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Is the “Healthier Ice Cream” Trend Worth the Hype?

Healthier Summer Ice Cream: Is it Worth the Hype?

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Summer is the season of sun, fun, and of course, ice cream. But for those looking to maintain a healthier lifestyle, traditional ice cream isn’t always our best best due to all the sugar and yucky ingredients. I’ve talked about Food Babe here previously, but I got an email from her this week that reminded me of how many toxic, sneaky ingredients are in our ice cream – an American Summer staple!!  If you’re curious, read more here.

We have good news, though!  Enter the trend of healthier ice cream alternatives, which has taken social media by storm. Two standout recipes in this category (or at least on my feed..) are cottage cheese ice cream and banana-based ice cream, both loved for their simplicity, nutritious ingredients, and delicious taste. I made them both this week – and did a little comparison!

Cottage Cheese vs Banana Ice Cream

Personal Review:

The cottage cheese based for sure has a “cheesecake” vibe – if you love cheesecake, you’ll likely love this one. (watch my husband’s response on the reel, ha!)

The dairy-free banana is delicious! It has a more creamy, ice cream feel – and when you top it with nuts and some dark chocolate, it’s sooooo good.

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream: Creamy and Protein-Packed

Cottage cheese ice cream is a revelation for those seeking a protein-rich dessert. The recipe typically involves blending cottage cheese with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, and adding fruits or flavor extracts for variety. Choose an organic option if possible – not good for those who are dairy intolerant.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 pitted medjool dates (you can definitely play around with his and add other fruits – like peaches, strawberries, etc)

Instructions:

  1. Blend the cottage cheese until smooth.
  2. Add the sweetener and vanilla extract, blending until well-mixed.
  3. Fold in the dates
  4. Freeze the mixture for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally for a smoother texture.

Benefits:

  • High in protein: Cottage cheese is a great source of casein protein, which is slow-digesting and helps in muscle repair and growth.
  • Low in fat and calories: Compared to traditional ice cream, this version is much lower in fat and calories, making it a great alternative if you have some health or fitness goals this Summer!

Banana-Based Ice Cream: The Dairy-Free Delight

Banana-based ice cream, often referred to as “nice cream,” is definitely a favorite among vegans and those with dairy intolerances. The recipe is super simple.

Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 5 pitted dates
  • 2 Tbsp Honey or Maple Syrup (*optional – to taste)
  • ½ C Coconut Milk (I used the organic canned coconut milk – I find it to be thicker and creamier)
  • ¼ Tsp Cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Blend the frozen banana slices until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add in the dates, coconut milk, sweetener and cinnamon.
  3. Serve immediately or freeze for a firmer texture. *best if served very cold!

*I sauteed walnuts in butter, coconut sugar, salt and ancho chile spice – top ice cream with these & a few dark chocolate chips!

Benefits:

  • Naturally sweet: Bananas provide natural sweetness, eliminating the need for added sugars.
  • Rich in fiber: Bananas are high in dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and keeps you feeling full longer.
  • Potassium boost: Bananas are a great source of potassium, which is essential for heart health and muscle function.

The Verdict: Worth the Hype?

YES! Not only are they healthier, but they are quick and easy to make with only a few simple ingredients.

I hope you’ll try one of these this Summer and embrace the trend of clean ingredients! What we put in and on our bodies matters, but the good news is we have control of what goes into our bodies. With these recipes, you can enjoy a sweet, satisfying treat that’s as good for your health as it is for your taste buds.

So, grab your blender, experiment with some fun flavors, and indulge in a healthier summer!