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Cherry Garcia Nice Cream

Cherry Garcia Nice Cream features frozen bananas and cherries blended with chunks of chocolate for a healthy and delicious, easy, soft-serve ice cream everyone will LOVE!

head on view of scoops of cherry garcia nice cream in a glass with spoon.

Cherries + dark chocolate is always a winning pair!

Inspired by one of Ben & Jerry’s top-selling ice creams, ‘Cherry Garcia’, I continue my love of banana-based nice creams, adding chocolate and cherries to the mix.

And the result is nothing short of AMAZING!

Why We Love This Recipe!

  • It’s healthy. Made with just 3 plant-based ingredients, each one containing its own health benefits, this cherry nice cream is 100% dairy-free, vegan, and delicious. Keep reading!
  • No-churning required. We love the ease of blending this recipe using a food processor or blender, without the need for an ice cream maker.
  • Easy to customize. You can serve this nice cream as a soft serve, ready in minutes, or freeze and enjoy as scoopable, hardened ice cream.

Gather your cherries, freeze a few bananas and get your chocolate ready – all in the name of good health and a tasty treat that you will enjoy time and time again!

top down view of ingredients used to make healthy chocolate cherry nice cream recipe.

Ingredient Benefits

Dark Chocolate 🍫

Dark chocolate can happily be a part of your healthy diet as long as it’s enjoyed in moderation. I usually have a small chunk every night with a dollop of Almond Butter as my dessert.

Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants that may help control blood sugar and insulin levels. This may help reduce the risk of diabetes. The flavanols in dark chocolate may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and slow the onset of dementia. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals and can improve your mood and reduce your stress. These are just some of the benefits associated with dark chocolate.

It’s best to consume chocolate that is 70% cocoa and above or pure raw chocolate, as it will have the most health benefits. And to the men out there, it has been found that men benefit most from eating dark chocolate.

So enjoy your dark chocolate without feeling guilty. For more information: Healthline: 7 Dark Chocolate Health Benefits.

Cherries 🍒

Cherries are the real star of the recipe!

Known as a ‘super fruit,’ cherries are among the few food sources containing melatonin, an antioxidant that helps regulate heart rhythms and the body’s sleep cycle. These little red beauties are also packed with antioxidants called anthocyanin’s which aid in the reduction of heart disease and cancer. This same anti-oxidant can help reduce inflammation and swelling associated with arthritis and gout.

They are a perfect post-workout snack for those looking to reduce pain and joint soreness, like runners and heavy training athletes. Cherries are abundant in vitamins C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, fiber and contain 19 times more beta carotene than strawberries and blueberries.

They are perfect for any healthy lifestyle. For further reading, take a look at these: Everyday Health: Cherries 101.

Bananas 🍌

Bananas are economical, abundantly available, and are a key ingredient in nice cream recipes! Plus, they are loaded with fiber, are good for gut health, and add natural sweetness. Once frozen, blend them into a delicious soft serve or no-churn ice cream.

top down view of banana and cherries added to food processor.

How To Make Cherry Garcia Nice Cream

Making non-dairy Cherry Garcia is as easy as can be!

  1. Start with nice cream base by adding 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup of frozen cherries, and a splash of almond milk (or Vegan Cream) into the bowl of a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
  2. Finish it off by adding 1/2 cup more frozen cherries and 1/4 cup chopped chocolate. Blend for a few more seconds. You want these last ingredients to be chunky.

And that’s it – delicious banana cherry Garcia soft serve made simple and easy!

Top Tips ✅

  • Enjoy right away as a soft serve or freeze for hard ice cream. To freeze, place the nice cream in a freezer-safe container and freeze for at least 6 hours to harden fully. It will last for 2 – 3 months.
  • Serve in chilled bowls or glasses.
  • Using a food processor. If using a food processor, you can skip the plant milk. Just make sure to stop and scrape down the sides as needed.
top down view showing the process of making chocolate cherry nice cream.

