“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!” With summer in full swing, and the temperature reaching triple digits in some parts of the world, there is nothing that beats one of summer’s staples: the ice cream cone. But is it even possible to make healthy ice cream? Could anything even come close to the original?
Although folks had been hand rolling waffles into ice cream cones for years, the first machine specifically invented for making cones wasn’t invented until 1912 and was then sold to Nabisco in 1928. After that, cones began to take all different shapes, sizes, and even flavors.
Traditionally, ice cream begins with a base of dairy products such as milk and cream and is sweetened with sugar and various flavors, whether they be natural or artificial. There is no end to the imagination with what you can add to your ice cream in terms of toppings such as cookie pieces, nuts, candy, sprinkles, or fruit. I’ve even heard one restaurant has an onion ice cream. (Don’t worry, that’s not what I think will make ice cream healthy!)
I have been testing various ways on how to make healthy ice cream, and I started off by first making a basic recipe using milk and heavy cream, two traditional ingredients. But then I replaced the standard white sugar with coconut sugar to increase nutrients and decrease empty calories.
I created the following recipe.
How to Make Healthy Ice Cream at Home
Recipe 1: Cristina’s Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Handful of chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, combine milk, coconut sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved.
- Stir in heavy cream and vanilla.
- Pour into a container with a lid and place into the freezer overnight.
Chef Note: I noticed that the chocolate chips sink to the bottom, so I check on this every few hours and give it a quick stir to keep them mixed throughout.
Chef Note: Since we have an abundance of mint growing in our garden, I have been known to grab a handful and pulse it in the food processor to add to my ice cream. Such a fresh flavor, without the artificial green coloring.
Yields 8 servings
- Calories: 223
- Fat: 14.8 g
- Carbs: 21 g
- Sugar: 19 g
- Fiber: .4 g
- Protein: 2.4 g
Recipe 2: Lean Protein Chocolate Ice Cream
Moving along my continuum of better > best, I wanted to lighten things up and came up with the following recipe which uses Greek yogurt with some whey protein, so I am not only removing some fat and the calories that come with it but also kicking up the protein content.
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup Platinum1 Chocolate Ice Cream
- 1 ½ tsp stevia
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp salt
- Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute or until very frothy.
- Place all ingredients into your container and place the lid on securely.
- Place container into the freezer on a flat, even shelf.
- Leave until frozen.
Chef Note: I like to freeze at least overnight but prefer to freeze for longer if I can keep the kiddos calm.
Chef Note: I also like to give things a quick stir every 2 – 3 hours if I can remember. I am not super crazy about setting timers, but I do like to mix it up a bit when I refill my water before bed and when I wake up.
Yields 4 servings
- Calories: 146
- Fat: 2.5 g
- Carbs: 10.25 g
- Sugar: 7.25 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 18 g
How to Make Healthy Ice Cream: A Recap
While it’s difficult to fully replicate the original versions, a little experimenting has provided a way to make healthy ice cream not only rich, creamy, and delicious but pretty easy. I hope you agree and enjoy this summer dessert—with or without a cone!