Summer is here, which means we're all looking for ways to escape from the heat! There are a lot of great ways to cool off, such as going swimming, taking advantage of air conditioning, and of course, enjoying a frozen treat! You can definitely indulge in Ben and Jerry's or Haagen-Dazs, but one of the most important things to keep in mind is portion control. As a dietitian, I've had many people tell me that the pint-size containers of ice cream contains one serving each, and express shock when I break the news that it's actually four servings. In fact, eating a whole container of Chubby Hubby will set you back 1,360 calories, 84 grams of fat, and 104 grams of sugar. Thankfully, there are some lower calorie, lower fat, and lower sugar options out there that will still satisfy your sweet tooth and cool you off.
From the Store
Halo Top Ice Cream
Unlike some lower calorie ice creams, Halo Top actually is deliciously creamy and tastes great! It comes in more than three dozen flavors, including non-dairy options. Some flavors include Oatmeal Cookie, Sea Salt Caramel, and Vanilla Bean. The Birthday Cake flavor contains 70 calories per 1/2 cup serving (or 280 calories for the whole pint!), 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and 6 grams of sugar.
Dole Dippers are frozen pieces of chocolate-covered fruit. You can choose between Dark Chocolate Strawberry, Dark Chocolate Pineapple, Milk Chocolate Banana, and Dark Chocolate Banana. Each serving comes in its own small pouch, ranging from 60 to 100 calories, so you won't be as likely to overeat.
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars are creamy, sweet, protein-packed bars that are available in a wide variety of flavors. Choose between Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Black Raspberry Chip, S'mores, and more! Most of them have just 80 or 100 calories, with the Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip being the only flavor with more calories (130). Each bar provides 5 to 6 grams of protein. Fat is primarily limited to 1 to 2 grams per frozen treat.
Ruby Rockets offers a number of healthier frozen dessert products, including dairy-free coconut yogurt alternatives, fruit and veggie pops, and fruit and veggie better bars with coconut milk. They contain real fruit and vegetables with no added sugar. They are also gluten-free, vegan, and kosher for those with special dietary restrictions. The Rock-It Red Frozen Pop, for example, is made with sweet potato, strawberry, carrot, beet, and banana. Just because it contains vegetables doesn't mean it won't taste good! You won't even taste the veggies in this 25-calorie treat!
Frozen Yogurt Cups
Mash or blend one ripe banana with 1 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt. Grease a mini muffin tin and fill each cup with banana/yogurt mixture until about 2/3 full. Top with mini chocolate chips or diced fruit as desired. Freeze for at least an hour before serving. Each will have around 30 calories per serving, though this can change with toppings. You can experiment with different yogurt flavors if desired but remember that flavored yogurts have added sugar.
You can likely pick up some popsicle molds at your local dollar store. At home, experiment with blending up frozen fruits with water, 100% juice, tea, and even nonfat yogurt to create your own popsicles. You can even add herbs if you want to be extra fancy. How about watermelon and mint popsicles, or strawberry basil popsicles? The possibilities are endless!
Banana Ice Cream
For the simplest version of this recipe, you just need one ingredient: a frozen banana. Slice your frozen banana and put it in a food processor. You may find it easier to pulse the banana at first before going straight into blending mode. Keep blending until you get a smooth, creamy, ice-cream like consistency. You can try out adding other ingredients like cinnamon, a small spoonful of peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, and other fruits such as frozen pineapple and mango. You can eat it immediately, or you can transfer your creation to the freezer to harden up a bit more before serving.
Frozen Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Cover a baking sheet with wax paper. Wash 20 medium-size strawberries and pat lightly to dry. Melt 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Dip each strawberry into the coating until about 2/3 covered. Place on the baking sheet, and then freeze for 15 minutes. Each strawberry should contain around 50 calories. You can also try this with other fruits, such as pineapple or banana.