Summer is here and the perfect time for frozen desserts but which icy treats are the most healthy and the best for you? The results may surprise you. Here’s my top tips for the best frozen desserts.
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The Best Frozen Desserts
There’s nothing nicer than an icy cold frozen dessert on a hot summer’s day to cool down the body. As the icy goodness slides down your throat it seems to cool down the whole body.
With so many frozen desserts on the market now, it’s hard to know which one is best as in the nicest tasting, healthy for you, not too much fat, not too much sugar, plant based, lactose free, gluten free etc etc.
Everyone’s tastes are different but I’m here to give you my opinion about which are the best as in taste good. Period!
Of course if you do have dietary concerns, please book in for a free 30 minute consultation. Perhaps you’ve been eating a dairy based frozen dessert for years and wonder why it just doesn’t sit well. Perhaps you are lactose intolerant. I’d be happy to discuss your concerns with you.
In the meantime, here are my favorite desserts and why they are good for you.
Traditional ice cream is made from milk, cream and eggs to form a custard and then churned until frozen. Flavors can be basic from vanilla to chocolate, strawberry, bubble gum, banana, peppermint chocolate chip and the list is endless.
Unless you make your own ice cream from scratch, I highly recommend checking the ingredient’s list. There are so many additives, chemicals and preservatives in supermarket ice cream, unless you know what they are, they could be quite dangerous for your health.
Ice creameries, that is shops that specialize in selling ice cream by the cone or tub, will most likely be of a higher quality and be made from full cream milk or 100% cream and eggs with good quality flavors added.
It pays to spend that little bit extra on something that not only tastes good but contains good quality ingredients.
And please note, a normal, wafer style ice cream cone has very few calories as does a typical waffle cone. If you’re worried about those extra calories, eat the ice cream in a cup.
Try making your own at home. You’ll often find ice cream makers at charity shops for a cheap price.
Similar to ice cream, gelato which is the Italian word for frozen, is a delectable frozen dessert differing slightly from ice cream.
It is made from milk and not heavy cream, is softer, like soft serve ice cream, contains no eggs, contains less fat and is made into classic Italian flavors like chocolate, pistachio, hazelnut, raspberry, lemon, and mango, just to name a few.
Good quality gelato is available from supermarkets but keep an eye out for your local neighborhood gelateria. Gelato is absolutely divine and totally worth every mouthful.
Another one of my favorites but not something I buy a lot. I will freeze yoghurt I’ve made or purchased but if I’m going to eat a frozen dessert, I’d much rather enjoy the flavor and go with ice cream or gelato.
That’s not to say that frozen yoghurt isn’t nice tasting or unhealthy. Quite the opposite. It’s just that if you’ve thought eating frozen yoghurt might be somehow healthier for you than regular ice cream, think again.
For example, the Nutritional Facts for a very popular Canadian vanilla frozen yoghurt below has 150 calories in a 3/4 cup with only 3 grams of fat but 15 grams of sugar.
Compared to a popular Canadian vanilla ice cream brand, there really is not much difference. (Please note, the nutritional info for the vanilla ice cream below is a smaller serving size at 1/2 cup compared to 3/4 cup above.)
My point is, unless you like the frozen yoghurt flavor, the tartness that some frozen yoghurts have, go for it, eat normal ice cream or freeze your own 100% Greek full fat yoghurt with your own flavorings added. They can be popped into ice cream molds, ice cube trays or small cups with an ice cream stick inserted for the young members of your family.
Sorbet is a much icier frozen dessert compared to ice cream and is usually made with pureed fruit or juice and a sugar syrup added, ie equal parts of sugar and water boiled together until the sugar has dissolved.
Of course you can get a bit adventurous and add your own liqueurs or spirits for adults only frozen desserts (hello vodka or white rum) but keep those away from the children.
Store bought frozen sorbets are quite good but it is easy enough to make your own, especially while the summer berries and fruit are at their best. The other thing is that sorbet is nearly always 100% dairy free if you are lactose intolerant.
Here’s the easiest ‘ice cream’ recipe you could ever want and it’s absolutely delicious. Just freeze peeled bananas and once frozen blitz until they have formed a puree. It is exactly the same as soft serve. You can add other fruits, cocoa powder or leave as is.
Pop grapes or citrus slices in the freezer. Grapes can be sucked on like cool sweets and the citrus slices can be added to cold water or your favorite fizz. Check out this list for even more fruit that freezes really well. (How good is that? A frozen dessert that is 100% natural!)
Also, frozen fruit, already prepared in the freezer, is great eaten as is or popped into a breakfast smoothie.
With so many different varieties of frozen desserts at the supermarket and available to buy in ice creameries or gelato bars, it’s just as easy to make your own at home. My best advice I give all of my clients is EAT THE ICE CREAM! Don’t worry about calorie counting or which has the lowest fat content or least amount of sugar. Learning to know your hunger cues is a much better solution then restricting yourself from some of the healthiest desserts around.
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