Ice cream doesn’t really need any help to be more delicious. It’s perfect just the way it is.
If you’re looking to up the “wow” factor with some gorgeous presentation and flavorful additions, an ice cream sundae is an indulgent way to experience your favorite frozen treat.
Ice cream sundaes don’t always have to be the least healthy dessert option. By wisely choosing your ice cream or healthy frozen dessert and using add-ins like nuts and fruit, you can hide a little extra nutrition into your favorite after-dinner treat.
Choosing Your Base
The perfect ice cream sundae starts with choosing the perfect base. It doesn’t always have to be traditional ice cream.
There are tons of non-dairy ice cream alternatives made of plant-based milks or even fruit. People with dairy allergies, those who adhere to a vegan diet, and anyone looking for a healthier alternative to their favorite foods might want to opt for something different.
Traditional Ice Cream
Traditional ice cream is probably the first thing that popped into your mind when you pictured an ice cream sundae. It’s a timeless and classic dessert. If you can afford to splurge on something less than healthy and traditional ice cream is calling your name, go ahead and do it. If your sundae is a one-off treat, reward yourself.
If you have a little bit of a sweet tooth every day, you might want to contemplate an alternative to traditional ice cream. Choosing something a little healthier will bring some versatility to your diet, giving you the ability to make balanced choices and incorporate dessert a few times a week.
Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert
Dairy-free frozen desserts aren’t always healthy as they may still be loaded with sugar. If you’re looking for a healthy dairy-free frozen dessert, check the nutrition facts. You can choose an almond, soy, oat or coconut-based frozen dessert with very little added sugar or an alternative natural sweetener. But keep an eye out for commonly used sugar alcohols like erythritol as it’s possible they will upset your stomach.
Fruit-Based Frozen Dessert
Snow Monkey’s fruit-based frozen dessert is designed to cure your ice cream craving without any of the cream. This healthier alternative to ice cream utilizes the creaminess of bananas and the richness of apple puree to mimic the texture of your favorite creamy dessert without unnecessary fat.
Since these desserts are made of fruit, they boast a little more nutrition than most dairy milk or plant-based ice creams -- those won’t count towards your four servings a day. Plus, a pint of Snow Money has 21 grams of protein and is free from most of the major allergens—this dessert is inclusive and delicious.
Picking Your Flavor
After you’ve chosen your frozen dessert, it’s time to pick your flavor. You can go with the classics and make something highly familiar and universally agreeable.
But what fun is that? Branching out and trying an exotic flavor can make your sundae a little more exciting.
It’s hard to go wrong with vanilla. That’s why most fast food restaurants and diners will default to vanilla for all ice cream sundaes. Both picky and non-picky eaters will enjoy a simple vanilla sundae.
Plus, vanilla gives you the perfect opportunity to add healthy toppings and mix-ins, like toasted coconut and nuts (if those allergens are not a problem), fresh fruit, and more!
Strawberry is the classic berry flavor. If you know you want a berry sundae, strawberry is the obvious choice. It’s smooth, delicious, and always hits the spot.
You can also make an açai sundae bowl, duplicating the taste of your favorite smoothie bowl but turning it into a delicious dessert. There’s always a way to split the difference between being healthy and indulging.
The “death by chocolate” sundae is always a winner. Combining chocolate plant-based ice cream with chocolate sauce and chocolate chips might sound like overkill.
But that’s the whole point.
Chocolate lovers seem to lack the concept of moderation. They want all the chocolate, all the time. By using high percentage cacao dark chocolate and a chocolate superfood dessert like Snow Monkey, you can transform a triple chocolate sundae into one of the healthiest frozen desserts you can possibly make.
Don’t forget about mint chocolate chip! If you’re looking for a delicious and creative twist on the traditional chocolate sundae, mint chocolate chip is perfect.
Something a Little More Exciting
How about a gourmet sundae? If you’re making a sundae at home, you have all the power. Elevate a sundae beyond what the typical ice cream shop has to offer.
Play around with flavors to create your own signature sundae. Sundaes are quick and easy to put together, so you can easily serve your unique recipe to your dinner guests. You’ll look like a brilliant dessert chef, and you’ll hardly have to do a thing.
Choosing Your Toppings
The toppings are what make the sundae. Without the toppings, you’re just eating a bowl of ice cream (which, for the record, is no crime in our book).
Drizzle some kind of sauce on top of your ice cream. Hot fudge is among the most popular selections. You can also use caramel, strawberry, white chocolate, dark chocolate, or butterscotch. You may even consider whipping up some peanut butter sauce.
Cherries and strawberries are usually the most popular fruit additions to a sundae. Toasted coconut, blueberries, pineapple pieces, and bananas work just as well. Tossing in a bunch of fruit and reducing the amount of ice cream will allow you to bulk up your sundae with healthier components, improving the overall nutritional metrics of the dish.
Nuts and Crunchy Pieces
Crushed and toasted walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, or pecans will add crunch to your sundae. Don’t forget about roasted pistachios. You can also use crunchy hard-shelled candy, chocolate chips, and pieces of waffle cone to add texture to your sundae.
A sundae wouldn’t be a sundae without a large dollop of whipped topping. You can use whipped cream or a non-dairy alternative like almond whip or coconut whip to top your sundae off with an iconic fluffy cloud.
Serving Your Sundae
Sundaes are usually served in tall glasses or cups, but you can just as easily serve your sundae in a bowl. It all depends on how much goodness you’ve packed inside.
If you’ve layered your sundae with pieces of fruit, a bowl might be a better option. It will allow you to easily get a taste of every ingredient with every bite, rather than having to dig down into the glass and make a mess.
There’s more than one way to make a sundae. Why not try several?
You can craft a sundae to be as decadent or as healthy as you wish. Using a fruit-based ice cream alternative can turn your sundae into more of a smoothie bowl, and it’s easily justifiable to eat one of those every day.
Small swaps are all it takes to enjoy daily treats within the parameters of a healthy diet. Life is all about balance, and balance can be delicious.
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