Nice cream: plant-based, no-waste, no-sugar ice cream recipe


Nice cream


Time:          prep. 5 mins
                    freez. min 3 hrs
Difficulty:   easy
Yields:        2 portions
Cost:           low


The nice cream recipe should be taught in schools! And this is not an impossible dream, there are those who really do go to primary school and bring home these fun and entertaining tasks; above all, instructive for the kids, because they are based on the importance of healthy nutrition and how to replace industrial and highly processed foods with simple and natural ones; all made simple thanks to practical steps.
If your child’s school does not yet take such laudable initiatives, propose them at home, starting with today’s recipe.


Industrial ice cream is good for the psyche; less so for health and the environment

We are all aware that ultra-processed and industrial foods are bad for our health and also bad for the planet; but I don’t know what the reason is, when it comes to ice cream we all become more compliant.
The truth, the hard truth on the other hand, is that almost all the milk used in the production of industrial ice cream comes from intensive livestock farms; the ice cream bar/cone you buy contains almost as much sugar (17g of sugar per 1 best-selling ice cream cone) as the world’s most famous red can; the packaging and the cold chain to keep ice cream compulsorily below -18°C, cause a high carbon footprint.
Alas, we associate ice cream with the sweet memories of childhood; and so we probably overlook the evidence, lest we deprive ourselves of those feelings of pure joy.
So here’s the solution: without completely eliminating the word ice cream from our vocabulary, let’s make a really good one, and not just for the palate!
Of course, in order to respect the Codex Alimentarius, we will call it “mock ice cream or better n-ice cream”, at the end it is really nicer than the original.

Definition of ice cream according to FAO Codex Alimentarius standards

Ice cream: a product that uses raw milk and dairy products as main ingredients; and is made by adding food and other ingredients and/or additives; then freezing or hardening all ingredients

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How can n-ice cream be better than industrial ice cream

As said above nice cream is definitely better than the original in many ways. Let’s see why:

– n-ice cream is good for your health, since it contains few sugars (zero added sugars, only the natural ones from fruit), few fats (only those from yoghurt), zero preservatives and synthetic (and non-synthetic) additives, zero gluten, zero lactose.

– n-ice cream is good for the budget, having only three ingredients, which are also readily available; it therefore costs a pittance, especially if you also make your own yoghurt (you can use this recipe).

– and finally, n-ice cream is good for the environment, since it has zero plastic and, since it does not have to be stored for long periods of time (and often under the sun, as happens with freezers used for industrial ice cream), it has a very low environmental impact.

As I explained in the recipe for
healthy banana-free ice cream, unless you live in tropical countries, the word banana cannot normally be associated with an ethical choice, because of the journey that brings them from overseas to our tables (if you live in Europe like me), and the conditions of the workers (sometimes even with the ‘fair trade’ logo) are far from being ethical.
So in order to make our nice cream as sustainable as possible, let us limit ourselves to making it not every day of the summer, but by reducing the frequency, let’s say no more than once a week; or by avoiding buying imported bananas: in my case, living in the semi-tropical climate of the Algarve (southern Portugal), during the summer and autumn, I can have this delicious fruit at zero kilometres.
I am lucky indeed! But the CHE took the oath of inclusiveness; which is why I cannot forget friends and relatives who do not enjoy the same good fortune as I do: Since you would have to wait until the end of summer for local bananas, with the consequent ‘loss of desire’ due to the grey skies, buy only overripe bananas, thus helping to reduce the waste of a food with a high carbon footprint.
You will also significantly improve on the budget-friendliness: brown bananas cost often 50% off!
Having thus also solved the ethical issue, we can move on to the shortest ingredient list in the history of gastronomy!

Ingredients for banana nice cream

1 very ripe banana (if local, use 2, as they are much smaller)
150g seasonal fruit
125ml plant-based yoghurt, no added sugar


Cut the ripe banana into slices, place in a container with a lid and place in the freezer.
Carry out the same steps for the seasonal fruit.
Keep them in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours or 1 whole day.
In case you do not own a modern, powerful food processor, take out the frozen fruit 10 minutes before blending it.
Pour the frozen fruit pieces into the container of the food processor and add the yoghurt; then blend the mixture until it becomes a smooth cream.
That’s it, you are ready to serve the nice cream in bowls, or the classic cone; but if you want a more stimulating freshness, transfer the nice cream to the freezer for another hour or so; before eating it let it set outside the freezer for about five minutes.

Optional ingredients

for a more creamy texture

– 1 tablespoon 100% natural peanut butter; or
– 1 tablespoon plant-based cream to blend with the mixture; or
– half an avocado to blend with the mixture; or
– 1 tablespoon of tahini (homemade tahini is also fine)

for extra sweetness

– 1 tablespoon agave syrup; or
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup; or
– 1 tablespoon pekmez (grape molasses); or
– 100 g fresh or dried fruit

for an extra taste

1 tablespoon of fair trade dark chocolate (at least 72%), melted in a bain-marie, to be poured over the ice cream; then add 1 tablespoon of chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, almonds, on top of the chocolate.

Happy nice cream and good revolution to you all


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