Strawberry Nice Cream,” or dairy free ice cream, is the perfect fruit based dessert for summer! No ice cream machine needed.
If you're looking for healthy frozen treats to make this summer, I have a good one for you today!
I love making “nice creams” and this is one of my favorites. Made with a base of bananas, frozen strawberries and coconut milk, chocolate chips really take this one over the top. This is every bit as delicious as traditional ice cream. If you have kiddos, this is also a great recipe to make with them!
I strive to make sure my recipes are accessible to everyone and this one does not need an ice cream machine. All you need to is a few basic ingredients and a blender or food processor.
I hope you love it!
Strawberry Nice Cream
- 12 oz frozen strawberries
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk*
- 1 tsp vanilla extract*
- 1 T honey (optional)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- plastic wrap
- Roughly chop ~½ cup frozen strawberries and set aside.
- Combine in a blender or food processor: remainder of frozen strawberries, 3 ripe bananas, ½c coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract & 1T honey (optional).
- Blend on high until smooth. Add water if needed for consistency.
- Transfer to a 9x5 loaf pan.
- Fold in ½ cup chopped strawberries and ½ cup dark chocolate chips.
- Cover with plastic wrap. Store in freezer.
- Remove from freezer, let sit for ~10mins or until soft enough to scoop and serve.
What is “nice cream”?
“Nice cream” is just a fun term for dairy free ice cream, often made with a base of bananas.
Unlike coconut milk ice cream, you don't need an ice cream maker to make it set. If you're dairy free, nice cream is an excellent way to enjoy a frozen treat!
(Psst! if you're dairy free or looking for more dairy free alternatives, make sure to check out my YouTube video on 10 Dairy Free Alternatives to Your Favorite Foods!)
What is the nutrition like for this Strawberry Nice Cream?
For a dessert, Strawberry Nice Cream is quite healthy! It gets almost all of its sweetness from fruit and you can leave out the small amount of honey if you wish. You can also sub cacao nibs for chocolate chips if you want an entirely fruit-sweetened dessert.
This isn't just a healthier alternative to ice cream, it offers some substantial nutritional benefits as well. Here are a few of the highlights:
Bananas (Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Manganese, Potassium)
You've likely heard that bananas have potassium but did you know that they're also a great source of vitamin B6, manganese and vitamin C? Bananas also have a lot of fiber, which is good for healthy digestion and blood sugar regulation. The potassium in bananas is excellent for your heart, for healthy blood pressure and for kidney health.
Strawberries (Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Manganese, Folate, Potassium)
A good source of vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants, strawberries may help prevent heart disease, aid in blood sugar regulation and reduce inflammation. Strawberries are also one of the lowest carb fruits, making them perfect for anyone following a low carb diet.
Coconut Milk (Manganese, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Potassium, Vitamin C, Folate)
Made of the white flesh of coconuts mixed with water, coconut milk is high in manganese, copper, iron, magnesium and selenium. It's also a good source of potassium, vitamin C and folate. Some studies have shown that coconut helps to reduce inflammation, fight bacteria and viruses and fight stomach ulcers. It's of course also an excellent substitute for milk in many dairy free recipes!
Honey has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which are strongest in darker honey. Buy raw local honey when possible as filtering the honey can diminish its nutrients.
Tips for How to Make Nice Cream
Nice cream, or dairy free fruit-based ice cream, is actually quite simple to make. Still, if you've never made it before, I wanted to provide a few tips for success.
- Taste the “batter” for sweetness. Fruit varies greatly in sweetness. You may want to try tasting the mixture before adding the honey, and then add until you reach your desired level of sweetness.
- Experiment with mix-ins. Have fun playing around with the mix-ins in your strawberry nice cream! toasted walnuts, slivered almonds, chopped macadamia nuts. cacao nibs and shredded coconut would all be delicious additions.
- Freeze fully before enjoying, but then let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes before enjoying. I know it's super tempting to dig into this lovely dessert but I recommend freezing for 8 hours or, even better, overnight for maximum deliciousness. You will want to let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes when you're ready to enjoy though, to make it easier to scoop.
I want more delicious, fruit-based desserts!
While I am a chocolate lover at heart, I do have a strong love of fruit-based desserts. There's so much natural sweetness in healthy fruit, why not take advantage of it instead of using less nutritious sweeteners?
If you enjoy healthier desserts like these, our weekly Gluten Free and Paleo meal plans always include a delicious dessert made with clean ingredients. You don't have to choose between denying your sweet tooth and eating healthily!
My Watermelon Pizza is as healthy as it is fun! Arrange the lovely treat in a beautiful display or set out the toppings buffet-style and let everyone make their own creation! This is the perfect summertime dessert for kids and adults alike.
Don't miss my dairy free whipped cream within this recipe. It's made from coconut milk and is every bit as good as regular whipped cream. I also have a quick video with my best tips on making dairy free whipped cream!
Both gluten free and paleo, my peach cobbler is rich, delicious and the perfect celebratory treat.
Nothing beats peaches in summertime, especially here in central Texas, but if it's the wrong time of year for peaches, you can also make my Cherry Cobbler. It uses frozen cherries so you can make it any time the craving strikes, regardless of the time of year!
Made with frozen cherries, my Cherry Mousse has a secret ingredient that makes it ridiculously creamy, despite the lack of any dairy.
Topping the mousse with my dairy free whipped cream takes it over the top.