Protect yourself! If you think you’ve been targeted by a scam, click here to get information and assistance from the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline!
Sisters Site Logo.svg
Oh no!
It looks like you aren't logged in to the Sisters community. Log in to get the best user experience, save your favorite articles and quotes, and follow our authors.
Don't have an Online Account? Subscribe here
Subscribe

Yum! Creamy, Sweet Summer Treat Can Help Shave off Pounds and Save Dollars

Chocolate, vanilla or strawberry? Healthy enough to enjoy daily, get the scoop on a frozen treat that is fat free, free of added sugar and (almost) free to make in minutes.

Comment Icon
Black woman enjoying ice cream
Getty Images
Comment Icon

What is your favorite frozen treat flavor? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Is ice-cream usually off-limits because of calories, sugar and fat? A 2/3 cup serving of premium vanilla bean ice cream contains 350 calories. And over 50 percent of the recommended daily saturated fat limit per serving. Also, half the recommended daily limit for added sugar.

And let’s be honest, Sis, how many of us eat only 2/3 cup? If you eat the whole pint—and yeah, I’ve done it and will probably do it again because, YOLO—you will add 910 calories to your daily total. If one of our self-care goals includes a healthy weight, success means we’re likely to enjoy this as a very occasional treat.

Good news: What if I told you there’s an all-natural, creamy frozen treat so healthy that, not only could you eat it every day, but you could eat it as part of your breakfast every day? A similar size serving of the basic recipe is less than 150 calories and has zero fat or added sugar. The first time I had it was at a well-known destination spa where the food was so clean that the highlight of each week was the day the chef walked around campus and handed each guest a single cookie—no seconds!

Hasn’t ice cream gotten expensive? Food-flation is ridiculous now—am I right? A pint of that same premium vanilla ice cream, containing two and a half servings, costs around $4.00, or $1.65 per teensy serving. Maybe two to three years ago, I would find them on sale for $2.88; I would buy one, get the instant register coupon for $1.50 off three, then turn right around and get three more so that my family of four could each enjoy their favorite flavor for about ten bucks total. That is so over!

Good news: What if I told you that our healthier option costs $0.30 per serving—at most. But it’s practically free, and I’ll soon tell you why. Passing up four premium pints just once a month could save a family $144 a year!

Does eating clean mean favorites like ice cream are off limits? I mentioned “premium” ice cream for a reason. It’s likelier to only contain ingredients you can pronounce—milk, cream, sugar, etc. Yes, there are half gallons (or, often, 1.5 liters: hello shrinkflation!) of the other stuff that are cheaper than the posh pint. But they taste ick—and have you read the labels? Here’s a snippet of one from a brand I saw on sale for around $3.00 per half gallon over the holidays: corn syrup, whey, contains less than 2% of natural flavors, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, xanthan gum, carrageenan. You’ve read about health issues connected to ultra-processed foods right here in the article Weight Gain? 6 Ways to Help Detox a Trash Diet.

I frequently share medical news with you. Check out what hit my inbox just the other day. “A new study from researchers at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment…and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research…in France has found that consuming seven specific food additive emulsifiers found in ultra-processed foods may be associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.” As reported in Medical News Today. You see the four ingredients I’ve underlined in the previous paragraph? OK.

Good news: Our frozen treat is made from a whole food packed with soluble fiber which may help regulate blood sugar levels and appetite. And if you are vegan-curious, it’s a perfect starter recipe.

Could this be the best frozen treat for weight loss?

I am talking about one-ingredient “nice cream” made from sliced frozen bananas. That’s the basic recipe, but you can fancy it up with cocoa powder, berries, vanilla extract. A little plant-based milk or peanut butter makes it extra rich. I’ve made it with sugar-free mini chocolate morsels. But try it “naked” first if you’ve never had it before. It’s hard to believe the only ingredient is a piece of freckled fruit. A buzz in your blender or food processer turns those mealy morsels to frosty, velvety perfection. What Arctic alchemy is this? How does this not contain dairy cream?

That magic mouthfeel only lasts a few minutes, though. The texture’s not so great when it starts to melt—more like baby food than frosty treat. And the colder it is when eaten, the easier it is to savor the flavor notes of any add-ins versus it just tasting too banana-y, I find. So, spoon it up right away or store it in the freezer to enjoy later.

You use one large banana, costing about $0.30 each, per serving. But this recipe calls for bananas that often get thrown in the trash—the ones that are bruised, brown-speckled or mushy before you can finish off the bunch. Yes, Sis. This is a recipe made entirely of food waste, which is why I say it’s practically free. A dumpster diver’s dream dessert. If you’re like me, you usually have overripe bananas in your freezer for making banana bread. But it’s too hot to turn the oven on now, so…

The best way to freeze them is peeled and sliced, frozen in a single layer and then transferred to a storage bag. But not gonna lie—I once excavated unpeeled mummified fruit out of the freezer, slit open and emptied it with a knife and made this, adding a little unsweetened cacao powder to camouflage the browned bits. Do as I say, not as I do. I love to pull out my stick blender with the mini chopper attachment and make a single serving in about 60 seconds. But you can batch it in a blender or food processer quickly.

Here’s the basic recipe, plus some variations:

Banana “Nice Cream”

Yield
1 to 6 servings

Ingredients
1 to 6 large bananas

Method

  1. Peel and slice bananas
  2.  Freeze for at least three hours, in a single layer on a cookie sheet and covered with foil, parchment or wrap. (Omit this step and you’ll have a banana berg that could sink the Titanic.) To freeze multiple layers, separate with parchment. Note: Frozen bananas will keep for two to three months in a sealed, airtight container. Do this ahead of time for one-step prep.
  3. Place bananas in food processor (fitted with S-shaped blade), blender or mini chopper (if making a single serving). Pulse just until smooth but not liquified, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. If using a blender, adding a splash of plant milk (oat, almond, soy, coconut, etc.) can help to get things moving
  4. Serve and eat immediately for “soft serve” consistency. Or store frozen in an airtight container for a scoopable dessert (let sit a few minutes at room temperature before scooping).

Variations

  • ·Add 1 Tbs. peanut butter or seed butter per banana
  • Add 1 Tbs. coconut milk per banana
  • Add ¼ cup sliced frozen berries per banana
  • Add one drop vanilla extract per banana (this neutral flavor works well in most variations)
  • Add maple syrup or date syrup for more sweetness (to taste) if desired
  • Add 1Tbs. unsweetened cacao powder per banana
  • Use half frozen banana, half frozen mango chunks
  • Add ½ tsp. matcha green tea powder per banana
  • If you’re not watching salt, a small pinch adds flavor
  • Toppings: Berries, seeds, nuts, unsweetened cacao mini chips, flaked coconut

Cool, right?
What is your favorite frozen treat flavor? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Health