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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!
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:
- Free of processed sugars
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!
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.
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
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.
Add the lemon juice. (You can also add some sweetener here if your fruit isn’t very sweet.)
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.
Blend until it is smooth and has a nice soft-serve consistency.
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.
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!).
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
Cherry Nice Cream
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 1 Food processor
- 1 cups frozen bananas
- 2 cups frozen, unsweetened & pitted cherries
- 1-3 tbsp. lemon juice
- 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.
- Add the lemon juice. (You can also add some sweetener here if your fruit isn't very sweet.)
- 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.
- Blend until it's completely smooth, then serve.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 5/27/12.