As the warmer months roll into my hometown in the South, the urge to over-indulge in ice cream becomes almost unbearable. I absolutely adore ice cream and would gladly eat it every day during the spring and summer — if it weren’t for the fact that I’m highly health conscious. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a standard ice cream cone from time to time, but, if you plan to indulge frequently in icy treats, try these six smart substitutes for ice cream.
Low in fat and dairy-free, sorbet is a delicious vegan alternative to ice cream. Made primarily from fruit juice, sorbet has a leg up on ice cream because it contains natural fruit antioxidants. Be aware, though, that this sweet stuff is often even higher in sugar than conventional ice cream. Still, it is generally a safe bet as a lower-calorie, healthier substitute for ice cream.
In general, sherbet contains less fat than ordinary ice cream, making it a healthier alternative. Sherbet is also often available in fat-free, reduced-sugar, or all-natural varieties. One scoop of this sweet, sticky delicacy can give you the creamy satisfaction of ice cream without as many calories or as much fat.
3. Fruit Bars
Fruit bars are delicious popsicle-like treats that have the chilly, satisfying feel of an ice cream bar. Fruit bars frequently contain 100% fruit juice or pureed fruit, making them a completely natural, high-antioxidant alternative to ice cream. Those made with whole fruit also pack plenty of fiber, so they grant all the benefits of fresh, whole fruit. Indulge in a fruit bar to halt those ice cream cravings.
4. Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt is generally significantly lower in fat than ice cream, but it is just as creamy and decadent as its high-fat counterpart. In fact, many people find frozen yogurt nearly identical in taste to ice cream. Many favorite brands, such as Edy’s and Ben and Jerry’s, offer their best-selling ice cream flavors in the form of frozen yogurt, so you can have all of the fun for far fewer calories.
5. Soy Ice Cream
Many of us see the word “soy” and cringe. To many, the word is virtually synonymous with bland health food. However, many soy ice creams are delightfully creamy, without any “beany” flavor or odd texture. I actually enjoy soy ice creams even more than dairy ice creams, and they’re far healthier and easier on my stomach. Try SoDelicious — my favorite — as a healthier alternative to ice cream.
Smoothies are one of the most delightfully healthy summertime treats. These sweet, creamy concoctions can be made with yogurt, milk, soy milk, or coconut milk to give them the taste and feel of ice cream. Fruits and nutrition powders offer that extra nutritional punch.
You don’t have to give up frozen desserts to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The many delicious, healthy alternatives to ice cream can provide you with the chilly sweetness you crave, without all the calories and fat associated with conventional ice cream.