Ice cream is everyone’s favorite summer treat for snacks or desserts, but you need to read labels and choose carefully to avoid busting your fat and calorie budget.
Lower the Calories
Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your favorite treat without the guilt:
Ice cream can range anywhere from 90 to 300 calories per 1/2 cup serving depending on the fat content, the brand, and the flavor variety you choose, so read labels carefully.
• Choose fat-free ice cream or frozen yogurt over regular ice cream and you will save about 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving.
• Look for light ice creams since they generally have less than half the fat content of regular ice cream.
• Be aware that just toppings can add significant amounts of calories to your ice cream. 2 tablespoons of most toppings contains around 100 calories while a spoonful of candies or cookies can be up to 150 calories per ounce. Your best bet for a topping is fresh fruit and/or light chocolate syrup, sweetened with aspartame.
• Homemade ice cream is a refreshing summer treat with good, old-fashioned appeal. It is as much fun to make as it is to eat. However, traditional recipes can be quite high in fat and calories.
Healthy Topping Ideas
Fresh fruit is always your best bet for a delicious and healthy ice cream topping. There is never a better time than summer to experience a wide selection of fresh fruit in season. Here are a few ideas:
• Fresh strawberries tossed with a little orange juice
• Peaches mixed with fresh raspberries
• Kiwi and mango slices
• Fresh cherries tossed with a little brown sugar and vanilla extract
• Blueberries and blackberries mixed with cinnamon and apple juice
• Apricots mixed with apricot jam
Ice Cream Fun Facts
The United States is the ice cream capital of the world, with US citizens spooning an average of 23 quarts per year. Vanilla is the #1 ice cream flavor in the United States, equaling about 20% of the nations’ total ice cream sales. The International Ice Cream Association reports that in the average household, 66% of the ice cream is eaten by adults.
Ice cream label terms:
• Lowfat: 3 grams or less fat per
• Light: 50% less fat than the brand’s regular ice cream
• Ice milk: Can mean low fat or light
• Nonfat: Less than .5 gram of fat per serving
• No sugar added: Neither ice cream nor add-ins can be sweetened with sugar; can use artificial sweeteners.
Beth Fontenot, MS, LDN, RD
Banana Berry Crush
2 cups mixed berries
1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
Slice all the fruit into small pieces. Place in a large plastic bag, flatten and freeze overnight. Grind all ingredients together in a food processor. Serve immediately or place back in the freezer to harden until ready to serve, up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. This frozen treat looks really nice when served in a footed bowl.
Serves 3. Each 1/2 cup serving: 86 calories, .5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 1/2 bread, 1 fruit.
Pineapple Orange Frozen Yogurt
1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup fresh or canned pineapple chunks
Place yogurt and fruit in large plastic bag, flatten and freeze overnight. Combine fruit, yogurt, and juice in food processor or blender and blend smooth. Serve immediately or place back in the freezer to harden until ready to serve, up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir before serving.
Serves 3. Each 1/2 cup serving: 92 calories, .5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 1 g fiber. Diabetic Exchange: 1 milk, 1/2 fruit.
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.