We may not be kids anymore, but we still practically scream for the ice cream truck in the summer. (And if it came around in the winter, we’d probably do it then, too.)
Here’s the thing, though: If you’re watching your weight, trying to cut hard-to-pronounce ingredients out of your life, or are lactose intolerant (an adulthood struggle many of us know all too well), regular ol’ ice cream may not have much of a spot in your daily grub. And that’s a little heartbreaking.
With a quality food processor and a few creative ingredients, you can still get your ice cream fix without messing with your stomach or healthy-eating goals. You probably know these healthified ice cream concoctions as ‘nice cream,’ and we rounded up the best recipes the internet has to offer—along with a few straight from our in-house nutritionists—to turn around your dessert game.
1. Banana Almond Butter Nice Cream
‘Naners and nut butter are a match made in heaven, whether in a smoothie, a sandwich, or on their own. This two-ingredient nice cream recipe from Shana Brierley, nutritionist for The Vitamin Shoppe, couldn’t be any easier to make. It’s a quick save when ice cream cravings strike.
- 2 bananas, frozen
- 1-2 Tbsp almond butter
Blend the two ingredients in the food processor until creamy and, voila! Brierley loves this blend because it’s free of added sugar and contains less than a gram of saturated fat (compared to about five grams in the regular stuff). Try topping yours with chopped almonds for extra crunch.
2. Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream
There’s simply no way to enjoy the wonderful green of chocolate chip mint ice cream without artificial colors, right? Wrong. Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe is an all-natural alternative to the refreshing ice cream flavor.
Frozen bananas, peppermint extract, coconut cream, and dark chocolate chips hop into the blender along with a pinch of salt and spirulina (for that green color) for a mint chocolate chip nice cream that takes just five minutes to make. Those green superfoods sure come in handy!
3. Mango Frozen Greek Yogurt
Feeling tropical? Brierley’s healthy fro-yo packs fruity frozen drink flavor, without the sugar hangover.
- 2 cups mango chunks, frozen
- 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
Blend the two ingredients in the food processor until creamy. Top with unsweetened shredded coconut for healthy fats and extra flavor. And because this mix packs protein from the Greek yogurt, it’s super satisfying, Brierley says.
4. Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean NIce Cream
This healthy take on the most classic ice cream flavor in the land takes added sugar and funky ingredients out of the equation—without sacrificing the distinct sweetness of vanilla bean. The Vitamin Shoppe nutritionist Karen Cooney, R.D., loves this recipe for its wholesome ingredients.
- 1 can organic full fat coconut milk
- ½ cup soft pitted dates (about 8)
- 1 vanilla bean (soaked overnight) or ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups almond milk
- 1 tsp guar gum (optional thickener)
Puree coconut milk, dates, and vanilla in the blender until smooth. Then add the almond milk and thickener, and puree until smooth. Pour into a bread pan-sized dish and freeze for a few hours before serving. (Recipe makes about a quart.)
5. Dark Chocolate NIce Cream
This one’s for you, chocolate lovers! The Beaming Baker’s dark chocolate nice cream requires just four simple ingredients—and comes together much quicker than a batch of brownies.
Blend frozen bananas, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Enjoy your nice cream immediately if you’re into melty—otherwise freeze for a few hours before serving. This delicious chocolatey base practically begs for fun add-ins or toppings, like cacao nibs or berries.
6. Vanilla Oatmeal Nice Cream
All the comforts of grandma’s best cookies and our go-to breakfast have transformed into your new favorite summer treat. This nice cream recipe from Feasting On Fruit combines coconut milk, rolled oats, dates, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt, for a simple yet tasty spoonful. To bump up the oatmeal flavor, we’ll be adding a pinch of cinnamon—and perhaps some chocolate chips or raisins—to our bowl.
7. Strawberry Banana Nice Cream
Whether you’re trying to sneak more fruit into your kids’ diet or just trying to cool off while you enjoy some yourself, Cooney’s all-fruit nice cream is the way to do it. With an all-fruit and non-dairy base, this simple recipe lets its natural flavors speak for themselves.
- 4 bananas
- 4 cups strawberries
- 1 tsp stevia
Put berries in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with stevia. Microwave for a minute to dissolve the stevia. Then add the berries and bananas to the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a freezer-safe bowl or baking dish and let harden for about two hours.
8. Dairy-Free Coffee Nice Cream
Get your java fix while satisfying your sweet tooth with this nice cream recipe from My Crazy Good Life. Just brew up some strong espresso, let it cool, and blend it with frozen bananas, vanilla extract, and a drizzle of honey. We’ll be replacing our travel mug with a bowl and a spoon, please.