Tired of scrolling through Instagram, only to be bombarded with “the best ever” non-dairy, gluten-free, sugar-free "nice cream" recipes? Thanks to these innovative and health-focused companies, you can satisfy that craving for a frozen sweet treat without stockpiling your freezer with frozen bananas.
What was once reserved to the vegan and raw communities, the idea of blending overripe, frozen bananas into a soft-serve consistency has become mainstream. Simply scroll through Buzzfeed, SHAPE, or PopSugar and you’ll notice the “nice cream” trend. Its popularity is not pure hype; the invention is quite genius and it mimics the texture of soft-serve surprisingly well. The countless recipes posted on blogs, digital publications, and food-centered Instagram accounts have proven that nice cream is also exceptionally customizable, which has fueled the constant barrage of “new” recipes. However, no matter what one adds, it is exceedingly difficult to escape the prominent taste of bananas. Plus, going heavy on additional ingredients - especially calorically dense mix-ins such as nut butters - almost defeats the purpose of this healthy alternative to traditional ice cream.
Banana nice cream is a terrific option for a quick fix, but the trend has become fatigued. Innovators in the health and wellness space are beginning to discover exciting alternatives, and thanks to companies like Frozen Fruit Co., Snow Monkey, and Pressed Juicery, many people across the United States now have access to these products through store fronts and grocers. Save those overripe bananas for your smoothies. Next time the ice cream craving calls, indulgent it with one of these new nice creams, uphold your healthy habits, and be part of the new frozen treat trend.
1. Frozen Fruit Co.
Based in Santa Monica, Calif., the Frozen Fruit Co. opened just over a year ago by two former British attorneys who wanted to kick their ice cream addition without giving up their nightly simple pleasure. After years of experimenting and planning, this power couple concocted a sweet treat made from minimal, all-fruit ingredients, completely devoid of bananas. For example, the raspberry orange flavor - which clocks in a twenty-five calories per ounce - only contains raspberries and oranges. Co-founder Michael emphasized that they use the whole fruit, pulp and all, “We want the fruit to do the work.” For a more indulgent option, they offer a chocolate flavor and various natural toppings.
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2. Snow Monkey
For those of us not fortunate enough to live within reasonable driving distance of Santa Monica, Snow Monkey has created a hard-pack option you can purchase in stores - just keep walking past that Haagen Dazs. Developed by two collegiate athletes, the product is packed with plant-based super foods such as goji berries and hemp to deliver both taste and nutritional functionality. For now, consumers can choose from two flavors, Cacao and Goji, though three more are expected to hit shelves in the Fall. Co-founder Rachel said she will often start with Goji in the morning and conclude the day with a generous scoop of Cacao at night. Each pint contains just under four hundred calories, less than twelve grams of fat, and a walloping twenty grams of protein. Yes, pint. Next time you need to lie on the couch and console yourself with ice cream, reach for some Snow Monkey to justify polishing off the pint.
3. Pressed Juicery Freeze
What began as a national juice chain, Pressed expanded into the soft-serve world with the invention of Freeze. A Freeze is simply juice, poured through a soft-serve style machine that transforms the juice into a creamy frozen dessert. You get the same velvety texture of banana-based nice cream without the omnipresent taste of bananas. The juice is entirely created from whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, vanilla beans, and sea salt. The product is swirled high to mountainous proportions and doused - if desired - with a medley of raw sauces and toppings. For a refreshing treat, the matcha with raspberries will hit the spot. To tame the sugar craving, opt for the chocolate and vanilla side by side, drizzled with cacao, almond butter, and granola. Calories range from forty to eighty per four ounce serving, excluding toppings.
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