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Healthy Bites: We all scream for ice cream, so let’s make it healthier

By DEE SANDQUIST, Hy-Vee dietitian | Jul 03, 2013

July is National Ice Cream Month. Kids of all ages love ice cream!

After all, what’s not to love? It’s creamy, sweet and delicious. Ice cream is a favorite summertime treat.

We know it may contain extra calories from fat and sugar so we want to watch portions for good health and to be able to fit into our summer wardrobe!

One strategy is to eat upside-down sundaes by making fruit the base of your sundae.

Fruit is a great dessert option for summer sweet treats. It is refreshing, nutritious and lower in calories than many other choices.

Instead of filling a large dish of ice cream topped by a handful of strawberries, enjoy a bowl of berries capped with a small scoop (about 1/2 cup) of ice cream.

One cup of strawberries provides about 50 calories and a generous amount of fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants. A half-cup of a light ice cream adds about 100 calories, as well as calcium.

Or, substitute one sliced medium-sized peach (2-1/2-inch diameter) for the strawberries for about 40 calories. (Source of calorie information: USDA National Nutrient Database per UNL Extension in Lancaster County).

With a total of around 150 calories for the fruit plus ice cream, your taste buds and your waistline can be happy!

Here are three fabulous ice cream recipes with a healthy twist for you to enjoy this summer — including a dairy-free, gluten-free option that is absolutely amazing!

Who says you can’t have your dessert and eat it, too?

Upside-Down Strawberries and Ice Cream

1 cup strawberries

1/2 cup ice cream

1. Put strawberries in bowl and top with a small scoop of ice cream.

Recipe Source: Alice Henneman, MS, RD, UNL Extension in Lancaster County


Fruit on the grill? Most definitely! Try grilling other stone fruit or pineapple too!

Grilled Peach Sundaes

Makes: 2 servings

Active time: 10 minutes | Total: 25 minutes

2 peaches, halved and pitted

1 teaspoon canola oil

2 scoops nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt or fruit sorbet

1 tablespoon toasted unsweetened coconut.

1. Preheat grill to high. Brush peach halves with oil. Grill until tender.

2. Place two peach halves in each bowl and top with a scoop of frozen yogurt (or sorbet) and coconut.

Per serving: 154 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 19 g added sugars; 4 g protein, 2 g fiber, 41 mg sodium, 319 mg potassium.



Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

(gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Makes approximately 5 servings, 1/2 cup each

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1 (13.65 fl. oz.) can coconut milk (not lite)

1/3 cup agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Rock salt and ice for ice cream maker

Toppings as desired – nuts, unsweetened coconut, fruit

1. Whisk cacao powder in a small amount of coconut milk. Add remaining coconut milk, agave nectar and vanilla and combine.

2. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Serve with assorted toppings and enjoy.

The information in this article is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a medical professional for individual advice.

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