By Cathy Wilson
No, it’s not misspelled; ‘nice’ cream is the colloquial term for vegetarian or vegan ice cream, meaning non-dairy. It doesn’t taste exactly like creamy ice cream, but more like a creamy sorbet and a lot healthier for you than creamy ice cream.
The very basic recipe for two servings is 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup frozen fruit and up to ¼ cup non-dairy milk, such as coconut milk. The flavorful varieties are endless.
Start by peeling and cutting up 2-3 ripe bananas into about 6 pieces each; wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at least 3 hours. Then chop and freeze whatever other fruit you may want to add. Upon removing the bananas from the freezer, let them set out for 5 minutes before putting them in either the food processor or high-power blender. Pulse until bananas are blended with some small pieces left chunky. Some people like to add a dash of salt and/or ¼ teaspoon of vanilla at this point. You may need to add up to ¼ cup of any non-dairy (or dairy) milk if it begins to ice up or is too thick.
To this basic recipe, add something from below, or have fun creating flavors of your own.
Chocolate Nice Cream — 3 tablespoons cocoa powder.
Mocha Nice Cream — 3 tablespoons cocoa powder plus 1 teaspoon instant coffee.
Mint Chocolate Chip — 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract. Stir in chocolate chips after blending is complete.
Tropical — ½ cup frozen mango plus ½ cup frozen pineapple. Add pineapple juice instead of non-dairy milk if needed.
Options — a scoop of non-dairy protein, 1-2 tablespoons of peanut or other nut butter, maple syrup, coconut milk, frozen strawberries/blueberries/raspberries.
Once you complete the blending process you may serve it or put in the freezer 30-60 minutes to achieve a more scoopable consistency. Nice cream can be stored in a freezer container for a couple months. It is best to let it sit out about 10 minutes before serving.
Have fun and enjoy your summer and your ‘nice’ cream.
Cat Wilson lives in South Bend and transitioned from a vegetarian diet to eating a plant-based diet more than two years ago. She may be contacted at [email protected].