Learn more about SCL Health's Nutrition and Weight Loss and Bariatrics services.
Summertime is synonymous with sunshine, slip ’n’ slides and ice cream cones. But as adults, we’re old enough to know that last one should be enjoyed in moderation (no matter how delicious it is). On the plus side, we also have more options for healthy versions of ice cream than we ever had before. There’s no reason to deny yourself that oh-so-satisfying taste of something sweet and cold when it’s sweltering outside. So let’s celebrate the summer with these healthy alternatives to store-bought ice cream!
Strawberry Dole Whip
If you’re craving something frozen, fruity and flavorful, look no further. It’s simple to make and comes with the option to be made entirely dairy-free (unlike your regular ice cream).
- 1 cup sliced frozen strawberries
- 1 cup frozen raspberries (or more strawberries)
- 1/4 cup milk or canned coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/16 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Transfer mixture into a plastic bag and freeze for 10 minutes.
- Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.
- Squeeze mixture out into a swirl in your favorite bowl.
Sweet Potato Chocolate Ice Cream
How did we get so lucky to have sweet potatoes on this planet? They’re versatile, tasty, nutritious, and also a great base ingredient for this wonderful ice cream alternative.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 bag dark chocolate chips
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 can lite coconut milk
- Wash and scrub sweet potato.
- Pierce sweet potato with a fork several times and microwave it for five minutes.
- Flip over and microwave for another five minutes.
- Pour chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 20-second increments. Stir in between each increment for 15 seconds until smooth.
- Once cool, remove the skin from the sweet potato and mash it until smooth.
- Add exactly 3/4 cup of mashed sweet potato to a large blender.
- Add melted chocolate and remaining ingredients to blender.
- Blend on high until ingredients are completely smooth and incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and place in freezer.
- Stir every 30 minutes for two to three hours until the mixture has the consistency of ice cream.
- Scoop and serve.
Mint Chocolate Chip Banana Soft Serve
Instead of being frustrated when your bananas get overripe, peel them and freeze them so you’ll have a base for this frozen treat! This dessert might just take the throne for best banana-based treat away from those cocky banana cream pies.
- 2 overripe, frozen bananas
- Milk, as needed
- 1/8 tsp pure peppermint extract
- Pinch of salt
- Handful of cacao nibs
- Add all ingredients except cacao nibs into a blender or food processor.
- Add a splash of milk and blend.
- Continue adding more milk as needed for a smooth, soft-serve texture.
- Stir in cacao nibs.
- Pour mixture into a container and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Scoop out with an ice cream scoop and serve.
Greek Yogurt Ice Cream
Just as a heads-up before you read further, you’ll need an electric ice cream maker for this recipe. They’re relatively cheap online, and if you’re a serious ice cream lover, it may be worth investing in. Plus, recipes like these make it easy to justify a little reduced-guilt treat once in a while!
- Place the bowl of an electric ice cream maker in the freezer for at least 12-16 hours before starting this recipe.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl.
- Beat with an electric mixer until very frothy.
- Remove the ice cream maker bowl from the freezer, place it on the ice cream maker, attach the paddle and lid, and turn it on.
- Pour in the mixture and let the machine churn for 15-20 minutes until the ice cream is frozen and creamy.
- Serve immediately.
Pina Colada “Nice” Cream
If you like pina coladas (and ice cream), then you have to try this surprisingly simple recipe. Four ingredients is all it takes to get an island mocktail classic on the end of your spoon.
- 1 (16 oz) package frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut cream, chilled
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp toasted coconut
- Add pineapple, coconut cream and lime juice to a food processor.
- Blend for one to two minutes, then pause and scrape down the sides.
- Process until creamy for another two minutes. (Add up to 1/4 cup water if needed to help process the fruit.)
- Sprinkle with toasted coconut before serving.
So scoop away ice cream fans, let us know what your favorite flavor is in the comments below!