It’s summer! We want ice cream!
It’s summer, it’s hot, the sun is out and it’s time for some ice cream! I want to share with you what I recently found online – a recipe for something which gives you the same experience as eating ice cream: it’s cold and delicious. Yet, it is much healthier for you than most of the ice cream available in shops, so you can eat it more often! Before I share the recipe with you, a few words about standard dairy ice cream.
Ice cream and calories
You might know that your classic creamy gelato is likely to be high in calories. This doesn’t have to be a problem if you have this kind of ice cream as a special treat rather than part of your daily summer diet. I generally do not advise calorie counting as a technique as my aim is to help my clients develop skills which will allow them to eat without having to do the maths at the same time. Having said that, not counting the calories does not mean not being aware of the calorie content of the foods you consume. You need to know a bit about calorie density and nutrient density to get the balance right in your diet.
If something is high in nutrients and low in calories, that’s great! You can probably eat lots of it.
If something is high in calories and high in nutrients, you need to make sure that how much you eat of it and how often you eat it is suitable to your individual needs. This will be based on your body composition, your lifestyle, the amount of physical activity you do and your personal nutrient needs etc.
Lastly, foods high in calories and low in nutrients – generally not great. Definitely not to be eaten regularly. If you love something particular that falls into that category, the first thing you should do is to see if you can find a healthier version of it. Perhaps just preparing it at home will make it less caloric and more nutritious? Maybe it’s the method of preparation that is ruining the nutrient content and adding calories and therefore changing the way the food is prepared could make it much healthier? It can also be that you can swap some of the ingredients to radically change the calorie / nutrient balance, so it’s worth investigating. After all, foods you love make you happy so you want to find ways to include them in your diet and stay healthy! That’s why it’s worth making an effort to find the healthier versions of these foods.
Ingredients used in different types of ice cream
There is a huge difference in the quality of ice cream bought from a an organic, artisan gelateria which produces it’s ice cream with fresh milk, fresh cream, seasonal ingredients and uses no additives and your standard supermarket ice cream produced by big brands. There is also a difference in the quality of the different brands available at supermarkets. Some of the so called ice cream, often do not even contain cream. Instead they have lots of other ingredients, which you wouldn’t’ really expect to find in ice cream. Here’s an article from 2014 comparing various ice cream brands available in the supermarkets in the UK. The good news is, some companies do use noticeably better ingredients than others and make ice cream with no additives.
Real, good quality dairy ice cream, needs to be made of real good quality ingredients. I have recently heard about La Gelatiera and even though I haven’t tasted their ice cream yet, I do like what I see on their website in the ingredients section.
- made with 100% natural ingredients
- hand-crafted daily in small batches
- free of any artificial flavourings, colourings or other nasties
- packed with healthy seasonal ingredients and fruits
Cold, delicious & healthy: Chocolate banana pops!
During hot summer days we often reach for ice cream not because we want all the sugar, caramel and so on, but simply because we want something cold! If you have a juicer which also has a sorbet function, you can simply freeze some fruit, like mango, and then get a delicious natural sorbet within minutes. There are different types of frozen fruit deserts, so I encourage you to explore this category of summer treats.
Now finally, here is what I wanted to share with you and what inspired this article – Chocolate Banana Pops from wearesovegan.com I saw this video and immediately decided that I will have to try it! Here you go:
- make sure you don’t put the heat on too high when melting the chocolate as it will start burning and will turn to paste rather than liquid
- the pops taste even better on the following day. To be honest when I had the first one, exactly 3h after I put them in the freezer, I wasn’t amazed. The banana had a strange texture and flavour. When I had a second one the following day, I loved it!
Here’s a little photo reportage of my banana pop experience. I hope I’ve inspired you to try this tasty summer treat! If you give it a go, let me know! Also, if you have tried other ice cream alternatives, do share your experiences in the comments section below. Enjoy summer!