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Plant-Based Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Butter Nice Cream

By Joey Bruno:

Have you heard about nice cream? It’s made by blending sliced, frozen bananas into a creamy goodness with the consistency of soft serve ice cream and a neutral flavor profile just waiting for modifications to make all of your dessert dreams come true.

It sounds too good to be true, and maybe you haven’t given it a try yet because you can’t imagine that mashed up bananas are really thatgood. Well, it’s time to believe. It really is that good, and this recipe may be the one to convince you.

If you think the only way to enjoy a rich, creamy, extras-packed-in ice cream is to buy a pint from the grocery store (most often complete with ingredients not so great for you), think again! All you need in order to enjoy a creamy, delicious treat is a relatively high-powered blenderin your own kitchen and some frozen bananas. What else you add to them is up to you, but this recipe has a suggestion you definitely should try.

This chocolate almond butter nice cream adds the flavorful depth of cocoa powder and the rich decadence of almond butter to give you a truly indulgent dessert. In fact, these flavors are so powerful that it’s not hard to make something you’ll like just as much as your favorite ice cream brand.

The bananas themselves add the texture, but the rich flavor profile of this dessert comes from the blend of cocoa, vanilla and a little sea salt. The sea salt enhances the sweetness and gives it a taste that’s authentic to real ice cream.

The recipe calls for almond butter, but it’s best not to add all of it directly to the blended ingredients. Instead, make sure it is softened at room temperature (or very briefly in the microwave — see the tips below). It makes for a rich, gooey topping that allows you to have a perfect blend of flavors and textures with every spoonful.

Best of all, this recipe does not require any exotic ingredients, so you are likely to have these common staples on hand already, making it easy to throw together a delicious dessert any time a craving for something sweet and delicious hits you.

It’s hard to believe that something so simple can blend into such a complex and rich dessert, but once you give it a try, you’ll be coming back for more!

TIPS

  • For the thickest banana “nice” cream possible, it helps to have a blender with a tamper (like a Vitamix). The tamper allows you to push the frozen bananas into the blades without needing to stop to adjust the ingredients. I explain more about the tamper mechanics in this video.
  • To make things easier if you don’t have a tamper, be sure to cut the bananas into thin coins before freezing. This will help the blender “catch” them right away.
  • Add more plant-based milk than the recipe recommends if you’re having trouble, and consider moving the ingredients around between a few blending cyclesso that they all catch and form a vortex.
  • To save a few bucks, consider making and storing your own almond butter, as the store-bought variety can get expensive.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter (for blending)
  • 1 Tbsp softened almond butter (for topping)
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened soy or almond milk for blending — add more as needed.

DIRECTIONS

  • Add all ingredients (besides the softened almond butter) to the blender and blend. Add more liquid or adjust ingredients as necessary.
  • If your almond butter is room temperature, it should be relatively soft already; but if not, microwave for 5-10 seconds and mix with a fork to soften.
  • Pour softened almond butter over “nice cream” for a tasty enhancement to every spoonful!

Joey Bruno runs the vegan blog ThriveCuisine.com. You can also find him on YouTube where he gives fun and actionable kitchen tips.

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