Next to fire, the wheel, written language and almond butter, I think nice cream heads the list of best inventions ever. Whoever was the first to think that freezing a banana and whizzing it into a snack might be a good idea, deserves a medal in my book – if they didn´t already get one.
The base of nice cream – short for banana or nana ice cream – is just that one ingredient: banana. When frozen and chopped up, something magical happens to it: it loses its strong banana flavour and turns fresh, creamy and fluffy instead, leaving you with the easiest, yummiest batch of ice cream ever – within minutes.
Once you´ve started there, you can get creative with your add-ins. I first made banana ice cream a year ago using Maaike´s recipe with strawberries, and never stopped experimenting since. The flavour possibilities are endless, ranging from fruity combinations to matcha, chocolate, nutty and coffee flavours. One of my favourites at the moment is this summery tropical fruit combination, using pineapple, mango and melon.
Simply whizz together into creamy bliss and top with your favourite fruits. It makes a quick and satisfying breakfast or a healthy and refreshing snack, it will make you hugely popular among the people you serve it to and it truly, honestly makes you and your children forget about the existence of the icecream shop downtown.
What could be better? I tell you: not much.
Mango, melon and pineapple nice cream – fills 4 snack bowls or 2 breakfast bowls
- 2 bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen for at least 3 hours, or overnight
- 1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks, frozen
- 1 cup of melon scoopings, frozen
- cheeks of a small mango, coursely chopped
- extra mango, melon scoops, coconut shavings and berries of choice, to top
Put the frozen banana slices, pineapple and melon chunks straight from the freezer into the mixing bowl of a food processor. Add the mango chunks and pulse the fruit to fine crumbs. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl, then whizz until the mixture changes consistency, turning from crumbly, to smooth and dense, to creamy and fluffy. It may take some time and intermittent scraping around the sides of the bowl, but I can promise you, your patience will make all the difference.
Enjoy immediately, topped with extra fruits and coconut shavings to taste, or return to the freezer to solidify. Take out of the freezer ten minutes before using, then serve in neat scoops.
How smooth your nice cream gets, depends on the power of your food processor. If you find it gets into trouble chopping up solid frozen fruits, you can choose to combine frozen banana with fresh, unfrozen fruits instead, or just leave everything to thaw a bit before chopping. Slicing your banana instead of using big chunks, separating the frozen pieces before tipping them into the processor bowl and helping your food processor a bit by breaking up stubborn clusters with a fork halfway the process, makes a difference as well.