More Vegan Ice Cream Recipes!

top down view of healthy non-dairy chocolate cherry nice cream in a bowl.

If you try this cherry soft serve recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

CHERRY GARCIA NICE CREAM (SOFT SERVE)

A delicious, non-dairy nice cream made with a mix of cherries and chocolate chunks blended with bananas. This is my vegan version of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. It’s an easy no-churn ice cream or soft serve ready in minutes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Vegansita
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Snack, Ice Cream
  • Method: blender, food processor
  • Cuisine: Raw, Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 frozen bananas, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups cherries, pitted and frozen (divided)
  • splash of unsweetened plant milk (plain or vanilla) or Vegan Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
  • scant 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (70% +), cacao nibs or raw chocolate chips

Instructions

Place banana chunks, 1 cup cherries, and a splash of milk into blender/food processor and blend until just combined, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.  Add another splash of milk to help the mixture move (especially if using a blender).

Add in chocolate and remaining 1/2 cup cherries, pulse until just combined.

Serve immediately as a soft serve or freeze for later and serve as hard ice cream. To freeze, place the ice cream into a sealed container and freeze for at least six hours. It will last for up to 2 months. Before serving, let sit at room temp for a few minutes, scoop and serve.

Makes about 2 cups.

Serves 4 small portions or 2 generously.

Notes

If using a food processor, you can get away without using non-dairy milk.

It helps to freeze your serving bowl beforehand if possible. It will keep your soft serve chilled a bit longer.

If you don’t want any chocolate chunks, try adding 1 heaping teaspoon of raw or dark cocoa powder instead. 

Updated: This recipe was originally published in May 2013. It has been retested and updated with new photos and helpful tips in August 2021.

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64 Comments

  1. It was a scorcher today and all I could think about was finally trying this recipe. I'm eating it now and I'm about to DIE, it's so GOOD!!!

  2. Wendy @ Plantivores says:

    Genius! Just whipped up some of this and it cured my vegan ice cream craving. I used some of the frozen tart cherries I had from last season. I was worried it would come out too tart but my bananas were nicely ripe and it is just perfect!

  3. jasmine nile says:

    THANKS ,,,,,,,,,,,,

  4. Dan Eckert says:

    Brilliant! Just made this tonight. It was incredible!

  5. Food Suppliers says:

    They look so tempting.

  6. This looks amazing. Beautiful photos!

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Thank you so much! :)

  7. This looked great after being without ice cream as a vegan for 5 months. The processed cherries and banana were good alone, but probably needed the suggested vanilla extract to taste like anything other than cherries and banana together ;-) I thought that the dark chocolate crumbles were a big clash with the blended fruit both texturally and taste wise. Half my family agreed. Maybe chocolate syrup would work, but I'll probably just leave it out next time. Thanks for the idea though. /bill

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Thanks for stopping to share your thoughts! Chocolate syrup is a good idea to replace the chocolate chunks. Without any chocolate can be just as good! However it suits you, enjoy! Cheers to vegan ice cream. :)

  8. This looks amazing! Thank you!

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Your welcome! Enjoy :)

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am not a vegan and I eat meat and normal ice cream. However I love the way you answered the question without it being a lecture or any irritation. Every comment I have seen you answer on this website has been done in a really wise and thoughtful way, even when someone has critised what you made. I had no idea this is how cows were milked and yes that does seem cruel. I have never been a big milk drinker, but I can't hide behind morals. I simply don't like milk. After a lot of research I realise raw fruits and veg are the most healthy way to live and maybe, just maybe one day I will become a vegetarian, be it for the animals or for health. Tat

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Thank you so much for this feedback! It let's me know that I expressed myself the way I wanted…in a positive loving way.

      It's true that fruits and vegetables are the way to go, along with whole grains, nuts and seeds. There is a balance and it's so easy to get all your nutrition this way, it just takes replacing items, sometimes one at a time, until they are habits…and you will actually crave them!

