Frozen and Fabulous: Keep Ice Cream a Tradition (without piling on the calories and fat).
By Rebecca Turner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Who wants ice cream?
That’s the ageless question that we all hope to hear at the next backyard barbeque or family event. American’s love ice cream. We consume an average of 48 pints of ice cream per person, per year, more than any other country. Who can blame us? Few things are more refreshing on a hot Mississippi summer day than a smooth, cold, creamy, delicious scoop of ice cream. As the heat of summer increases it inspires families to break out the ice cream maker and serve up a scoop of memories.
Unfortunately, the obesity rates in Mississippi are rising as quickly as the summer heat. Ice cream can provide upwards of 300 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat per ½ cup serving! The good news is, you can fight back without sacrificing life’s frozen pleasures. As a registered dietitian and lover of ice cream, I have three tips to keep homemade ice cream healthy and chock-full of bone-building calcium.
Substitute Low-fat ingredients.
First, make a simple switch to any recipe and use nonfat sweetened condensed milk and low-fat milk in place of heavy cream and whole milk. It’s good to note that fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and fewer calories. Secondly, if a recipe calls for egg yolks replace two of them with gelatin (unprepared, unflavored Jell-O) to keep it rich and creamy without adding extra fat. Finally, opt for a traditional flavor like vanilla and offer stir-ins such as fresh berries, toasted nuts, or chopped fruit. This will eliminate the need for added sugars and flavorings and allows everyone to “customize” their scoops.
Lactose Intolerant? Don’t Despair.
If you love to eat ice cream but you’re tripped up by the tricky task of figuring out how to eliminate the dairy discomfort, don’t worry. Here are some proven strategies. Lactose intolerance or sensitivity does not mean that dairy foods are off limits. Consuming milk with other foods can make it easier to digest. Try having a ½ cup of ice cream within thirty minutes of completing your main meal. Yogurt that contains active cultures and probiotics can make it easier for your body to digest lactose. Instead of regular ice cream opt for frozen yogurt for better digestion. Or, prepare your own ice cream with lactose free milk, so you’re able to enjoy the experience, the nutrition and the good times, without the worry.
Low-fat Commercial Options
What happens when an ice cream craving comes on strong? Are you destined for a calorie pitfall? Not at all! There are plenty of tasty and healthy options that will satisfy your sweet tooth without hurting your waistline. Look for Häagen-Dazs Mango Fat Free Sorbet, a blend of tropical mangoes at 120 calories and 0 grams fat per serving plus vitamin A and vitamin C. Ben & Jerry’s Black Raspberry Swirl Low Fat Frozen Yogurt is made with real black and red raspberries at only 140 calories and 1.5 grams fat per serving. When stopping in your local Baskin-Robbins order the Light Aloha Brownie Ice Cream for chocolate ice cream with ribbons of fudge and chunks of macadamia nut toffee at 160 calories and 5 grams fat per serving.
Bottom line, you don’t have to give up summer favorites to be healthy. Be mindful of your ingredients, toppings, and portion sizes. Keep homemade ice cream a tradition and scoop up some family fun!
Try these reduced-fat recipes for some traditional family favorites. They will be a big hit at your next summer gathering.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon water
3 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 large egg yolks
1 14-ounce can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
1 vanilla bean
• Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you make the base for the ice cream.
• Pour 1 1/2 cups milk into a large saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk and add the pod.
• Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil or the custard will curdle.
• Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl. Add the softened gelatin and whisk until melted. Whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
• Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. If necessary, place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.
Nutrition Per serving: 202 calories; 3 g fat ; 89 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 0 g fiber; 104 mg sodium; 477 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (25% daily value).
Strawberry Ice Cream
Recipe by cooks.com
1 lg. pkg. instant sugar-free vanilla pudding
2-3 c. crushed strawberries (or other fruit)
1 lg. can evaporated skim milk
2 c. sugar
5-6 c. skimmed milk
Mix dry ingredients, then add other ingredients and mix well. Freeze in an ice cream freezer and let set 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Low-Fat Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
Recipe by cdkitchen.com
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Chocolate Syrup
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 1/2 cups Fat Free Milk
3 1/4 cups Half and Half Cream
1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
• Place cocoa and sugars in a bowl and combine. Add milk and with a hand mixer on low speed or whisk to mix until cocoa and sugars are dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in by hand the half and half cream and vanilla.
• Pour into an ice cream machine and let mix until thickened about 25-30 minutes. Will be soft when done. Place in freezer safe container and put in freezer for 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.