Cocoa-Banana ‘Nice’ Cream

 | Grace Higgins
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When it comes to vegan desserts, there’s always one department that seems to be lacking: ice cream. It’s hard to mimic the creaminess that comes with dairy desserts. However, for those looking to substitute their typical ice cream for something free from animal products, this cocoa-banana ‘nice’ cream is a great alternative. While the finished product will look and taste unhealthy, it’s actually full of great health benefits and minimal added sugar.

Bananas are full of antioxidants and potassium. They provide a significant amount of fiber as well. Bananas are great to help you feel fuller longer and to boost energy after a workout, as well as prevent several health conditions.

Almond milk is a great non-dairy alternative. Almonds themselves are actually the healthiest nuts in the world due to their multitude of vitamins and minerals. Almond milk can also help to improve function of vital organs.

Cinnamon, particularly ceylon cinnamon, is a great ingredient to promote heart health as well as prevent cancer and other ailments. The antioxidants found in cinnamon work to neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals are among the leading causes of cancer.

Cacao is full of antioxidants and essential nutrients. In fact, raw cacao has 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries. The magnesium content in cacao is great for heart and brain health as well.

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Start by gathering your ingredients:

  • 3 bananas (Special tip: for a sweeter, creamier ‘nice’ cream, use ripe bananas. The riper the banana is, the more similar to traditional ice cream the finished product will taste. You can use frozen or fresh bananas here, depending on your preference.)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (Any flavor is fine, but unsweetened keeps added sugars to a minimum but traditional vanilla will make it sweeter. You can also use other non-dairy milks such as coconut milk as well.)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon provides the most health benefits, but any kind will work. Add more or less depending on your taste preferences.)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cacao (You can add more or less of cacao to your individual taste preferences as well. You can also use a handful of cacao nibs or two to three pieces of vegan dark chocolate too. Just look for a product with little to no added sugar to keep it as healthy as possible.)
  • 5 to 6 ice cubes (The ice will help to fluff up the ‘nice’ cream. If you use fresh bananas instead of frozen, you may need more ice to keep the texture nice and thick. Less ice will make the consistency more like a milkshake rather than standard ice cream. For an added flavor bonus, consider using coffee ice cubes.)

After you gather your ingredients, put them into your food processor or blender. Either device will do the trick, though food processors work better with little amounts of liquid than blenders. Either way, blend the ingredients until they are flowing smoothly.

Serve immediately. You can garnish your ‘nice’ cream with any thing you’d like. Perhaps add a sprinkle of cinnamon or more dark chocolate. This recipe