Blueberry season is finally here! We await local blueberries with eager anticipation as picking is one of our favorite July outings. It is a lovely way to spend a few hours in a rural setting. Most states have listings of pick-your-own farms by county so you can locate one near you. My husband loves to munch as he picks and tries to leave a farm well sated. I, on the other hand, being very task oriented, concentrate on filling my buckets while contemplating what I will do with them. We often pick enough to stock our fridge for a week’s worth and freeze anything beyond that to use off season. Berries are easily frozen in a single layer on a sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet and then stored in a freezer-safe storage jar, box or bag for many months. As I try not to eat sugar, I no longer bake blueberry pies, muffins or cakes, although all of those are delicious uses. Recently, I have been concentrating my efforts on fruit juice sweetened jam and nice cream, a simple frozen concoction of berries and frozen ripe bananas.
No one seems to know the exact origin of the term “Nice Cream”, a vegan blend of frozen banana and whatever fruit or flavoring is added into a soft, sweet but not sugary frozen custard-like treat. I am guessing it came about around the time the Yonanas dessert maker came on the market in 2011. This simple contraption squishes frozen bananas into a soft serve type consistency and is still being sold. Since then, many vegan “nice cream” recipes have been published and continually varied, including berries, mango, cocoa, chocolate chips and nut butters. I like a simple blend of banana and fruit with a little vanilla but use whatever fruit you enjoy (not apples or pears but frozen tropical fruits, berries and stone fruits all work) and see what you can create to please yourself.
BLUEBERRY NICE CREAM
- 2 frozen bananas, cut in chunks
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-3 TBs plant mild or fruit juice like apple, grape or cranberry as needed to get mixture to blend.
- optional-1/2 cup frozen mango
Purée all in a highspeed blender (like a Vitamix) or use a food processor. You might burn out the motor of a regular blender so don’t try it.
If you want to add fresh berries or chocolate chips, stir in once smoothly blended. If you want your frozen treat to be firmer, put it in the freezer for a short time.