Bowl of Strawberry Nice Cream that is an easy and healthy treat

Strawberry Nice Cream: Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

By: Caitlin Fontana

There’s nothing like the flavor and smell of strawberries to usher in sweet memories of long summer days, berry picking or backyard picnics. And strawberry ice cream is one of the most popular ways to enjoy this delicious fruit.

But ice cream is off the menu for some, especially for those who are vegan, or avoiding dairy or added sugar, or simply counting calories. Coconut milk ice cream or other vegan ice creams might fill in for regular ice cream, but there is another way.

Make your own healthy frozen treat with this Strawberry Nice Cream recipe. With two simple ingredients, it is easy to make this creamy vegan dessert.

What is nice cream?

Simply put, nice cream is a fruit-based vegan ice cream. (And the word "cream" refers to the creaminess of the texture; this is a dairy free ice cream alternative.) It is a low-calorie, low-fat, gluten-free, plant-based alternative to traditional ice cream. Frozen bananas are typically used to make a creamy base. Then you can add your preferred fruits, nuts, seeds, vanilla extract or even chocolate to it.

Note: Not all fruit-based vegan ice cream recipes are necessarily low-calorie—for example, using coconut chunks and full-fat coconut milk will make this a heavier frozen dessert—so the term "nice cream" is usually reserved for recipes that have banana as the base.

Is vegan ice cream healthier than ice cream?

With no added sugar, nice cream is definitely healthier than ice cream. Ice cream has added sugar and fat, and the traditional ice cream recipe is NOT vegan or dairy-free. Also, many ice creams are highly processed and include ingredients like artificial flavors, dyes and additives. This vegan ice cream recipe is made up of all-natural unprocessed ingredients and naturally occurring sugar, fructose.

Ice cream can be enjoyed occasionally as part of a healthy diet, but this dairy-free ice cream alternative is a better-for-you choice.

Is vegan ice cream lactose free?

Like all vegan products, this strawberry nice cream is lactose free. Almond milk is an optional ingredient in this recipe, but other nut milks, such as coconut milk or cashew-based milk, would work as well. Vegan ice creams are by definition dairy-free and replace milk and cream with nut milks or soy milk, which tend to be higher in monounsaturated fats (awesome for heart health) and lower in saturated fats.

Is vegan ice cream gluten-free?

Although vegan ice cream is always lactose free, it is not always gluten-free. Standard flavors like vanilla, coffee or strawberry are likely to be gluten-free. But other vegan ice cream additives, starches or flavors may contain gluten. Always double-check the ingredients before diving into ice cream. Some ice cream flavors, such as cookies and cream, cookie dough, and birthday cake, usually contain gluten.

Is vegan ice cream keto?

Vegan nice cream is typically NOT keto. Nice creams use fruit as their main ingredients, which contain a lot of sugar. Although sugar from fruit is natural, it is not suitable for a keto diet. (If you want to try making your own plant-based keto ice cream, a vanilla pea protein powder is a good base, and chunks of coconut can add creaminess without as much sugar as bananas.)

What does nice cream taste like?

Nice cream can be made in many different flavors, all of which resemble ice cream. It has a soft, creamy texture and can be made in minutes as long as you have frozen fruits on hand. Most nice creams include frozen bananas because they provide a creamy, healthy base for your treat! That means they will have a trace of banana flavor. But there are many other flavors to choose from, including strawberry, chocolate, peanut butter, raspberry, mocha, blueberry, salted caramel and more. (Note: if you prefer banana ice cream flavor, just use bananas and vanilla extract, skipping these other toss ins!)

How to make strawberry nice cream: A healthy recipe

This healthy strawberry nice cream only calls for two main ingredients and couldn’t be easier to make:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (if necessary)

Preparation

You don’t need much to make this delicious dessert, not even an ice cream maker. You will need a food processor or powerful blender to break the frozen fruit down into your ice cream base, creating a traditional no-churn texture.

  1. Prepare your frozen strawberries and bananas. You can buy these fruits pre-frozen in the store or buy them fresh (although fresh strawberries can be very expensive!), cut them into slices and store them in the freezer until they harden. (Pro tip: freeze browner bananas rather than ripe bananas for a sweeter dessert.)
  2. Using a food processor is ideal for making banana nice cream. It works best at moving all the frozen ingredients around and processing them into a creamy texture.
  3. Add your frozen banana slices or chunks and frozen strawberries to the food processor set on a high speed. It will be very loud at first as it breaks up.
  4. Process the fruit until smooth. You will most likely need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides once or twice. If certain chunks are simply not breaking apart, add 1 tbsp of almond milk or coconut milk. Keep adding at this increment until everything turns creamy. (Be careful how much nut or coconut milk you use. It may make this too watery.)
  5. For soft serve texture, serve the strawberry nice cream right after blending. For firmer ice cream consistency, transfer the nice cream to a container and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Nutritional Values

Servings: 1

Calories: 154
Total Fat: .85 g
Carbs: 38.78 g
Sugars: 21.97 g
Protein: 2.32 g
Sodium: 2.72 mg
Fiber: 6.15 g

Is strawberry nice cream good for you? Health benefits

This vegan strawberry ice cream has a number of health benefits. It is nutrient rich and low in fat, particularly when compared with regular ice cream. The frozen bananas are packed with potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, and they support heart health and digestive health. The strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants, anti-aging powerhouses that help protect against oxidative stress and support already-healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Strawberries also contain fisetin, which helps your body clear senescent cells so your body can function as it did when it was younger.

Like other plant polyphenols, fisetin is a flavonol with antioxidant properties. It encourages a healthy inflammatory response and supports healthy aging.

Strawberries are considered the best food source of fisetin, followed by apples and persimmons. Fisetin is also found in the following:

  • Grapes
  • Onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Kiwi
  • Kale
  • Peach
  • Mangoes

Could nice cream provide enough fisetin?

Well, you’d have to eat a lot of it! And while nice cream is lower-calorie than commercial ice cream because dairy-free nice creams skip the added sugar, you can still have too much of a good thing! Nice cream has natural carbs and calories that can add up, so like any treat or snack, it should be eaten in moderation. That means this frozen dessert can add to your fisetin intake, but it shouldn’t be relied on to provide all that your body needs.

Fisetin supplements

Want to support your health and youthfulness at the cellular level? A fisetin supplement can help ensure you get enough of this beneficial antioxidant in your diet. In addition to helping your body clear senescent cells, fisetin supports brain health and brain function. Fisetin also supports healthy glucose metabolism, which helps protect eye and kidney health

Fisetin on its own can be hard for the body to absorb, so Life Extension’s supplement combines this nutrient with fenugreek fibers to create a fisetin formula that is up to 25 times more bioavailable. That means it circulates in your body longer to give you the maximum brain, cell and longevity benefits.

Not sure what your body needs to support your longevity and well-being? This supplement quiz may help you decide!

About the Author: Caitlin Fontana is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY with a Bachelor of Science in Communications & Marketing. She is a content and social media expert with experience in social media, digital marketing, blogging, content managing & so much more! Her passion for nutrition, cooking, wellness and fitness is what inspired her to start her health & wellness blog, The Clean Eater. https://www.thecleaneater.com

Sources:

Scientifically Reviewed By: Holli Ryan, RD, LD/N

By: Caitlin Fontana