If you find it hard to resist a bowl of ice cream at the end of a long workday or in the heat of a summer afternoon, you’re not alone. This sweet treat can be what your taste buds ordered, but unfortunately, ice cream also comes loaded with lots of sugar, fat and calories.
Luckily, there are many ways you can enjoy ice cream without the guilt. With some healthy alternatives to the classic treat, you can cool down and satisfy your sweet tooth anytime – without adding inches to your waistline!
Try these creative and great-tasting ideas for healthier alternatives to ice cream:
Go the fruit route
Blending or mashing certain types of fruit and then freezing them can yield some delicious varieties of “ice cream” that taste just like your favorite flavors. Frozen bananas, mangoes and strawberries can be mixed into the perfect consistency for alternative ice cream, and their naturally sweet flavor means that no sugar is required.
Believe it or not, you can enjoy ice cream without the guilt!
Add creaminess the smart way
Of course, for ice cream to be satisfying, it’s go to be rich and creamy. Traditionally, that means mixing together some butter and heavy cream. However, you can make healthier alternatives to ice cream that still have that smooth and rich flavor you love by being smart about your ingredients. Pick a fruit, like bananas or strawberries, and mix them together in a food processor or blender with thickeners like coconut milk, plain Greek yogurt or peanut butter. Then, freeze the mixture in a dish until almost completely frozen – then spoon out a scoop or two and enjoy!
Choose the right fro-yo
When frozen yogurt chains started popping up all over the place, the treat was hailed as a healthier alternative to ice cream. This can be the case, but it’s just as true that frozen yogurt can still be hiding lots of sugar. Look for varieties made with reduced sugar, low-fat, nonfat or skim milk and all-natural ingredients. And even if the carton or machine says that it’s sugar-free, it’s worth it to take a look at the ingredients list, recommended Glamour magazine. Sugar-free can mean the frozen yogurt is full of artificial sweeteners, which can still pack on more calories than you bargained for.
Rethink your toppings
All things being considered, if you make the healthiest ice cream alternative ever and then cover it in a dense layer of chocolate pieces, candies and brownie squares, well, you’re not doing yourself any favors! You can still enjoy fun toppings on your ice cream alternatives, but just make sure they’re of the better-for-you variety. If you typically go for crunch, top your scoop with low-sugar granola, chia seeds or unsalted nuts like almonds and chopped pralines for a dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you have a chocolate craving, sprinkle on dark chocolate shavings or raw cocoa powder.
Don’t give up ice cream for the summer – just make some healthier alternatives.
Still don’t believe that ice cream alternatives can be as good as the real thing? Just try this deliciously easy recipe for Raspberry Nice Cream from the blog Two Raspberries:
3 frozen bananas
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1-2 tablespoons water
1. Chop the frozen bananas and add them to a food processor or blender.
2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water depending on how thick you want the nice cream to be, slowly pouring it into the food processor or blender.
3. Blend until you reach a smooth consistency.
4. Add in the raspberries and pulse until completely mixed but still chunky.
5. Place in a bowl, top with raspberries and enjoy!