Nice Cream Blueberry Crunch Bars

These simple, delicious dessert bars are made with banana nice cream and homemade granola. The perfect healthy treat for a hot summer day!

IMG_8428

Growing up, I spent my summers hanging out poolside in the hot Arizona sun. My sister and I were on a swim team and most of our summer activities revolved around the water.

Early mornings at practice and evenings at meets, playing cards on the pool deck while waiting for our races — these are some of my fondness memories. Even now, the smell of chlorine brings a smile to my face.

While it probably wasn’t beneficial to my performance (I can recall numerous occasions where I cramped up mid-sprint), one of my favorite things about swim meets was hitting the snack bar. Pickles were my favorite pre-race fuel and ice cream sandwiches were my dessert of choice should my parents decide we deserved a celebratory treat.

banana-nice-cream-crunch-bar-1

It’s funny to think of this now, as a soon-to-be Registered Dietitian and someone who hopes to help change our culture’s reliance on processed food. Just this weekend at the IDEA World Nutrition Summit, Dr. Yoni Freedhoff gave a presentation illuminating the irony of how we are desperate to fight pediatric obesity, yet we still use candy and junk food to reward children and raise money for children’s charities.

Most parents don’t know better, but hopefully that’s changing.

Healthy Ice Cream Sandwich

I think my parents did their best to provide us with a healthy balance. We didn’t have a lot of junk food in the house and my mom always pushed the fresh produce, but we were also allowed to enjoy the occasional indulgence, and at swim meets I took full advantage of that.

I don’t eat many ice cream sandwiches these days. I think my tastebuds have evolved past them. When you eat a predominately whole foods diet, that kind of stuff just doesn’t hold the same appeal. In fact, it’s usually not appetizing at all.

Healthy Nice Cream Sandwich Recipe

What I haven’t lost my taste for though is cold, melty, sweet treats in the summer time.

Part of my mission is to show people that eating healthy doesn’t have to be painful, and you don’t have to cut out things you love.

Nice Cream Sandwich Recipe

These Blueberry Nice Cream Crunch Bars — a fancy name for banana “nice cream” (pureed frozen bananas) sandwiched between two wholesomely sweet layers of homemade granola — is just the thing to satisfy that nostalgic desire for novelty desserts and nourish your body at the same time.

They’re sweetened naturally with fruit, and just a hint of honey. Antioxidant-packed blueberries add a pop of color, while oats provide heart-healthy, gut-friendly fiber.

Blueberry Nice Cream Crunch Bars

You can use any granola you like — the store-bought kind will save you a little time.

I recommend a homemade batch though like my Cinnamon Blueberry Granola (crush the almonds or leave them out) or my Dark Chocolate Cranberry Granola — again leave out anything chunky like whole nuts or dried fruit that won’t stick well. These recipes both only take about 20 minutes.

To make the bars gluten-free, be sure to buy certified gluten-free oats.

If you have kids (or you’re a kid at heart) and you enjoy a sweet treat in the summer, these crunch bars are a fun, nutritious option.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Blueberry Nice Cream Crunch Bars
 
Prep time
Total time
 
These sweet, healthy "nice cream" bars make a delicious, nutritious summer snack. They're packed with whole grains and fresh fruit, and lightly sweetened honey.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Healthy, Snacks, Bars
Serves: 9
Ingredients
  • 3 C. Homemade Granola
  • 1 C. Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 6 Large Frozen Bananas
  • 1 T. Milk of choice (almond, coconut, etc)
Instructions
  1. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Combine blueberries and granola and cover the bottom of the dish in a single layer of mixture.
  3. In a high-powered blender or food processor, process/puree bananas with the milk until they achieve a creamy, frozen yogurt like consistency. You may have to start and stop, scraping down the sides. If you're using a Vitamix, you can use the tamper to do this.
  4. Pour banana mixture over granola and smooth, pressing down so it sticks.
  5. Pour another single layer of granola and blueberries over the nice cream. Press it down slightly into the mixture.
  6. Freeze for at least an hour.
  7. When ready to eat, let bars sit out for about 5 minutes to soften.
Notes
Nutritional information will vary depending on the amount and type of granola used.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 240

 

Pin it for later! >>

Nice Cream Blueberry Crunch Bars

Weigh In: Have you made nice cream before? What was your favorite summer treat growing up?

Comments

  1. These look amazing Whitney!!! Must try them!

  2. What a great healthy version of the ice cream sandwich! I am psyched to try these!

  3. Amanda Howard says:

    Looks amazing! I’m very happy to say I’m a parent who doesn’t reward my little girl with candy. In fact, my little girl was offered a piece of chocolate muffin the other day and elected to have fresh fruit over that! All her own decision (at just over 2 years old) and that certainly put a smile on my face! I try my very best to teach her good healthy habits and it seems to be paying off! Thanks as always Whitney for your great blog posts and advice!

  4. This look so delicious. A must try!
    Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment recently posted…Easy Three Bean SaladMy Profile

  5. I make nice cream but wouldn’t have thought to use it this way, this looks fantastic! When I was a kid my Mom always made a peanut butter ice cream pie with graham cracker/PB crust, definitely a favourite summer treat.
    Danielle @ Wild Coast Tales recently posted…My Vancouver #3: Two scenic hikes in BC’s Lower MainlandMy Profile

  6. OMG, these look so good and I love that it’s just using granola and banana puree. They look way too rich to be healthy which is always good.

    PS see you guys this weekend!

    xoDale :
    Dale Janée (@Savvy_Spice) recently posted…Too Hot, Too Cold. Who Wins the Thermostat Battle in Your House?My Profile

Mentioned Elsewhere:

  1. Optimum Blog says:

    Power Crunch Power Crunch Bars 12 Bars Cookies Cream

    […] while waiting for our races — these are some of my fondness memories. Even no […]

Leave a Comment

*

Rate this recipe:  

CommentLuv badge