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JackFruit Banana Nice-Cream

There are so many wonderful ways to make whole-food plant-based/vegan ice cream, (also known as nice-cream), that you could easily have a different flavor each day of the year.

What's fantastic about nice-cream is that, on top of being delicious and a much healthier alternative to regular ice-cream made almost entirely of dairy and added sugar, nice-cream is also super easy to make. All you need is a high-speed blender. The more powerful one you have the better in this case, but even if it's not super powerful you can still manage, it just might take a bit longer.

Vegan or plant-based ice-cream is usually made with a "cream" base that comes from either bananas (making it also a whole-foods recipe) or with canned coconut milk (not so bad either).

Of course you can also easily make the not-at-all-creamy version of ice-cream known as sorbet or sherbet. And in that case you wouldn't need to worry about the "cream" at all.

But I personally find that my craving for sorbets is satisfied, almost daily, with smoothies, (sure, it's not the same, but it works for me) and when I'm craving ice-cream I'm not satisfied with fruit and ice, I need a little bit of that "cream" in it as well. So I turn to the nice-cream and I base it on either bananas or coconut milk.

In this post I'll share with you how I make the whole-foods nice-cream, using bananas as base and jackfruit as the main flavor.


I first had jackfruit when I was backpacking through Southeast Asia and I fell in love with it. Though, it's not my favorite fruit, (my favorite fruit trinity, as I call them, are melons, papayas and blueberries), it's definitely up there.

I have found that people generally enjoy the taste of jackfruit, but have a bit of a problem with its texture as it can be hard to chew when eater raw. It's because jackfruits are quite fibrous. So fibrous, in fact, that they are often used as plant-based meat alternatives for shredded pork or chicken!

Jackfruit is packed with many vitamins, (especially vitamin A, B6, B2 and C), and lots of antioxidants. A cup of sliced jackfruit (about 165g) contains 15% of your daily recommended amount of Magnesium, 14% of Potassium, 15% of Copper and 16% of the daily recommended amount of Manganese as well as many other minerals. Though most of the calories in jackfruit come from carbohydrates, (it is fruit after all), for a fruit it is actually quite high in protein. There's 2.4g of protein in a cup (165g) of jackfruit. I know it doesn't seem like much, but just consider that the same amount of pineapple gives you 0.9g protein and mango 0.8g, so 2.4g is quite high for a fruit.


Jackfruit is a tropical fruit and doesn't really grow outside of south and southeast Asia, so it's really hard to get fresh jackfruit outside of that part of the world. But I've recently found in a can and though I'm generally not a fan of canned fruit, (especially that it usually comes with a ton of completely unnecessary added sugar or syrup), I decided to get it, because I really missed it.


If you're lucky enough to find canned unsweetened yellow jackfruit then that's great, but chances are what you'll find will have some added sugar. In that case, I'd recommend not only draining the liquid but also rinsing the fruits well with water to get rid of as much of that syrup as possible. Don't worry, jackfruit is usually so sweet on its own you will not miss the syrup. Just make sure you get the yellow jackfruit, because the green/young kind isn't sweet and that's the one often used to as shredded meat substitute in plant-based cuisine. I think it goes without saying that it wouldn't work in this particular recipe.

And speaking of the recipe, here's what you will need: ripe yellow jackfruit, frozen bananas, half a peach (optional, but I recommend adding it in). I also like to add a little bit of ground cardamom. In terms of kitchen appliances, you'll only need a blender. Now, depending on your blender (it's power and whether or not it came with a tamper) you might need to add some water to get it moving.

Here's the recipe:



Jackfruit Banana Nice-Cream Recipe


Ingredients:

  • Ripe Yellow Jackfruit, fresh or canned - approx. 200g ~ 1 1/4 cup (in my case it was the content of 1 can, drained and rinsed well)

  • Bananas, frozen* - approx. 250g ~ 1 1/3 cup

  • Peach** - 1/2 a peach ~ 60g ~ 1/3 cup

  • Cardamom - 1/4 tsp

  • (optional: 1/8 cup of water or plant-based milk- only if you blender needs some help)


Method:

  • Cut the jackfruit and the frozen bananas into large chunks, just to make it easier on your blender. And add them to the blender.

  • If you care about the visual presentation and want your nice-cream to be pure yellow you might want to peal the peach before you throw it in the blender. But I always recommend washing it well and leaving the skin on for the extra fiber. Either way, make sure you take the pit out, break or cut the peach into smaller chunks and add the appropriate amount to your blender.

  • Add in the cardamom.

  • Now, if your blender is very powerful and/or if you have a tamper I recommend blending it all just like that- just the fruit (and cardamom). However, if you find that your blender is having a hard time you might want to add a little bit of water/plant-base milk to get it going.

  • Blend until super-smooth.

  • If you added some liquid or took your time and your mixture resembles a smoothie rather than ice-cream you might want to pop it in your freezer for 10-30min so it freezes a bit more.

* Bananas- make sure you freeze your bananas when they are very ripe, (or just use a ripe banana, however in that case, you'll definitely want to freeze your blended smoothie-like mixture before it can be called nice-cream.

**Peach - adding the peach is optional, but I do recommend adding it in. You can also substitute it for an equal amount of nectarines.


If you don't serve all of the nice-cream right away, freeze the leftovers as soon as possible, before they thaw completely. Next time you want to have some you might find that it's a bit too frozen (being stored in your freezer for some time), so I do recommend taking it out and letting it thaw for a little while in your bowl until it reaches the desired creamy consistency.

You can also make it into popsicles using the proper molds for that or you can just DIY it using some empty yogurt containers and spoons.


This delicious dessert is fantastic on its own, but it also tasted amazing paired with a nice warm crumble, such as this Rhubarb Strawberry Oat Crumble or even with some crunchy homemade granola (recipe coming soon!).

However you decide to have it, I hope you find it as tasty as I do!







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