Cherry Nice Cream Recipe

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This all-fruit cherry nice cream is the perfect excuse for dessert. It’s a delicious, dairy-free option for that nagging sweet tooth.

If you love “nice cream”, this simple recipe is perfect for a hot summer day. It’s cold, refreshing, smooth, and totally bursting with good-for-you nutrients!

This Clean Eating Cherry Almond Ice Cream is piled high in a clear martini glass. It's topped with fresh almonds and has a spoon in the side, ready to eat.

What happens when you leave ice cream unattended around a hungry 4-year-old while trying to take a photo of said ice cream for one’s blog?

Well, you end up with far more photos like the one below than a pretty picture of the finished product. But hey, he was 4 at the time. I couldn’t get too upset with all that cuteness. So I let him dig in.

Why Do They Call It Nice Cream?

The main reason begins with the fact that this is a vegan dessert. Vegans often become vegans because of the animal cruelty in our food supply chain. Because vegans do not consume dairy due to the mistreatment of dairy cows, they refer to this as “Nice Cream” because no animals were harmed in the making of it.

Is Nice Cream Healthier?

Another reason for the name (which has evolved as the term has become more mainstream), is that it is far easier (“nicer”) on your digestive system and far better for your health than regular ice cream because there is no dairy or processed sugar added.

It’s a naturally sweet dessert made simply of fruit. You can, of course, add other non-fruit ingredients as you wish. You’ll enjoy a nice dose of fiber, vitamin A, C, B6, and Manganese! Not too bad for a delicious bowl of cherry nice cream, don’t cha’ think?

This recipe is:

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Paleo
  • Free of processed sugars
  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free

What Is Nice Cream Made Of?

In general, the base for Nice Cream is frozen bananas. However, you can also use other frozen fruits if you wish to avoid bananas.

Nice Cream can be made out of just about any frozen fruit as long as you don’t mind more of a “sorbet” texture. Bananas do offer a certain creamy texture that is pretty close to regular soft serve ice cream. But there are a million ways you can play around with this concept.

Does Nice Cream Taste Good?

If you like fruity flavors, you’ll love Nice Cream! It’s very refreshing and you can feel good about just eating fruit instead of downing a pint of store-bought ice cream.

Can You Serve Nice Cream Immediately After Blending?

Absolutely! In fact, that’s the best time to enjoy it! Dig in!

A clear martini glass shows this Clean Eating Cherry Almond Ice Cream more than half eaten with a spoon still sitting in the the glass.

Can You Use Whole Bananas Or Big Chunks Of Bananas?

Generally, no. Unless you have a commercial-quality food processor that can handle anything you put in it, most of the average food processors out there won’t handle these larger pieces very well. You run the risk of burning out your motor.

The good news is, that frozen bananas are relatively easy to cut with a strong, sharp knife. Let them sit on the counter for about 10-15 minutes, and then slice or chop them into smaller pieces that your food processor can handle.

Can You Make Nice Cream In A Regular Blender?

If you work in very small batches, yes you can. However, weaker blenders may still struggle. A powerful blender like a Vitamix will handle it much better than a more “run-of-the-mill” blender like an Oster brand blender, for example. (Nothing negative about the Oster brand! They just won’t handle this type of thing very well.)

Can I Use Liquid Other Than Lemon Juice?

You can! Consider trying water or non-dairy milk such as unsweetened almond milk or even unsweetened coconut milk. Even unsweetened soy milk will do a great job if you don’t mind consuming soy.

Recipe Variations

Consider adding some of these other ingredients to add new flavors to this recipe.

  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Zested orange peel
  • Zested lemon peel
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Dark chocolate chips (fold or pulse these in after blending)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Cacao nibs (fold or pulse these in after blending)

About The Ingredients

Frozen bananas – I buy bananas on sale, slice them and freeze them in a single layer on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Then I transfer them to a storage container and keep them in the freezer all summer long.

Frozen, unsweetened & pitted cherries – You can purchase them already frozen, but make sure there is no added sugar.

Lemon juice – The recipe starts with 1 tablespoon. But add more as needed. Note that a little goes a long way though. If you add too much, your Nice Cream will be more like Nice Soup. At most, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more. But even that could be too much. So tread carefully with extra juice.

How To Make Cherry Nice Cream

Frozen cherries and banana slices sitting in a food processor before blending.

Allow the fruit to sit in the food processor for 10-15 minutes prior to blending. This will help your processor handle the frozen fruit better without burning out your motor. Especially on older machines.

Pouring lemon juice onto frozen fruit sitting in a food processor.

Add the lemon juice. (You can also add some sweetener here if your fruit isn’t very sweet.)

Scraping the sides of the food processor halfway through blending.

Halfway through the blending process, stop the machine and scrape the sides. If your machine is having some trouble with the frozen fruit, you can add a bit more lemon juice before continuing to blend. It doesn’t take much.

Fully blended Cherry Nice Cream being scooped up by a purple, rubber spatula.

Blend until it is smooth and has a nice soft-serve consistency.

Overhead view looking down into a clear martini glass filled with Cherry Nice Cream and topped with chopped almonds.

How Do You Store Nice Cream?

Honestly, I find that it’s best to make just enough to satisfy. Making big batches of this to freeze is fine, but in my experience, it never returns to that nice smooth texture unless you feel like blending it again with some extra frozen fruit.

However, if you do have leftovers you want to freeze, I have found one trick that helps.

Put the leftover Cherry Nice Cream into an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid. But before you put the lid on, pack some plastic wrap up against the ice cream so that no air can touch the surface. Tuck it tightly into the corners of the container and even a bit up the sides of the container if your piece is on the larger side. Then place the lid on and store it in the freezer.

