Banana ice cream or nice cream is all the rage. It’s a delicious, healthy and refreshing snack that can be made right in your blender at home. The final product is sweetened by whole fruits and similar to soft serve. But it’s not always the easiest thing to make especially if it’s your first time.
Make Sure the Bananas are Frozen Solid
The first way people mess up banana ice cream or nice cream is by using bananas that are not completely frozen solid. If you’re using half frozen bananas then the end result is going to be liquidy and not that soft-serve texture that you’re looking for. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to peel ripe bananas and make sure they get to sit in the freezer overnight.
NOTE: If the bananas are too hard for your blender, then you will need to let them thaw for a few minutes outside of the freezer, but just know that the more frozen the bananas the thicker the ice cream will be.
Blenders with a Tamper Work Best
A tamper is a device that can push the frozen bananas into the blades without the need for lots of excess liquid to form a vortex. Only certain blenders come with tamping devices and these blenders tend to be the best units for creating banana nice cream.
This is because it forces the frozen bananas into the blades and crushes them into a very thick soft serve. Without a tamper, you may have to stop the blender and shake the ingredients around to get the desired results.
Try Adding a Dash of Vanilla Extract
If you don’t like that straight up banana taste, then adding a pinch of vanilla extract could be a good way to go. It transforms the entire nice cream into something that tastes like vanilla rather than an overly sweet banana taste. The rich flavors of pure vanilla extract make this healthy dish actually taste like ice cream.
Quick Tip: If you can afford vanilla beans, consider a small chunk of the real thing instead. This will cause those small vanilla specks to show up in the vanilla ice cream and make it extremely delicious.
Add Some Cacao Nibs
Do you like chocolate chips? Well, if you’ve never tried cacao nibs then you’re in for a treat. Eaten alone, they can be pretty bitter and hard to get down. But if you blend them into your banana ice cream then they take on a sweet and grainy texture. You’ll never tell they aren’t chocolate chips
Use a Splash of Plant Milk If Needed
Sometimes your blender isn’t powerful enough to crush the frozen bananas themselves. Even if you let them thaw, some weaker models can have trouble forming a vortex and instead will just spin your bananas above the blades rather than blending them.
Good thing to do is to use a small splash of unsweetened soy or almond milk. This will get things going quickly
Add Some Cocoa Powder
If you want to make your final product dark and rich, consider adding some cocoa powder to the blender. Not only does it turn the banana ice cream into a chocolate ice cream, but it adds an additional punch of antioxidants as well. A win-win!
Try Some Cinnamon
Every try a Snickerdoodle cookie? It’s a vanilla cookie mixed with cinnamon and sugar. Simple yet delicious.
You can make your banana ice cream take on the same flavor profile by simply adding a pinch of cinnamon to the blender. If you want to get fancy, add it at the end and pulse once you add the cinnamon to the top. This will create a nice little cinnamon swirl effect.
Sprinkle with Sea Salt
Did you know that adding salt to sweet dishes makes them take on more of a complex and sweeter flavor? It’s a great way to bring out sweet flavor notes without adding sugar.
The key is to NOT throw the sea salt in the blender right away. Instead, sprinkle it on the banana ice cream once it’s done and you’re about to eat it.
Use Oats as Sprinkles
Let’s face it, vanilla or chocolate sprinkles aren’t the healthiest thing on the planet, but you can sprinkle raw oats on top of your banana ice cream and get the same texture that you would from using sprinkles. It adds a nice little crunch to every bite without the guilt.