Even with the temperatures dropping, sometimes you just crave ice cream—like every single day? But too many scoops from store-bought tubs, packed with sugar and fat, aren’t exactly part of a balanced diet.
If you want to satisfy your need for a bowlful of frozen goodness without waistline repercussions, you’re in luck. These guilt-free recipes let you luxuriate in ice cream pleasure from morning to night. Let the Ice Age begin!
Tool of the Trade
Want to make homemade ice cream in a flash? The Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker ($60, cuisinart.com) produces frosty treats in 20 minutes or less at a budget-friendly price.
Nutty Banana Ice Cream With Granola
Indulge O’Clock: BREAKFAST (yes!!!)
No ice cream maker? No problem. Whipping up frozen bananas into an ice cream consistency is a tasty way to keep your mornings cool. Simply freeze chunks of ripe banana on a baking sheet and store in an airtight container until ready to blend.
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. honey
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 medium-sized bananas, chopped and frozen
1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Heat coconut oil and honey in a skillet over medium heat until melted. Add rolled oats, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, cinnamon and a pinch of salt to skillet. Heat until grains are toasted, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Spread mixture on a baking sheet or cutting board to cool.
Place frozen bananas in a food processor and blend until creamy. Don’t overprocess or you’ll melt the bananas into a soupy consistency. Blend in almond butter and vanilla. If not serving immediately, place banana cream in freezer in airtight container. When ready to serve, leave mixture to sit at room temperature for several minutes to soften. Serve banana ice cream topped with granola.
Nutritional info per serving: 419 calories, 12G protein, 18G fat, 54G cabs, 2MG sodium
Beet-Raspberry Ice Cream
Indulge O’Clock: SNACK
Veggie ice cream? Trust us—it’s great. Beets and raspberries insert disease-busting antioxidants into your snack time, while the protein in ricotta can help prevent energy-sapping blood sugar swings.
2 medium-sized beets
3 cups raspberries
1 1/2 cups light ricotta cheese
1 cup half-and-half
2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
Zest of 1 medium orange
1/3 cup unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap each beet in foil. Bake until very tender, about one hour. Purée raspberries in a food processor, then press through a sieve to remove seeds. Return raspberry purée to blender or food processor.
Remove beets from oven, let cool slightly, then peel while they are still warm by rubbing with paper towel. Cut into chunks and transfer to container along with raspberries. Add ricotta cheese, half-and-half, corn syrup and orange zest. Blend until smooth. Chill mixture for at least 3 hours.
Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding pistachios during the last minute of churning. Enjoy immediately for soft serve, or place in the freezer in an airtight container, then let sit at room temperature for several minutes to soften before serving.
Nutritional info per serving: 213 calories, 9G protein, 11G fat, 21G cabs, 98MG sodium
Blueberry Yogurt Ice Cream
Indulge O’Clock: POST-RUN
Blueberries and Greek yogurt team up for a powerful antioxidant and protein punch to show your muscles some love after a workout.
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp. lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Garnish options: Chopped almonds, grated dark chocolate, fresh mint
Place blueberries, sugar, maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Let mixture cool, then mix in a blender with yogurt, cream and almond extract. Chill mixture for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Process blueberry mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Enjoy immediately for soft serve, or place in the freezer in an airtight container, then let sit at room temperature for several minutes to soften before serving.
Nutritional info per serving: 297 calories, 10G protein, 12G fat, 33G cabs, 36MG sodium
Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream
Indulge O’Clock: DESSERT
Avocado lends a fudgy consistency and plenty of nutritional perks, including cancer-fighting folate and heart-healthy fat.
2 medium-sized avocados, slightly soft
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup raw or natural cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
Garnish options: Raspberries, cacao nibs, coconut flakes
Scoop out flesh from avocados and add to a blender, along with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and then chill mixture thoroughly, at least 4 hours.
Process mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. It will take only about 10 minutes to reach soft serve consistency. Enjoy immediately for soft serve, or place in the freezer in an airtight container, then let sit at room temperature for several minutes to soften before serving.
Nutritional info per serving: 303 calories, 3G protein, 12G fat, 30G cabs, 76MG sodium