collage of non-dairy desserts collage of non-dairy desserts No dairy, no problem. (Photo: Shutterstock, Jerry James Stone, Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Beyond ice cream: Non-dairy frozen treats to make before summer’s over

You don't have to sacrifice your health to enjoy a delicious dessert now and then.

It's so sad, isn't it, when you have to give up a food you love. Sometimes our gut rules the day, and we have to make choices. But those changes don't have to be accompanied by big sacrifices! Our Israeli Kitchen recipe contributors have brought us some fantastic recipes over the years that yield the creamiest, most decadent desserts and treats but somehow make us forget they don't contain dairy.

Raspberry banana nice cream

raspberry banana nice creamWith hemp seeds for protein, this nice cream is truly a powerhouse snack. (Photo: Esther Berkowitz)

Nice cream, or nana cream, is the term for ice cream made with a frozen banana base. This gives the treat a creamy texture and a mild banana flavor that works well with almost any other fruit, chocolate, cinnamon or coffee additions to up the flavor profile.

Berkowitz's daily fridge-scrounging practice usually yields something similar to this. It gives her and her family tons of energy and vitamins without loads of extra calories and fat.

It doesn’t get more delicious (and easy) than this. And with the added hemp seeds for protein, this nice cream is truly a powerhouse snack. Here's the recipe.


Coconut cream gelato

coconut cream gelatoCoconut cream may improve your immunity. (Photo: Sarah Quigley)

Sometimes the best desserts happen by accident. From The Grapevine staff writer Ilana Strauss often uses coconut cream instead of half and half in her coffee. One day, she opened a new can and had plenty of coconut cream left over. But she didn't have space in the fridge (roommates), so she threw the can in the freezer.

The next day, when she took it out, a miracle had occurred: it was the creamiest, most decadent ice cream she'd ever had. And you can have it, too, with very little effort. Here's the recipe.


Frozen banana pops

frozen banana popsThese frozen banana pops are the perfect summer treat. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

This one's great for folks who find ice cream to be just a tad too sweet, and can only handle a small amount. But – and this is critical – in the summer sometimes we all need some cool, frozen treats. Enter the frozen banana topped with chocolate fudge and all manner of delicious toppings. It looks like an ice cream bar, acts like it, yet has more nutritional value and a whole lot less sugar.

And no, the magic shell isn’t made of superfoods. But you’re eating a frozen banana instead of a boatload of rich ice cream. Life’s a balance. Here's the recipe.


Frozen chocolate mousse squares

frozen chocolate mousse barsThis frozen chocolate mousse dessert resembles a candy bar, but it's elegant enough to serve on fine china. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Years ago, Berkowitz was served something similar to this at a cousin's dinner party. She couldn’t believe how easy it was to produce this rich, yet not too heavy, winner of a dessert. It’s kind of like a candy bar, but one you can serve on china after an elegant meal. Pretty awesome, huh?

Here's the recipe.


Banana black cherry nice cream

Banana black cherry ice cream in a glass.Banana black cherry ice cream is the perfect summer dessert. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Once again, we are harnessing the brilliance of banana as a base for a frozen treat. And it works wonders – which is why we keep doing it.

In this version of nice cream, there’s no sugar, no cream, no stabilizers – nothing but pure fruit. This is the type of dessert you can make for all your friends – the vegans, the raw foodies, the ones who are allergic to nuts – you name it, they can eat it! Here's the recipe.


Strawberry sorbet

Strawberry sorbetStrawberry sorbet (Photo: A Lein/Shutterstock)

The just-sweet-enough, slightly crunchy ice pairs well with a slice of sponge cake or cookies. And like Israeli Kitchen contributor Miriam Kresh's pink grapefruit sorbet, this one is not too sweet to act as a palate refresher between soup or appetizers and the main dish, especially if there's been good cheer and alcohol before dinner. It's easily made with a standing or stick blender, but does take time to freeze to the right consistency. Here's the recipe.


Pineapple sorbet

pineapple sorbetA taste of summer is always welcome when the weather gets chilly. (Photo: Jerry James Stone)

This sunny sorbet by our vegetarian chef Jerry James Stone makes it easy to justify any time you spend in the kitchen making homemade treats – especially when all you want to do is go outside. This one is a jiff to make, requires only two ingredients and involves no cooking. Here's the recipe.

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