Nice cream freezes pretty hard. So you will have to let it sit out on the counter for a few minutes before eating it. And yes, you always have the option to reblend. Just be careful here that you don’t add very frozen Nice Cream to your food processor and burn out your blender.

Recipe Tip

If you don’t care for a strong banana flavor, then use bananas that have just barely turned from green to yellow instead of riper bananas. The less ripe they are, the less banana flavor you will have. In fact, I couldn’t taste the bananas in this at all (Just don’t use green bananas!).

Recipe Supplies

You have a few options for making this. A sturdy food processor, or a machine that is specifically made for making Nice Cream. I’ll post both here. They are sold on Amazon. (Affiliate Links)

I have found that Nice Cream machines sometimes don’t have the lifespan that a good food processor has. And it’s one more gadget to keep in the kitchen. But if you have the room for it, they really do provide the best results. Also note that you cannot make this using a regular ice cream maker.

More Nice Cream Recipes

Cherry Nice Cream Recipe Card + Video

A clear martini glass sits on a wooden surface, filled with Cherry Nice Cream and topped with chopped walnuts.

Cherry Nice Cream

This amazing ice cream is dairy free because it’s banana based instead of milk based! It’s light, it’s delicious and it’s a wonderful way to get a healthy helping of fruit for the day!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 155kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Equipment

  • 1 Food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 cups frozen bananas
  • 2 cups frozen, unsweetened & pitted cherries
  • 1-3 tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions

  • Allow the fruit to sit in the food processor for 10-15 minutes prior to blending. This will help your processor handle the frozen fruit better without burning out your motor. Especially on older machines.
    Frozen cherries and banana slices sitting in a food processor before blending.
  • Add the lemon juice. (You can also add some sweetener here if your fruit isn't very sweet.)
    Pouring lemon juice onto frozen fruit sitting in a food processor.
  • Halfway through the blending process, stop the machine and scrape the sides. If your machine is having some trouble with the frozen fruit, you can add a bit more lemon juice before continuing to blend. It doesn't take much.
    Scraping the sides of the food processor halfway through blending.
  • Blend until it's completely smooth, then serve.
    Fully blended Cherry Nice Cream being scooped up by a purple, rubber spatula.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data below is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5the recipe | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 137IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg

Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 5/27/12.

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27 Comments

  1. graciouspantry says:

    Sheri – It’s a fantastic little machine!

  2. Emily Butler @EmilysHomestead says:

    Seriously you just sold me on the machine, I keep seeing it in my grocery store next to the bananas and I, like you always have frozen bananas in the freezer for ice cream so this will be perfect, I was so skeptical that I never even stopped to really check it out! thanks!! Oh and my favorite banana ice cream is adding dark cocoa powder and coconut with Stevia instead of honey, I’m not a honey fan for ice cream.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Emily – Sounds like a nice combo! Yum! Enjoy the machine!

  3. graciouspantry says:

    Robin – I read the reviews too. I don’t agree with them. I love this machine! But you’re right about “another kitchen gadget”. Any more and I’ll have to start storing some in Mini Chef’s room!

  4. graciouspantry says:

    Hope you enjoy it!

  5. graciouspantry says:

    Guest – Just use whatever frozen fruit you have. It’ll be more like sorbet than soft serve. But good either way!

  6. Butter Pecan is my all time favorite. Any chance of making it clean?

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Jodi – I believe so! I’ll give it a shot!

  7. I’m sold! The reviews were great on the Bed Bath and Beyond site and since they have a 20% coupon…. What could I use to make something that tastes like tart frozen yogurt? I’m bummed since Haagen Dazs discontinued theirs!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Letty – Lemon, greek yogurt (frozen in ice cube trays and then put through the machine – Just don’t forget to thaw slightly), sour cherries, frozen kefir, etc…

      1. Just bought it! Yes! Another plus is that it’s pretty compact and doesn’t take a lot of space on the counter top.

        1. graciouspantry says:

          Letty – Very true! Enjoy!

        2. graciouspantry says:

          Letty – Very true! Enjoy!

      2. Just bought it! Yes! Another plus is that it’s pretty compact and doesn’t take a lot of space on the counter top.

  8. I have one and it’s great!!! My fiance loves it with sweet cherries and even mangoes. I’m a pineapple girl myself. I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond so as to use my 20% coupon.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Suzanne – Yes! This BB&B coupons are great for this!

  9. graciouspantry says:

    Pat – Oh! You’re so lucky! All we have are lemons. Enjoy the Yonana’s!!

  10. graciouspantry says:

    Kris – The cubes would have to be softened. You don’t want to put them through hard. But yes, less ripe bananas with vanilla extract stirred in is definitely an option!

  11. Pingback: Clean Eating Recipes | Clean Eating Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
  12. Rhoda Smith says:

    My ds would love this one! I froze a small container of pear baby food to see how it would work with bananas. I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t report on the taste,lol!

  13. elizabeth says:

    Can you re-freeze the ‘ice cream’ for later use? If so, how long do you think it would last? sooo keen to buy one!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      With this recipe, yes, I believe you can. I would imaging it would last about a week or two.

  14. graciouspantry says:

    I don’t recommend it. But you could certainly contact the company and ask them. They are very good about answering questions.

  15. Trish Crissey says:

    Quick question? Why not freeze your bananas when they are green? Just curious.
    Thank you I really enjoy all of your articles 🙂

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Trish – I don’t generally eat green bananas, but I suppose it could work. Green bananas are typically cooked, not frozen. But if you want very little of the banana flavor to come through, I suppose it would be an option.

  16. Trish, you aren’t supposed to use green bananas, because they taste too banana. “Cheetah” bananas, the ones with spots, lose their banana flavor allowing you to use it as a base with which to mix things together….

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