When your work colleagues go on an ice cream run this summer, you don’t want to be “that guy” who misses out because you’re trying to eat clean.
Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, we figured it was an opportune time to give you a few alternative healthy ice cream recipes to try out.
With the school holidays upon us, it’s also a good chance for parents to learn how to make some treats for their little ones that have far more nutritional value.
Before we share our deliciously-cold, guilt-free creations with you, we thought it was best to look at the contents of some of the nation’s favourite ice creams.
How many calories are in ice cream?
This isn’t a simple question to answer, given the vast array of different products out there.
Let’s start with the basics and work from there.
According to SELF Nutrition Data, one serving (half a cup or 66g) of a bog-standard vanilla ice cream contains 137 calories and 14g of sugar.
We’ve talked before about the perils of including too much sugar in your diet, and this is arguably one of the biggest reasons ice cream has such a dubious reputation in health and fitness circles.
Here’s a quick overview of the nutritional value of some of the UK’s favourite cold treats:
• Classic Magnum (mini) - 150 calories and 13g of sugar
• Double Caramel Magnum (standard size) - 270 calories and 25g of sugar
• Mint Cornetto (standard size) - 178 calories and 14g of sugar
• Calippo (standard size) - 100 calories and 20g of sugar
• Twister (standard size) - 76 calories and 13g of sugar
• Fab (standard size) - 82 calories and 10.5g of sugar
Shocking absolutely nobody, it seems the more indulgent you get with your ice cream choices, the more likely you are to encounter high calorie and sugar counts.
Healthy ice cream recipes
The calorie count for some of the most popular ice creams and lollies is surprisingly low, but that only paints one part of the picture.
While there’s no harm in treating yourself every now and again, it must be said that the aforementioned snacks carry precious little nutritional value.
Why not have a go at these simple but delicious guilt-free, low-fat ice cream recipes instead?
Recipe 1 – Super easy healthy banana and cinnamon ice cream
• 100ml of Greek yoghurt
• 150ml of vanilla yoghurt
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
• 1 punnet of blueberries (around 150g)
• 1 lemon
• A pinch of salt
• 4 tablespoons of sweetener
You’re essentially creating two forms of ice cream and mixing them together to create a delectable ripple effect. Here’s the easiest way to do it…
• Mix your blueberries with the Greek yoghurt and two tablespoons of sweetener. Add in the juice and zest from your lemon.
• Put this mix in the freezer for around 30 minutes (you want it to be a little bit stiff, but not fully frozen).
• In the meantime, mix your vanilla yoghurt, bean paste, salt and remaining sweetener in a bowl.
• Take your blueberry ice cream mix out of the freezer and start folding it into your vanilla mix.
• Once you’ve combined the two, place the entire mixture in the freezer for an hour to 90 minutes.
What are the health benefits?
Whether you call it ice cream or frozen yoghurt, there’s no doubt that this delicious recipe fits right into a healthy diet. Blueberries are often referred to as a “superfood” and it’s easy to see why. A fantastic source of vitamin K, blueberries have high levels of antioxidants and studies have suggested that they can lower a person’s risk of a heart attack.
Recipe 3 – Natural fruit ice lollies
• 350g of strawberries
• 200ml of natural yoghurt (or fresh fruit juice if you prefer)
• 1 teaspoon of honey
• Sweetener depending on how sweet a tooth you have
These are so easy to make, it’s almost unfair!
• Simply whiz up your fruit in a blender and add your yoghurt (or juice) and honey.
• Taste the mixture before you go any further and add sweetener accordingly.
• Divide the mixture into six lolly moulds and add a stick into each.
• Freeze them for around 90 minutes.
• You can switch out the strawberries for any fruit of your choice.
What are the health benefits?
The problem with some of the ice lollies that you buy from the shop is that they might contain a lot of added sugar. While our version will carry natural sugars from the fruit, you can use honey and sweetener to customise your lollipops to your liking without having to worry about ramping up the sugar content.