When you think of a glorious, sunny summer’s day, chances are you think of days out at water parks, holidays to far-off places, and most of all, ice cream. Ice cream is versatile, coming in a variety of forms and flavours, and is one of the best known foods for keeping you cool when the weather is hot. It is also a delightful, tasty treat for all ages. However, a lot of store-bought ice cream contains additives, preservatives and sweeteners which make them unhealthy, especially for children. This ice cream recipe lets you avoid all these, and the best part is that you don’t even need an ice cream maker! What’s more, you can make this ice cream recipe even healthier by substituting a few ingredients.
2 cups heavy cream
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Mix-ins (fruit, nuts, chocolate chips etc.)
Electric whisk (or hand whisk)
Chill your equipment (mixing bowl and whisk beaters) by placing them in the fridge for about 15–20 minutes.
Whip the heavy cream with the electric whisk in the mixing bowl until stiff peaks begin to form. Be careful not to over-whip the cream!
In another bowl, combine the vanilla and the condensed milk with a pinch of salt.
Gently fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk mixture until fully combined – gentleness is important so that the cream stays airy.
Get any mix-ins you wish to add and fold them into the mixture.
Pour the ice cream mixture into a freezer-safe container and level the top with a spatula.
Put the lid on the container and place it in the freezer. Let the ice cream freeze for four to six hours, or until it’s firm enough to scoop.
Enjoy your homemade ice cream with any toppings you like!
This recipe can be made healthier still. Here’s how:
Use light or reduced-fat dairy products, such as light cream or low-fat milk, as a base for your ice cream. These options contain less saturated fat while providing the creamy texture you want.
Also, consider using unsweetened condensed milk, and use natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or stevia. These alternatives add sweetness with a lower glycaemic index and fewer empty calories.
Pureed fruits like bananas, berries, or mangoes can add natural sweetness and flavour to your ice cream. They also contribute vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. You can either mix the puree into the base or swirl it into the ice cream as you freeze it.
Greek yogurt is a high-protein, low-fat dairy option that can create a creamy ice cream base. It also adds probiotics to your dessert. If you want a dairy alternative that can be used for a vegan or lactose free ice cream, consider using Originz Oat and Soya Beverages.
Chia seeds can add a dose of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fibre to your ice cream. They also create a fun texture when soaked in the base. Chopped nuts, like almonds or walnuts, provide healthy fats and protein while adding a satisfying crunch.
Stick to natural extracts and flavourings like vanilla extract, almond extract, or fresh mint leaves to avoid artificial additives and enhance the taste.
Pay attention to portion sizes to enjoy your ice cream in moderation. Smaller servings can help control calorie intake.
Make your own granola with whole grains, nuts, and seeds for a healthier mix-in option.
You could also opt for small pieces of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or more) instead of milk chocolate, for added antioxidants.
Natural extracts like pure vanilla extract, almond extract, or fresh fruit zest can enhance the flavour of your ice cream without artificial additives.
Make a lighter ice cream by using Greek yogurt or a yogurt alternative as the base. You can still add natural sweeteners and flavourings.
Make your own ice cream cones using whole-grain flour or alternative flours like almond or coconut flour. These cones add fibre and a unique flavour to your treat.
In this blog, our aim was to show that even treats that we generally think of as unhealthy can be made a lot healthier with a few simple adjustments. When it gets hot, instead of rushing to buy ice cream from the store, consider making your own. You can even get the whole family involved in making it as a fun summer activity. And yes, don’t forget to experiment with different flavours to find one which tickles your taste buds.
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