Healthy Homemade Ice Cream Alternatives


Homemade Ice Cream AltI scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Satisfy your sweet tooth, and make one of these healthy alternatives to your favorite frozen treat.

Ice cream is a widely loved treat. It’s used to celebrate special occasions, keep cool on a hot day or as a treat to satisfy a sweet tooth. However, sometimes you might want a treat that’s a little bit healthier. Here are three ice cream alternatives that can be a healthier choice, are just as delicious, and are made with real fruit. Plus, you can make them at home with the whole family!

Banana “Ice Cream”

  • 4 bananas, sliced and frozen
  • ¾ cup milk, any type (non-fat is the healthiest choice)
  • 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • In a blender or food processor, combine the banana and milk. Add more milk for a “soft-serve” consistency.

Add the cocoa powder, adding more for a dark chocolate flavor. Add vanilla.

For different flavors, add in shredded coconut, slivered almonds, walnuts, cashews, cinnamon or peanut butter. Leave out the cocoa powder for a vanilla flavor. To make a strawberry flavored banana “ice cream,” use the below recipe.

Banana Strawberry “Ice Cream”

  • 4 bananas, frozen
  • 4 cups strawberries, frozen
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more or less milk to produce desired consistency.

Strawberry Sherbet

  • 1 16 oz bag frozen strawberries (or 3 cups chopped fresh strawberries)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ to ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Combine strawberries and sugar in food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped. Mix buttermilk and lemon juice together; slowly add to strawberries. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more buttermilk mixture as necessary for desired consistency. Serve immediately or freeze in freezer, stirring occasionally.

Raspberry Sorbet

  • 2 ½ cups (12 oz) fresh raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tablespoons honey or agave syrup

Combine raspberries and honey/agave in a food processor and blend on high speed until smooth.

If you use frozen raspberries, you may get sorbet immediately. Serve immediately or transfer to a container and keep in the freezer.

If using fresh or thawed raspberries, pour mixture into ice cream maker, and follow ice cream maker’s instructions. Serve immediately or transfer to container and keep in freezer.

Lemon Frozen Custard

  • 1 can (12 oz) low-fat evaporated milk (chilled)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

Combine all ingredients in a blender or bowl. Milk mixture will thicken as soon as the lemon juice is added. Place in a shallow dish and freeze. Stir once or twice while freezing.

* This recipe needs a little milk fat to have a custardy texture. Non-fat milk freezes hard, more like a popsicle.

This article was written by Kelsey Chappell, Family and Consumer Sciences Intern, and Melanie Jewkes, Utah State University Extension associate professor, Salt Lake County

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