During the summer months—especially August, when temperatures and humidity levels hit their peak—a creamy frozen treat offers a sweet respite at the end of a hot day. But many of the ice creams available in stores are packed with sugar and contain belly-bloating dairy, so we try to limit our intake. And sure, these days there are plenty of options in the freezer aisle that promise better ingredients and less sugar, but they’re often twice the price for half the ice cream. To the rescue: Here, recipes for three healthier frozen treats that you can make at home (no ice cream maker needed!) that are better for your waistline andyour wallet.
If you like fruity…try Tropical Banana Mango
If you’ve seen it before but were skeptical, it’s time to believe: Blending frozen bananas achieves a creaminess that rivals dairy-based ice cream. And adding some tropical frozen fruits makes for a refreshing and tangy summer treat.
Banana Mango “Ice Cream”
2 overripe bananas, peeled, cut into pieces and frozen
½ cup frozen mango chunks
Milk of choice, if needed
1. Place the bananas and mango in a blender or food processor and blend until it achieves a creamy consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add some milk of your choice (canned coconut milk would further the tropical flavor).
2. For a treat similar to soft serve eat it immediately, or scoop the mixture into a container and freeze for at least 30 minutes for a texture closer to regular ice cream.
If you like chocolate…try Creamy Chocolate Avocado
When blended, avocadoes achieve a heavenly smooth texture, while their mild flavor pairs beautifully with rich chocolate. Add a couple fresh mint leaves and some chocolate chips for a healthy version of a childhood favorite.
Chocolate Avocado “Ice Cream”
2 ripe avocadoes, halved, peeled and pitted
1 (14.5 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk, chilled
2 tbsp. cocoa or cacao powder
3 tbsp. honey
1. Place the avocadoes in a blender or food processor. Scoop out the solid coconut milk and add to the blender with the cocoa powder and honey. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture into a chilled loaf pan. Freeze for at least four hours. Before serving, let the ice cream soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.
If you like mix-ins…Try a Nut Butter Base
Whether you prefer your ice cream filled with nuts, drizzled through with fudge or caramel or even packed with cookie pieces, you need a thick, creamy base to hold up to the mix-ins. The key: Nut butter!
Loaded Nut Butter “Ice Cream”
8 oz. smooth, unsweetened nut butter, like cashew or almond
1 cup unsweetened nut milk, like cashew or almond
1/3 cup maple syrup
Mix-ins of your choice, such as chopped nuts, chocolate chips, hot fudge, caramel sauce or crushed cookies
1. Place the nut butter, nut milk and maple syrup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture into a loaf pan and freeze for four hours, stirring every 30 minutes. After the first 30 minutes, stir in half of your mix-ins, then stir in the remainder after the first hour.
Do you make ice cream at home? We would love to see it! Post a photo on Instagram and tag @powerforlifefitness.