We All Scream for Healthier DIY Ice Creams

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By Jessica Hamlin

Summer time is synonymous with ice cream. July is National Ice Cream Month too, as if we need more reasons to dig in to this cool classic. 

But ice cream doesn’t need to be all sugar, dairy or additives you can’t pronounce. Research shows ice cream can be as addicting as drugs—probably not shocking to ice cream fans (see GIF below)—so if this is a real issue for you, ingredients matter. 

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If you have food sensitivities, want to eat more real food and less refined sugar, or enjoy having more than a tiny scoop, tons of yummy recipes are out there so you can scream for ice cream with delight, not frustration.

What is “nice cream?”

“Nice cream” is a trend that usually involves non-dairy “ice cream” made with blended frozen bananas that help lend natural sweetness and a thick texture. Some people love it, others not so much.

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If you’re looking for a creamy treat more similar to traditional ice cream, sometimes “nice cream” applies to ice cream made with non-dairy milk like full-fat coconut milk. For less calories or fat you can try a lower fat coconut milk or a higher fat almond milk, though your ice cream will be less thick.

Whatever your preference, here are some better-for-you easy ice cream recipes for a cool, classic treat minus refined sugar and other stuff your body may not be keen on. 

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Mint Chocolate Chip (N)ice Cream

Chocolate-Covered Katie offers up another delicious, simple, wholesome recipe based on a classic. Try the banana-based "nice cream" version or the milk-based version.

Strawberries & Cream Dairy-Free Ice Cream

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Summer is strawberry season and this sweet fruit also packs a punch of perks. With this Whole Health recipe, all you need is three ingredients for creamy berry bliss.

Matcha Coconut Ice Cream

Many people are mad for the taste of matcha but this supercharged green tea is also good for you. You can get your fix plus matcha benefits in this Matcha Coconut Ice Cream recipe.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Nice Cream

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Peanut butter and chocolate go together like summer and ice cream. Nut or seed butter adds some protein to the mix and good quality unprocessed chocolate and cacao have antioxidants that help protect your cells. Try almond butter if you have peanut sensitivities and unsweetened sunflower seed butter if you’re allergic to nuts.

This dairy-free chocolate peanut butter ice cream recipe uses coconut cream and can be made with or without an ice cream maker.

Make peanut butter chocolate banana soft serve with just those three ingredients!

Mandarin Creamsicle Nice Cream

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Take a stroll down memory lane as you enjoy the flavor of a Creamsicle, but this time with real whole foods and without the refined sugar.

This simple fruit-sweetened recipe for Mandarin Creamsicle Nice Cream looks positively refreshing.

This Stuff is Bananas

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If you like piña coladas…or apple cinnamon or good old plain chocolate, here are 8 more easy vegan soft serve recipes made with bananas.

Happy scooping! 

 

(Thumbnail Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash)


Jessica Hamlin is an LA-born and bred journalist and editor who started taking pictures of food back when everyone used film cameras. A graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s health coach training program, she’s passionate about wellness and enjoys making and discovering delicious and healthy food. Her work has appeared in Clean Plates, NPR affiliate KPCC, AOL, and Eater LA.

 

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