Create Your Own Ice Cream for Better Nutrition
By Brandi Goodman
July is National Ice Cream Month -- and for good reason. The month is unbearably hot in many states. A cool treat is just what you need to feel refreshed. Store-bought versions aren't the best for you, however. It's wise to create your own ice cream so you get better nutrition and less of the sugar and calories.
Bananas mash up well and provide the thick and creamy texture that so many people love about ice cream. A banana flavor isn't all you're stuck with though. You can add in other fruits and flavorings to help create a unique taste. A strawberry banana ice cream is one possibility, for example. Bananas provide more than just potassium. You'll get the benefit of fiber, probiotics, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C, among other things.
Try a Vegan Recipe
Vegan recipes are often made with organic and natural ingredients. They're healthier, on average, for your brain and body. Try a vegan ice cream recipe, such as vanilla coconut. You'll use a vanilla bean, organic cane sugar, sea salt, and coconut cream. You'll gain some calcium and protein from the mixture.
Skip the Syrup
It might be tempting to grab that container of fudge or bottle of chocolate syrup and top your ice cream with it. Try to skip the syrup if you can. Most are packed with sugar and add in more calories than you need. If you really want a drizzle of added chocolate, opt for a melted dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa. It offers antioxidants that are beneficial to your health.
Use a Sweet Potato
Bananas aren't the only thing that can be mashed into an ice cream mixture. A sweet potato works just as well and is an easier flavor to mask. You'll need to bake your potato and turn it into a puree for the right consistency. Coconut milk, vanilla, and some unsweetened chocolate chips are the only other ingredients you'll need. A sweet potato packs even more fiber and protein than a banana, with additional antioxidant power.
You'll Need a Food Processor
Just a quick side note -- you'll need a food processor for your homemade ice cream tries. Many blenders do not have the strength to mix up your ingredients and provide the consistency you desire. If you do use a blender, make sure it's a high quality one with the right settings. An ice cream maker also comes in handy.
Celebrate Ice Cream Month with healthier concoctions that you make yourself. Any time you crave the cold dessert after the celebratory month is over, you should still stick with homemade options that pack in far more nutrition than their store-bought counterparts.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Decatur, Ga.