Healthy Ice Cream Alternatives
dessert ice cream low-carb paleo recipes vegan
As a recovering (and often relapsing) ice cream addict, I have gotten pretty good at finding moderately healthy substitutes to this heavenly dessert to keep my cravings at bay for a day or two. Each one serves a different purpose.
Craving Everything Sweet and Creamy: Yogurt and Frozen Berries (and everything else)
This one can really be taken to extremes of what you might call healthy. Basically, it is built on a base of frozen berries and organic yogurt. Beyond that, you can do anything you want. The addition of nuts gives it a bit of a crunch, and raisins make it a little chewier, which makes it feel more filling. You can drizzle maple syrup or raw honey to satisfy your sugar cravings (a little goes a lot way, especially if you're using raisins), and adding cocoa powder will do a lot to bring this delightful treat closer to chocolate ice cream. You can make it even creamier and more ice-cream-like by using Greek yogurt instead of regular. Just throw everything in a bowl, mix well, and enjoy.
- 1/2 cup whole milk, organic yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
- Handful chopped walnuts or pecans
- Sprinkling of raising
- Teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- Tablespoon cocoa powder
Craving Cool and Creamy: Berries and Coconut Cream
A simpler version of the above, this dessert is actually pretty good for you. All it contains is some frozen mixed berries and a hefty dollop of coconut cream. To get the coconut cream, open a can of regular (not lite) coconut milk and scoop out the hardened coconut cream at the top without stirring the can. If you already have a can of opened, stirred coconut milk, refrigerate it for a day or two. The cream made this way tends to be closer to the consistency of whipped cream. Drizzling some maple syrup or sprinkling nuts can make this a bit more like a sundae, but it's pretty sweet on its own.
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1/4 cup chilled coconut cream
Craving Thick and Sweet: Blueberries and Melted Feta Cheese
This one surprised me the first time I made it. You add crumbled feta cheese to a bowl of frozen blueberries, then microwave for 30 seconds. Drizzle a little honey on it and mix it all up. The result is sweet, thick, and a little bit salty. It's not cold, but sometimes that's not what you're craving in ice cream anyway.
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- teaspoon honey
Craving...Ice Cream: Homemade Coconut Ice Cream (From the Primal Cookbook)
I've found that most store-bought versions of coconut ice cream use agave syrup as the sweetener, which is very high in fructose and as bad as high fructose corn syrup. This recipe will satisfy your ice cream cravings without all the extra sugar, but it does require an ice cream maker.
To make, whisk eggs1-2 minutes, until fluffy, then whisk in the maple syrup until bended, then whisk in the coconut milk. Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker and your set.
- 2 large whole eggs
- 1/2 cup or less of maple syrup of honey
- 2 cans coconut milk
Craving Something Refreshing to Lick: Frozen Peaches
The ritual of licking an ice cream cone is half the fun of ice cream, so this 'recipe' recreates the delicious experience. It merely involves freezing a large peach for 15 to 30 minutes or more. Peaches have a somewhat creamy texture in my opinion, making them a decent ice cream impersonator. If you freeze it too long, it will become rock solid and you'll spend the first 15 minutes scraping at it with your teeth, but as it melts, it becomes more manageable. You'll have to take bites out to get through it, but you can leisurely lick it in between bites.
- 1 peach
There you go: 5 recipes for healthy ways to quiet your ice cream cravings.
Of course, sometimes you just need your ice cream. Indulge sensibly.
Any other favorite ice cream recipes or alternatives? Please share so I can try them out.