Fruit or chocolate?
Whatever the flavour, ice cream is the quintessential summer dessert. Either at the beach or in picnic lunch boxes, in scoops, cones, sticks, or popsicles, ice cream makes for refreshing (and sweeter) summer days and evenings.
If this frozen dessert has a place in your freezer, see which ingredients to prioritise and how to make healthier and zero-waste homemade ice cream.
Can ice cream be part of a balanced diet?
If you have been following us for a while, you probably already know our thoughts on healthy eating: the secret for a healthy diet is balance. With diversity and moderation, and a balanced lifestyle, there is no such thing as “bad foods”. Still, most ice cream-style foods have high contents of sugar, fats and, particularly, saturated fats. So, they should be consumed in moderation.
You can always make better, healthier choices, by choosing the most nutritionally interesting ice creams. Here are some tips.
Ingredients to look for and to avoid
Sugar and fat
Prefer ice cream without added sugars or with as little sugar as possible. The same applies to fats. A cream-based ice cream usually has more fat than a milk-based ice cream, for example. It is also important to choose ice creams that have a higher amount of fruit.
Protein is another important factor to consider, especially for those who practice sports on a regular basis.
Dairy products and ingredients of animal origin
If you are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan diet, search for dairy free ice creams or the ones that use plant-based alternatives, without any animal products.
Locally sourced fruit
Ecologically sourced ingredients
It is important to know where the ingredients in your food come from, and to choose ecologically sourced ingredients. For example, look for the Rainforest Alliance label to make sure that the cocoa used in chocolate ice cream is sustainably grown.
If you find it hard to resist an ice cream – and we are not judging – you can always buy the “mini” versions of stick bars, or pair a delicious scoop with fresh fruit. You can also make your own ice cream, stick bars, and ice lollies, and also reduce food waste. How? Stay tuned.
3 homemade ice-cream recipes to avoid fruit waste
In 2020, food waste in Europe happened mainly in the homes of families. Using fruit that is a tad too ripe, as well as “ugly” fruit and vegetables left behind in supermarkets, you can make delicious homemade fruit juice, ice cream, and ice lollies. A simple way to reduce food waste.
Here’s how to make homemade ice cream and ice lollies, preventing ripe fruit from ending up in the bin. It also applies to yogurts, milk or vegetable drinks approaching the end of their shelf life.
Fruit and yogurt ice cream
- 3 cups of fruit purée (to choose from)
- 1 cup of Greek yogurt or plant-based “yogurt”
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Place the fruit in a blender and reduce it to purée.
- Add the yogurt and honey to a bowl. Mix until you obtain a homogeneous mixture.
- Fill ice cream/ice lolly moulds with the fruit and yogurt in alternating layers and place them in the freezer for at least eight hours.
Tip: you can use one single kind of fruit or combine several kinds.
Quick banana ice cream
- 2 bananas, sliced and frozen
- 1-2 tablespoons milk or vegetable drink
- 2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
- Cut the bananas and place them in the freezer. Let them freeze completely.
- Blend the bananas in a kitchen processor until you get a creamy consistency.
- Add the honey and milk, adjusting the amount of milk according to the texture you prefer.
- Serve immediately.
Tip: If you feel like chocolate ice cream, add one to two tablespoons of cocoa powder and mix, or use dark chocolate chips. You can also add dry fruits or peanut butter as toppings.
- 3 cups of preferred fruit, frozen
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1-2 tablespoons honey or agave syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons lukewarm water
- Blend the frozen fruit in a kitchen processor until you get a creamy consistency.
- Add the honey and lime juice and combine well.
- If the texture is on point, it’s ready. If you prefer your ice cream creamier, add one teaspoon of water at a time, while blending, until you get the desired consistency.
- Serve immediately.