Healthy homemade ice cream alternatives

By: Health Local Staff Jul 25, 2012
ice cream alternatives

Delicious treats you can make at home to satisfy your craving for ice-cold goodness.

Frozen treats can be irresistible during the summer, but a big scoop of ice cream is not a very healthy snack. Here are some delicious alternatives you can make at home to satisfy your craving for ice-cold goodness.

Frozen Yogurt

Homemade frozen yogurt is a delicious and inexpensive indulgence. It does require an ice cream maker, but even those once pricey machines can now be bought for less than $50. When you consider the high prices at boutique frozen yogurt shops, an ice cream maker isn’t such a bad investment.

You can make homemade frozen yogurt in infinite varieties with a few base ingredients. Strained nonfat yogurt is the first ingredient – whole milk yogurt will work as well but nonfat yogurt is much healthier and still yields a delicious, creamy result. If you prefer a sweeter flavour to the natural tartness of plain yogurt, substitute vanilla or fruit-flavoured yogurt. 

Strain the yogurt for several hours by pouring it into cheesecloth and placing the cloth over a bowl to drain. When it’s ready, the yogurt will have a consistency similar to cream cheese. With honey for a sweetener, you can then add any additional flavours that you want, such as fruit, peanut butter, or chocolate.

Fruit Smoothies

A fruit smoothie can contain any mixture of frozen fruit that suits your fancy. Ripe or even overripe bananas are a great base for any combination thanks to their sweetness and smooth texture. A bit of yogurt will add a pleasant tartness to the smoothie, while a few ounces of citrus juice will add tang to milder fruit flavours.

Fruit Juice Popsicles

With a popsicle mold and fruit juice free of added sugar, homemade popsicles are a simple and healthy alternative to commercial popsicles. Fresh squeezed juice will take your popsicles up another notch, while mixing vegetable juice with your fruit juice will make your popsicles even healthier and almost just as sweet.

Yogurt & Fruit Popsicles

For a richer and creamier popsicle, use fresh fruit and nonfat plain yogurt instead of juice. Blend the yogurt and fruit together until you have a smooth and creamy mixture, and pour the blend into the popsicle molds. To make the popsicles prettier, blend the fruit on its own and pour the fruit and yogurt into the mold at the same time. Use a popsicle stick to swirl the yogurt and fruit together.

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are tasty and filling, and can even take the place of a meal if you are in a hurry. You can make them with skim milk, almond milk, or coconut milk and whatever combination of spices and flavours that you like. Xantham gum will make thin shakes thicker and frothier, while ice will add the cool and refreshing factor if your recipe does not include frozen fruit.

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