Healthy ice-cream?! Now there’s an oxymoron if ever I heard one. The reality is that you cannot really call any sweet dessert “healthy”. But everything in life is shades of grey, and you can certainly find healthIER ice-creams and frozen desserts, that at least limit the bad stuff and/or have redeeming nutritional benefits. I add as a proviso to this that at TMA, we don’t really think anything should be totally out of bounds, and portion control is arguably the best “diet” in the world. My own preference would be for one scoop of real Italian gelato than a tub of any nice-cream, which may in fact be higher in sugar anyway so watch out for those. Remember to look beyond labels. Coconut Collaborative snowconut may be dairy free but it is higher in sugar (more of an enemy, unless you have a dairy allergy) than Haagen Dazs vanilla. Also, don’t forget you can make your own ice-creams, nice-creams and sorbets. My recipe for matcha green tea nice cream is here, and I also love making popsicles with the kids – they like orange best (just plain freshly squeezed orange juice), while my favourites are either lime and mint (like a kind of virgin frozen mojito; tastes great tequila’d up too if you are party planning) or banana and coconut milk (I add a handful of spinach leaves and/or vanilla protein powder sometimes – sounds vile but honestly so delicious). Other than those ideas, here is my pick of the commercially available alternatives.
Oppo Salted Caramel with Lucuma Ice Cream
Salted Caramel ANYTHING is amazing. This is no exception. Oppo contains 50-60% less sugar and calories than regular ice cream. Its main ingredients are fresh milk, cold pressed coconut oil, fresh cream and stevia, and each flavour has a superfood boost from lucuma, spirulina or baobab. You can read more about Oppo here and it is available from Ocado here. I also love the other two flavours, which are mint choc swirl and spirulina (main picture), and Madagascan Vanilla with baobab. The latter has passed the child test (as in, none of my three superfood supersleuths complained or noticed any difference to regular vanilla ice cream). For further information on sugar and sugar alternatives, click here and here.
Frill The Frozen Smoothie Intense
This is soooooo chocolatey. My addiction to anything chocolate is well-known and well-documented. I HATE fake chocolate. Cacao has many nutritional benefits so there is really no need to fake it, so long as you understand how to avoid/limit the sugar. This intense chocolate frozen thing is nicely not very sweet at all, while being high in fibre, a lack of which I believe to be one of the main problems in many diets. This is a dairy free product. I have no problem with dairy (or fat – in fact, I lose/maintain weight easiest by increasing fat, while reducing alcohol, sugar and starchy carbs) so I like it served with a dollop of double cream (yogurt would work too if you aren’t as cream obsessed as I am). Literally perfection on a plate is Frill chocolate with a teeny bit of double or whipped cream. You can read more about Frill here and it is stocked on Ocado here. You can read more about the benefits of cacao here.
Smooze mango fruit ice lollies
This one is for Miranda, my little dream-come-true three year old daughter. These are her favourite food thing EVER. They are the ultimate behaviour bribe/mood restorer/peace-giver. I get like 5 minutes peace, which is nothing short of a miracle with a threenager. They do contain a bit of sugar, but they are free of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, nuts, gluten and dairy. They taste like the dream beach cocktail, minus the rum bit of course. You can read more about Smooze here and they are available from Ocado here.
Picture credit: Sundae glass from Denby. Is there a more reliable source of high quality durable British made crockery, glassware and kitchen-ware? I don’t think so. You can trust Northeners :).