What a better way to start off the summer with an excuse to eat more ice-cream? I am finally publishing my Guide to Healthy Ice-Cream Popsicles which I have been wanting to publish for months now. People often ask me if I do miss milk-based ice-creams and honestly speaking since I was introduced to the concept of nicecream, I have never looked back to ordinary ice-cream again. In fact, I find nicecream* to be so much more flavorful than traditional ice-cream based alternatives. *If you are a total newbie to nicecream: it is literally just frozen thinly sliced bananas blended into a thick ice-cream like texture.
But aside from blending frozen bananas, there are so many other ways and ingredients to create healthy plantbased ice-cream versions that most of us don’t know of. During my research I even found some brilliant alternatives that I had never heard of myself such as avocado icecream. In case anyone tried using avocado to make ice-cream give me a shout out! So lets shed some light into the art of making healthy plantbased ice-cream popsicles and my Guide to healthy ice-cream popsicles will hopefully help you to do that. I am going to cover 4 basic ice-cream bases, healthy options for toppings, sweeteners and the tools you need to make all of this happen. Plus, 2 recipes for you to give you some inspiration on what’s possible.
As the bases of a healthy plant based ice-cream you have 4 options. There is a coconut milk basis, a cashew basis, avocado basis or the nicecream version. Alternatively, you could also start mixing them if you prefer. So let me share 4 recipes with you that create a creamy and slightly plantbased ice-cream bases. For each recipe, blend all ingredients together, pour into your popsicle moulds and freeze for 2 hours.
– coconut milk
If you love the fresh subtle flavor of coconut you will devour this ice-cream. If you add a good portion of almond butter, this ice-cream gets a super nutty and creamy note. Add 1 can full-fat coconut milk + 1/2 tsp ground vanilla + 3 tbsp almond butter + 4 tbsp rice syrup + 1 tbsp shredded coconut (optional) to your blender, pour into moulds and freeze.
Cashew ice-cream is sooo good! By the way, this is also the basis for my legendary Vegan Peanut Butter Magnum. Athough cashew butter might be a bit on the pricier side of things but it is worth the splurge here (or make your own even). On the other hand, vegan store bought ice-cream is also not a cheap treat and at least here you know exactly what’s in it when making your own ice-cream. Add 1/2 cup cashews (pre-soaked in water for 4 hours and drained) + 1/2 tsp ground vanilla + 1/2 cup almond/coconut milk + 4 tbsp rice syrup + good pinch of salt (optional) to your blender, pour into moulds and freeze.
– banana (nicecream)
This is probably my favorite. I mean, how can you beta ice-cream that sugarfree and so tasty and flavorful, plus peanut butter is my go to in any dessert. Because the bananas are ideally really ripe and super sweet in itself, there is no need for any extra sweeteners. Since you have to slice and freeze the bananas beforehand, it adds a bit more prep time. But on the other hand its great since it’s an instant ice-cream when you have the bananas ready in your freezer you whip up ice-cream or nice cream in no time. Add 4 sliced frozen bananas + 1/2 tsp ground vanilla + 1 cup peanut butter + 3-4 tbsp almond milk to your blender, pour into moulds and freeze.
the avocado base is my latest discovery and if you are wondering how this will taste, it doesn’t taste like avocado but gives you the creaminess of the fruit into your ice-cream. Therefore, it’s perfect for chocolate ice-cream and great if you love a green colored ice-cream. Add 1 1/2 avocados + 1 teaspoon lemon juice + 1 can full-fat coconut milk + 1/3 cup brown rice syrup/maple to your blender, pour into moulds and freeze.
Here you can go for any classic plantbased sweetener of your choice. I love maple syrup as it add a lot of flavor not only sweetness. But if you want a sugarfree ice-cream mix in date puree which you make from soft dates pureed with a little plant milk. Finally, using dates just consider that the colour of the ice-cream will become a bit darker.
Toppings & Add On’s
No guide to healthy ice-cream popsicles without toppings, right? I mean, where would Ben&Jerry be without topping and add on’s? Nowhere! Also, toppings are the invention since chocolate. Yes? Let’s do it! There are so many definitely much more healthy ingredients you can add to make your creations a taste bomb.
- Nutbutters to create swirls
- Rawnola/granola + roasted walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias + raw chocolate
- Nutritional powders like spirulina, maca, reishi
- Antioxidants: blueberries, goji berries, blackberries, cinnamon, turmeric
- Wake me up’s: coffee & matcha & earl grey powder
- Special treats: sprinkles, caramelised popcorn
I am not recommending much on the side of tools because really you don’t need much to whip up a wonderful nicecream. But 2 items will make yur life much easier and your ice-cream making a lot of fun. First of, it really pays to have a good blender. If you are making nicecream or coconut based ice-creams you want that really soft silky texture. And with a high quality blender you won’t run into any issues when blending up cashews or the avocado. I do use the Vitamix but any strong one will do. Secondly, if your ice-cream heart beats for cool popsicles like mine does, invest in some fancy silicone moulds. They are just so easy tu use: pour in the ice-cream, add your toppings, push in the stick and off to the fridge. They release super easy and are a breeze to clean. I do use mine as chocolate moulds for raw chcocolate too.
Peanut Butter Nicecream
- 3 bananas
- 3 tbsp crunchy penaut butter
- 4 tbsp almond milk
- real ground vanilla
- decorate with: cacao nibs, almonds, rawnola, walnuts, raw chocolate pieces, extra peanut butter
Blend well and pour mixture into the moulds. Then, freeze for 2 hours minimum and enjoy. Optionally, coat with chocolate!
- 1½ cups almond milk
- 1 cup soft dates, pitted – is this going to get brown?
- 1 tsp spirulina
- ¼ tsp ground vanilla
- 1 cup cashew butter
- 1 tsp salt
- decorate with: sprinkles and coconut flakes
Blend well and pour mixture into the moulds. Then, add your sprinkles and freeze for 2 hours minimum and enjoy.
If you enjoyed my Guide to healthy ice-cream popsicles, you might want to check out some more plantbased utterly delicious ice-cream recipes: Vegan Peanut Butter Magnum, White Coconut Ice-Cream Pralines, Dragonfruit Popsicles with Chocolate Core.