe. I am a new vegan and am really missing ice cream. I mixed the banana with a bit of all natural peanut butter and it was awesome. My kids absolutely loved it as well. What a health alternative to fattening ice cream. Thanks so much!!!
You can add chocolate protein powder or chocolate syrup to a medium sized banana also… add some milk and the kids don’t know it’s not a milk shake!!!
I am a smoothie JUNKY and I NEVER use ice… it’s always frozen banana’s or other frozen fruit. My favorite is chocolate peanut butter banana in place of a meal! OH IT’S SO GOOD and it seems like I’m drinking a milk shake … and it’s GOOD for me!!
1 frozen banan
1tbs nut butter
chocolate (carnation instant breakfast or protein powder work well or just some cocoa powder or chocolate syrup)
1/2 milk or soy milk or almond milk etc
blend and you have a meal 🙂
The magic bullet blender is perfect for one serving also…. it’s what transformed me into a smoothie “junkie” 🙂
Brenda C says
Wow, this looks awesome. Can’t wait to try it. I have a bag of just purchased frozen, banana, strawberry, peaches mixture. Gotta try this for dessert tonight. Thanks for the wonderful site Dani – you’re a star! It’s part of my daily surfing routine.
And Dave Cave, I felt that way the first time I made her Kale Chips. It is a vegetable, or a chip, who knew??? Now I’m hooked!
Hope you are feeling good. Thanks for the link lovage 🙂
I use my Magic Bullet (small container) with 1 banana frozen in chunks, 1 heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder, 1 packet of Stevia & milk. I find it works best if the bananas are cut in quarters then in chunks-much easier to blend. I keep banana chunks frozen at all times then I can whip up a treat when I feel like icecream. I eat it out of the bullet jar.
I also make fruit sorbet using frozen mixed berries, Pom Juice & packet of stevia—delicious!
Shelly MacDonald says
I just happened to have a frozen banana on hand, so when I read this article I just had to try it, even though it’s 10pm in the evening… oh, what the heck! I diced up the banana into tiny pieces, added cinnamon, and one teaspoon of virgin coconut oil. WOW is all I can say. Why buy the fake processed ice cream at the store when you can have an awesome and healthy treat like this?
Is there really a video on this page? I can’t seem to find it.
I tried making some yesterday though, and it was awesome! Thanks so much for talking about it, I love it.
I’m bad for letting bananas go brown-and then I don’t want to eat them. When I heard about this through Pinterest and tried it I was ecstatic! It’s sooooo good! I make mine with a spoonful of peanut butter, and some cocoa powder. YUM!!! A trick I’ve learned is to slice the bananas before putting them in the freezer-makes it easier for my blender to break them up.
Do the bananas have to be frozen? My kids and I tried this with fresh bananas and almond milk and it tasted just like that; bananas in milk and nothing like a dessert at all so I find it hard to believe all these people are raving about it 🙁
YES!!! 100%! Absolutely! The bananas MUST be frozen. This makes the ice cream thick and creamy – totally different then fresh bananas.
I LOVE this ice cream… so does my 2 1/2 year old! Two quick thoughts… 1. Don’t do what I did and freeze the bananas while they are still fairly green… The longer you let them sit, the better, as they develop more sweetness as they ripen. 2. Adding a few FROZEN strawberries makes a fabulous strawberry banana ice cream and does not mess with the texture or consistency. 🙂
im trying to print the banana ice cream recipe
but to no avail, im not on facebook. i have had to
write the recipe out by hand, am going to try and make it
on wednesday, have just bought a new blender, and i have two frozen bananas in the freezer ready to go. it sounds yummy.
have just made this i used almond milk what i had made
and i put organic cocoa powder in it, will try and add other things to it, this has got to be the best recipe ever
Absolutely delicious! I added some cinnamon powder and it was greatttt
I replaced the milk with low fat cows milk and when I calculated the nutritional information it turned out double!
Is the nutritional information you gave the amount for 1 serving?
Michael Mankus says
Just made this and loved it. Used almond/coconut milk. I also stirred in some crushed almonds and dark chocolate. Delicious! We’ll definitely make it again.
I love the add-ins – what could be better than a little dark chocolate and almonds? sounds delish!
Can you make your banana/strawberry ice cream which I did make & it was delicious, but with a version without bananas please? Thanks.