The big freeze

Guilt-free ice-cream sounds paradoxical - but this is ‘nice cream’. Its super-healthy secret is bananas!
Mango, Berry & Lime Nice Cream Slice

This is creamy yet refreshing, bursting with goodness, and as pretty as a picture. Try it for breakfast – whip it up for a lovely summery morning and enjoy a great start to the day.

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the base
75g rolled oats
4 pitted Medjool dates
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
½ tbsp maple syrup
½ tbsp unsweetened cacao powder (optional)

For the lime nice cream layer
1 banana, peeled and frozen
½ a ripe avocado
5-6 limes, zest of 3 plus 125mljuice
1 handful fresh raspberries

For the raspberry nice cream layer
1 banana, peeled and frozen
125g fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tbsp coconut yoghurt or tinned coconut milk, chilled (thick part only)
2 tbsp almond milk

For the mango nice cream layer
1 banana, peeled and frozen
160g mango chunks
1 tbsp coconut yoghurt or tinned coconut milk, chilled (thick part only)
2 tbsp almond milk

Toppings
Freeze-dried raspberries
Raspberry powder
Crushed pistachios

Method

Line the inside of a 21 ×11 ×7 cm loaf tin with clingfilm.

For the base, blend all the ingredients together in a food processor, then press into the bottom of the lined loaf tin.

For the lime layer, blend together all the ingredients except the raspberries in a food processor or by hand until thick and creamy. Pour on top of the base, and freeze for 20 minutes, or until firm. Remove from the freezer and scatter over the raspberries.

For the raspberry layer. blend together all the ingredients in a food processor or by hand until thick and creamy. Spread this over the fresh raspberries, and freeze for another 20 minutes to firm up.

For the mango layer, blend together all the ingredients in a food processor or by hand until thick and creamy.Pour on top of the raspberry layer and freeze for 20 minutes, or until firm.

Stick 6 lollipop sticks into the loaf at equal intervals, and sprinkle the surface with the freeze-dried raspberries, raspberry powder and crushed pistachios.

Return to the freeze for at least 2 hours to firm up. When ready to serve, slice into portions and enjoy.

Raspberry & Lime Pops with Edible Flowers 

These little pink beauties are gorgeous inside and out. I love how pretty they are and they just burst with flavour. Raspberries and lime are a match made in heaven.

Makes about 6

Ingredients

125g raspberries
2 bananas, peeled and frozen
250ml almond milk
1 lime, zest and juice
6 edible flowers (or thin slivers of lime)

Method

Blend together the raspberries, frozen bananas, almond milk and lime until thick and creamy.

Run a 6-hole lolly mould or individual moulds (silicon moulds work well) under the tap to help the pops come out easily later.

Lay the flowers or lime slices face-down in the mould(s), and spoon in the nice cream. Tap the mould(s) against the counter to release any air bubbles, insert a lolly stick into each pop, and freeze for at least 6 hours, until solid.

To serve, run the mould(s) under hot water, then unmould and enjoy

TIP: removed from the moulds and wrapped separately withparchment paper, the pops will keep for up to three weeks.

Black Bean Brownie & Choc-Avocado Nice Cream Flowerpot Cakes 

Not a table decoration, watch the surprise on peoples faces when you hand them a spoon and tell them to dig in.

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the black bean brownies
225g dark chocolate, broken into chunks
1×400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
30g cacao powder
2 large eggs
80ml coconut oil, melted
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
Generous pinch of salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp instant coffee granules
2 tsp maple syrup

For the chocolate-avocado nice cream
4 bananas, peeled and frozen
2 tsp almond milk, chilled (thick part only)
1 large ripe avocado
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp brown rice syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
4 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp sea salt

For the Oreo ‘soil’
1×154g packetofOreos

For the flowerpots
6 small clay flowerpots (or 300ml-capacity freezer-safe pots), washed and dried
6 plastic drinking straws
Freshly cut flowers of choice

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 20 ×20 cm baking sheet with baking parchment.

For the brownies, blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Tip onto the prepared baking sheet and smooth into an even layer.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean-ish. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Using a cookie cutter or glass that is roughly the same width as the bottom of your flowerpots, stamp out 6 brownie circles. Dropone into each flowerpot, lightly pressing to ensure they are touching the bottoms.

Hold a straw up against the side of a flowerpot and cut so its 12½cm shorter than the top rim. Repeat with the other straws, then stick each one into the centre of each pot through the brownie.

For the Oreo soil, blitz the Oreos to a coarse consistency in a food processor.

For the chocolate avocado nice cream, blend together all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

To assemble, spoon the chocolate avocado nice cream into the pots on top of the brownie. Work the nice cream around the straw, until it almost reaches the top. Top with a generous mound of the Oreo soil, pop a fresh flower into each straw, and serve.

TIP: You can make these ahead up to the point ofadorning with the flowers. Store in the freezer until ready to serve, then pop the flowers in when you remove them from the freezer. Allow to soften for 2025 minutes before serving.

Recipes from Nice Creamby Margie Broadhead with photography by Jacqui Melville. Published by Hardie Grant, RRP £12.99

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