Although ice cream is the most popular dessert, it isn’t the only option for a refreshing sweet treat on a hot day. People tend to grab ice cream simply because it’s convenient and it tastes good. They don’t often contemplate how nutritionally empty their favorite treat is. It may satisfy a craving, but that’s about all it satisfies. Ice cream doesn’t provide your body with anything meaningful.
Thankfully, the modern alternatives to traditional ice cream are delicious, satisfying, and significantly better for you than the standard pint of high-sugar, high-fat, nutritionally-void dessert you’re used to. Some of them come premade, and others are easy to prepare. Let’s dive in.
Why Eliminate Ice Cream?
Eliminating processed foods and added sugars will open up a world of possibilities for a balanced diet.
If your dessert is beneficial to your body, there’s no reason you can’t treat yourself everyday. The goal is always to supply your body with the things it needs to run efficiently and supply you with energy.
Smart swaps, like replacing ice cream for something better, are an easy way to make a mindful decision to prioritize your health.
Replacing hollow calories and carbohydrates with nutrient-rich, protein-packed, high-fiber, naturally-sweet frozen treats will make your body feel and work better.
Plant-based treats simply have more to offer than dozens of grams of added sugar and high fat dairy. Not to mention the fact that dairy is among the top 8 major allergens. Dairy-free desserts can be enjoyed by more people, and sharing is caring.
Plant-Based Ice Cream
Plant-based or dairy-free ice cream is readily available at many grocery stores, but it usually isn’t as good for you as you’re led to believe it is. Many of these alternative ice creams aim to be low calorie, rather than nutritious. They do this by using ingredients like glycerin and erythritol, two nutritionally empty ingredients that are hard for the human body to process.
Most varieties of alternative ice cream don’t focus on nutrition. Their protein contents are low. They don’t contain any fiber, vitamins, or nutrients to actually power your body.
Snow Monkey’s plant-based ice cream is one of few exceptions. They offer 20 grams of plant-based protein per pint. All of their desserts are free from the 8 major allergens and packed with superfoods. Snow Monkey is an easy way to make a smart swap, and you don’t have to prepare a thing.
You’ve probably seen fruit bars in the frozen foods section at the grocery store. Some of them are good for you, but others may be deceptive. Green packaging with pictures of fruit on the box does not necessarily denote that the fruit bars inside aren’t packed with added refined sugars. Make sure you read the nutrition facts before you pick up a box.
Alternatively, fruit bars are easy to make on your own. You have complete control of the flavors and nutrition of the bar. This is a creative project that the entire family can join. Kids will love making fruit bars, and cooking together provides parents with a great opportunity to teach children about the benefits of proper nutrition.
All you need is popsicle molds and fruit puree or fruit juice. Any juice or puree with no added sugar will work perfectly. Mix the fruit purees with pieces of whole fruit, pomegranate seeds, or citrus zest to add fun textures and flavors to your fruit bars. Pour the mixture into your molds and freeze them until they’re solid. It’s fun and easy.
Coconut Milk or Oat Milk Popsicles
If it’s the creamy texture you’re craving, a fruit bar may not be enough to satisfy you. You can use coconut milk or oat milk as a base for frozen fruit pops. Blend fruit purees with your plant-based milk or use powdered fruits to add uniform flavor and natural color to your creamy popsicles.
You can also use a plant-based protein shake as a popsicle. Combine oat milk or coconut milk with a few scoops of your favorite plant protein in your blender. Toss in fresh strawberries, mango slices, kiwi, or any fruit your heart desires. You can also add a small scoop of unflavored powdered greens to up the nutrition content even further. Blend the mixture until it’s smooth, pour it into your molds, and freeze. The end result is a plant-based protein shake you can eat as a dessert.
Sorbet always looks so exquisite and delicate. Even the name sounds fancy. Despite the appearance and general elegant aura of sorbet, it is one of the easiest desserts you will ever make. Sorbet is only fruit, a natural sweetener, and water. The only tool you need to prepare sorbet is a food processor.
Berry lemon sorbet is simple. Start with 3 cups of frozen berries, one lemon, and some raw honey. Toss your berries into your food processor with 2 tablespoons of honey, 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, and a little bit of the lemon zest. If you want a stronger lemon flavor, use 2 teaspoons of zest. For mild lemon flavor, 1 teaspoon will do the trick. Top off the mixture with ⅓ of a cup of water.
All you need to do is turn on the food processor. The sorbet will make itself. You can eat it immediately or store it in a freezer safe container for later use.
It’s very easy to get creative with sorbet recipes. You can add a few tablespoons of chia seeds, flax seeds, or hemp seeds for a little extra crunch, giving your sorbet some texture. Adding herbs like basil or mint can give your sorbet a more sophisticated, complex flavor.
Dipped Fruit Kebabs
Dipped fruit kebabs satisfy a chocolate craving in one of the healthiest ways, and they’re quick and easy to put together. Cut up fruit into small chunks. Berries can be left whole with the stems and tops removed. Skewer the fruit onto bamboo sticks, and set aside.
Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, and lightly mist it with coconut oil spray to prevent sticking.
On the stove, melt 90% cacao on a low heat until it becomes a liquid. You can add additional sweetness from honey or coconut sugar if you desire, but keep in mind that the fruit itself is sweet. The chocolate and fruit will combine with every bite, offsetting the deep flavor of the natural cacao.
Once the cacao is melted, dip or roll your fruit kebabs in the melted cacao, placing them on the paper lined baking sheet. Pop the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours to allow the cacao to solidify.
Think outside the carton with these nutritious, simple, allergen-free, dairy-free plant-based ice cream alternatives. You should feel good when you eat dessert, both physically and emotionally. Choosing satisfying desserts that add value to your diet is one of the easiest things you can do to promote your wellness!
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