Ice cream can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet in moderation. Ice cream is usually high in added sugars, saturated fats, and calories. However, there are healthier alternatives or healthy ice cream available that can be enjoyed as a treat without compromising your overall health goals.
What are the Features of Healthy Ice Cream?
Choose Reduced-Sugar Varieties: Look for ice cream options that are labeled as reduced-sugar or lower in added sugars. These varieties typically have less sugar than regular ice cream.
Opt for Fruit-Based Options: Consider sorbets or frozen fruit bars made with real fruit as a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream. These options are often lower in fat and calories.
Go for Low-Fat or Light Versions: Select ice cream that is labeled as low-fat or light. These options typically have less fat and fewer calories than regular ice cream.
Make Your Own: You can make your own healthier ice cream at home using frozen bananas, berries, or other fruits blended together. This homemade version can be dairy-free and lower in added sugars.
Easy to prepare healthy ice cream:
You easily make healthy ice cream at home. Here are a few healthy ice cream recipes that you can try:
Classic home-made healthy ice cream:
2 cups of frozen fruit (e.g., bananas, berries, mango, peaches)
1/2 cup of unsweetened plant-based milk (e.g., almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk)
Optional sweetener (e.g., honey, maple syrup, stevia) to taste
Optional flavorings (e.g., vanilla extract, cocoa powder) to taste
- Add the frozen fruit, plant-based milk, sweetener (if desired), and flavorings (if desired) to a blender or food processor.
- Blend the ingredients until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little more plant-based milk to achieve the desired consistency.
- Taste the mixture and adjust the sweetness or flavorings as needed.
- If you have an ice cream maker, transfer the mixture to the machine and churn it according to the manufacturer's instructions until it reaches a soft-serve consistency.
- If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a shallow, freezer-safe container and place it in the freezer.
- Every 30 minutes, remove the container from the freezer and stir the mixture vigorously with a fork to break up any ice crystals. Repeat this process 3-4 times until the ice cream is creamy and scoopable.
- Once the ice cream reaches the desired consistency, serve it immediately or transfer it to a lidded container and store it in the freezer until ready to enjoy.
Banana Ice Cream:
- Peel the ripe bananas and slice them into small pieces.
- Place the banana slices in a ziplock bag or airtight container and freeze them until solid (at least 2-3 hours).
- Once frozen, transfer the banana slices to a blender or food processor.
- Blend the frozen banana slices until smooth and creamy, resembling the consistency of ice cream.
- You can enjoy the banana ice cream immediately or return it to the freezer for a firmer texture.
Optional: You can add flavorings like vanilla extract, cocoa powder, or a tablespoon of nut butter for variety.
Berry Nice Cream:
Frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- Combine equal parts frozen mixed berries and ripe bananas (sliced) in a blender or food processor.
- Blend the mixture until smooth and creamy.
- Taste and adjust the sweetness if needed by adding a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.
- Serve immediately as a soft-serve ice cream or transfer to a container and freeze for a firmer texture.
Coconut Milk Ice Cream:
1 can of full-fat coconut milk
Sweetener of your choice (e.g., honey, maple syrup, stevia)
Flavorings (e.g., vanilla extract, cocoa powder, fruit puree)
- Chill the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.
- Open the can and scoop out the thick coconut cream that has solidified at the top into a mixing bowl.
- Add your choice of sweetener and flavorings to the coconut cream and whisk together until well combined.
- Optional: You can use an ice cream maker to churn the mixture according to the manufacturer's instructions for a smoother texture.
- Transfer the mixture to a container and freeze for a few hours until firm.
- Serve and enjoy your homemade coconut milk ice cream.