This is one of our base recipes. Banana nice cream is a perfect lightened-up dessert when you get a craving for something cold, creamy, and sweet!
Must-Know Culinary Skill
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for the Best Frozen Banana Nice Cream
Do NOT freeze bananas with the peel on!!! They are a nightmare to unpeel once frozen. To freeze bananas, peel, slice into quarters, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour before transferring to a freezer-safe bag or container. Although you can freeze bananas whole, they will freeze faster and blend easier if broken into smaller pieces.
If your nice cream is too thick after blending, add more liquid. If it is too thin, add more banana.
Don’t be deterred if the nice cream does not quickly turn creamy when blending. Use a spatula to scrape the sides, and continue to blend. It will get there!
- Frozen Banana: substitute half of one banana with any frozen fruit of your choosing.
- Milk/Milk Alternative: use cow’s milk, a non-dairy alternative, or canned coconut milk. Note that different milks will yield slightly different tastes and textures.
- Flavor Extract: vanilla, almond, and coconut extracts are our favorites for ice cream. If you’re feeling adventurous, lemon, lavender, or peppermint could provide unique banana nice cream flavors too!
- Spices: use sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cardamom, pumpkin spice, or apple pie spice. Start with a dash, then add more to taste. Add 2 teaspoons cocoa powder to make chocolate banana nice cream.
- Sweetener: use honey, agave, maple syrup, molasses, or brown sugar. Omit sweetener if using extra ripe frozen bananas.
Base Recipe Variations
Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste!
Add any other ingredients of your choice to change the flavor and texture. Toasted chopped nuts, nut butters, chocolate chips, and toasted coconut are all delicious additions!
Need some flavor ideas? Try out these combinations!
Peanut Butter Banana Nice Cream: add 2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter to the recipe.
Double Chocolate Banana Nice Cream: add 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, and1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
Banana Strawberry Nice Cream: sub ½ of one banana with ¼ cup frozen sliced strawberries.
Banana Coconut Nice Cream: add ¼ teaspoon coconut extract OR use canned coconut milk. Alternatively, mix in or top the base recipe with toasted coconut flakes.
Vanilla Banana Nice Cream: add ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract or pure vanilla bean paste.
Banana Berry Nice Cream: sub ½ of one banana with ¼ cup frozen mixed berries.
Banana Mango Nice Cream: sub ½ of one banana with ¼ cup frozen mango.
Which Blender is Best for Nice Cream?
Any blender will work! While a Vitamix probably makes the creamiest ice cream, any full-size blender, single-serve blender, immersion blender, or even a food processor will do the job. If your appliance has a difficult time blending all of the ingredients, use a silicone spatula or blender tamper to scrape down the sides between blending, or double the recipe to increase the blender volume.
Is Banana Nice Cream Healthy?
Banana nice cream is certainly a more nutrient-dense alternative to traditional ice cream! The featured ingredients in this nice cream recipe are bananas, milk/milk alternative, and less added sugar than store bought ice cream.
Bananas contain fiber and potassium. The natural sugar in bananas (and all fruit!) does not count against your daily sugar budget. Aim to include fruit in all of your meals so that you fill up on beneficial vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and phytochemicals.
Milk or Milk Alternative
Cow’s milk is rich in calcium, B vitamins, and protein. Dairy-free alternatives provide different benefits depending on which kind you choose. There are now options available made from pea protein, bananas, oats, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, macadamia nuts, pecans, cashews, coconuts, and of course the originals: rice, soy, and almond. Soy milk is the most nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk. When choosing a milk alternative, try to limit added sugars, gums, and stabilizers. Some varieties, like cashew or oat milk are creamier, and therefore create a thicker ice cream.
Learn more about the different types of milk in this article: Plant Based Milk vs. Cow’s Milk!
Less Added Sugar
High sugar consumption is not good for health, and in general, most Americans eat way too much. Men should aim to consume less than 9 teaspoons (~36 grams) of sugar per day, and women should aim to consume less than 6 teaspoons (~24 grams) of sugar per day. (1) If you use extra ripe bananas and omit the added sweetener, this recipe is free of added sugars! If you choose to add the extra sweetener, each ½ cup serving contains only ½-1 teaspoon of added sugar; FAR less than regular ice cream, which can have 18-20 grams, or 4-5 teaspoons, in just 1/2 cup!
Banana Nice Cream Serving Suggestions
Banana nice cream makes for a perfect afternoon or evening treat. It’s also a great post-workout recovery snack because it contains muscle-restoring carbohydrates.
What about nice cream for breakfast? Sure! Because this recipe doesn’t contain excess sugar, it can definitely be included as part of a balanced breakfast! Serve alongside scrambled eggs, overnight oats, whole wheat pancakes, or avocado toast for a fun and flavorful meal.
Keep leftover banana nice cream in the freezer for up to 1 month for best quality. Note that the nice cream will solidify after 4-6 hours in the freezer, so you may have to let it sit on the counter for ~15 minutes before serving to achieve desired consistency.
Want more delicious dessert recipes?
Try out these favorite base recipes, and as always, adjust to YOUR taste!
Banana Nice Cream Base Recipe
- 2 extra ripe bananas, peels removed, quartered, frozen
- ¼ cup milk or unsweetened milk alternative
- 2-4 Tablespoons mix-ins (toasted chopped nuts, toasted coconut flakes, mini chocolate chips, etc.)
- 1-2 teaspoons liquid sweetener (if bananas were not super ripe)
- ¼ teaspoon flavor extract
- Dash spice
- Place frozen bananas, milk, and optional ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, using a spatula to scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Serve as is or freeze for 1 hour for a firmer texture.
- Optionally, top with chopped toasted nuts, shaved chocolate, or a sprinkle of spice for a boost in presentation and flavor. Enjoy!