      Thanks again Tat! Cheers…I hope you get a chance to try this soft serve. :)

  10. Anonymous says:

    are you trying to say milking a cow is cruel?

    1. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      Hi Anon…Thank you so much for posing this question to me. I'm not really sure if this is a serious question or not, so I'm going to assume that it is and take this opportunity to express the way I feel. I don't talk about the practices of factory farming as much as I would like too.

      To get right to the question…Yes, I find that milking a cow is cruel, especially factory farmed cows. The factory farmed dairy cow is the hardest working mother on the face of the planet!

      Let's take for instance Ben & Jerry's, they are not a some little ice cream store that can use milk from one or two cow's that are 'humanely treated' on a loving farm. They must use milk that comes from huge factory farms. Let's go over the scenario of what it takes to milk a cow in today's world.

      First you must impregnate that cow…they do not produce milk out of thin air. Every single cow on the factory farm that is being milked has been impregnated (or raped if you want to get technical…animals have rights too and I find this horrible). So now they are producing milk, not for their baby but for the masses of consumers who are so conditioned to not think twice about the process at hand (I was one of them for many years). Many are given hormone injections so they will produce more milk than they would naturally. They are then hooked up to machines two to three times a day and milked.

      Once their baby calf comes, the baby is taken away from the mother within the first day or two. If the calf is female she will most likely be raised as a dairy cow to repeat this process. If the calf is male, he will be sent off to be raised for beef or sent to be slaughtered for veal. This little baby is just a by product of the industry. This is all standard practice, even with small farms. After the calf is taken away from the mother cow, she will bellow for days on end. Why, because she is a loving creature who just wants her baby…animals have the same internal instincts as we do…I find this extremely cruel indeed.

      Normally a cow will live for 20 to 25 years. The dairy cow however, after 5, maybe 6 years of this impregnating, milking and taking away her baby will be deemed useless and then sent to slaughter herself. Not much of a life, and a very hard life at that. I don't wish this upon any living creature.

    2. julie@thesimpleveganista says:

      This is just a small portion of what goes on. There is also disease and infections that these mother's get in their utters from all the hormones they are given. There is also the whole aspect of the calf that I barely touched upon.

      Thank goodness for banana ice cream and almond milk! I love my plant based milks….they are made from a seed planted in the ground, given nutrients, water and lot's of sunshine to grow…then processed into a most delicious and nutritious milk. There are so many alternatives these days that dairy milk is simply not necessary, contrary to what the dairy farmers will market and have you believe!

      My perspective has simply changed about the way animals are used for profit. It is cruel in every sense but that is just my humble opinion. I cannot knowingly support or buy into this system. I find it completely unappealing….just like beef, pork, chicken, etc.

      As for the dairy cow that is milked on the small family farm…I don't find that appealing either. It is strange to me that we will so readily consume milk in any fashion from another species but cringe upon the thought of consuming our own. Funny how we tend evolve…things that I thought of as ok in the past, seem so outdated today. I've shifted to a new world and love it. My new world isn't perfect either, we can go all the way down the rabbit hole…but it sure is better then the old one I lived in. :)

      Here is a great link for more info about this subject if your interested: http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/dairy.htm

      I LOVE this video from Colleen-Patrick Gourdreau called From Excuse-itarian to Vegan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWD1Zze5Qo4

      Have a lovely day and enjoy some of this ice cream! :)

      1. Well said. ???? It’s important to share this info when you can.

      2. I just watched Colleens video. Wow! Great information. That’s a great video to share with others who might not know all of that. I love how she touched on others attitudes and comments towards vegans, and how we can deal with it and respond to it. Thanks for sharing.

      3. carla clayton says:

        Thank you for the very detailed explanation on the cruelty of diary farming. A lot of people do not understand this, thinking that the animal isn’t being killed so dairy products are fine. I didn’t understand either until it was explained to me a few years ago.

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