The best moment about becoming a vegan has to be the day you first hear about banana ice cream, aka nicecream. For a lot of people, this will be in the early stages of veganism, in which scrolling through Instagram or trawling sites for food inspiration is a common activity. For some reason this phenomenon doesn’t seem to have spread much outside the vegan community, but I think this makes a brilliant breakfast, regardless of your diet choices.
Either way, once you’ve discovered nicecream there’s no way to not see it on social media; it seems to pop up everywhere. And once you’ve tasted it yourself, there is no way to go back: ice cream really is the best breakfast, and now that childhood dream can be fulfilled in a healthy way!
All you need to make the simplest type of nicecream is bananas. That’s it, one ingredient. Chop up and freeze around three bananas, and then using a relatively robust food processor, blend these chunks until smooth. If you leave the bananas out of the freezer for a minute or two before blending, it makes it a lot easier – similarly, adding a drop of water, juice or plant-based milk can help too.
Add a handful of raspberries, mango, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi or a combination of these to your basic mix to get a zingy burst. The most refreshing way to wake up in summer.
Who said ice cream is limited to the warm months of the year? A spoonful of biscuit spread* (the yummiest thing ever to eat straight from the jar – even better than, dare I say it, nutella…) or a sprinkle of mixed spices can make a great midweek swap out for your normal bowl of porridge.
To make a breakfast really worth leaving bed for, add a few spoonfuls of vegan hot chocolate powder (or equal parts cocoa powder and golden caster sugar) and a drop of vanilla extract to your basic nicecream mix.
This has got to be one of the best breakfasts in the world – blend a handful of dates in with your bananas (this gives it a caramel flavour), and once smooth add a couple of spoonfuls of hot chocolate powder (or cocoa powder/sugar mix), a teaspoon of peanut butter and a drop of vanilla extract.
As I just mentioned, peanut butter is delicious in nicecream, but I haven’t yet experimented with other nutty flavours. I think ground up almonds/hazelnuts could be delicious though, or maybe another kind of nut spread.
If you want to really up your nicecream game, there’s a whole bunch of superfood powders to explore. I don’t generally go for these because frankly they’re pretty expensive, and I’m also slightly suspicious about many of the health benefits they claim to have. However, if I am adding these, I’ll generally try to match the colour of the powder to whatever other ingredients I’m adding – so pink/red powders (often acai, goji, beetroot, etc.) I’ll put with berries, and green powders (normally spirulina, barleygrass, chlorella, etc.) with kiwi.
The ones I have in my cupboard at the moment:
Flavours I’ve Yet To Try
There are endless possibilities for nicecream – I’d really like to try orange or mint one day. If you have any flavour suggestions, let me know in the comments so I can try them out!
Of course nicecream is great as it is; its simplicity is one of the best things about it. But what about those days when you want something a little extra? Here are the sorts of things I sometimes put on nicecream:
- Chopped nuts/seeds, desiccated coconut
- Fresh chopped fruit
- Cacao nibs
- Granola (check it has no honey in it, or make your own!)
- Crumbled oreos/other vegan biscuits (not quite so healthy but very yummy)
- Homemade sauces
If nicecream is something you’ve never tried, you may be feeling a little sceptical at this point – I welcome you to give it a go before turning it down though, it is truly delicious and has the texture of soft serve ice-cream. Smooth, creamy and perfect for a healthy morning energy boost!
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