Kitchen essentials: Healthy ice cream and cones – no bananas required!

I love Halo Top, but the more I’ve been eating it, the more I feel like it makes me crave more sugar! So I’ve been trying to cut down. Homemade healthy ice cream alternatives are great and easy to make. The “classic” one blends 2 frozen bananas, 1 date, and 1/4 cup coconut milk. Just put it in the freezer after blending for a few hours or eat it as is. I personally find bananas very bloating, however, so I don’t make this that often (they’re also high in carbs and low in fiber compared to most other fruits). Inspired by F-Factor I’ve been experimenting with alternatives and thanks to the Cuisinart ICE-45 Mix It In Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker it’s super easy to make something other than banana-based ice cream!

This is such a fun gadget to work with. The best quick, healthy recipe requires 1 cup almond, cashew or coconut milk, 6 oz plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 scoops protein powder (I like the one from Carrington Farms because it doesn’t have much flavor…I hate that artificial vanilla/chocolate taste you get with most protein powders!). This will make enough ice cream for two people. All you have to do is blend the ingredients and pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and turn the machine on for about two hours. Again you can eat it as is, but it tastes better if you wait for it to harden more (a few more hours in the freezer). What I love specifically about this machine is that it allows you to easily mix in things. I’ve been putting in Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate chips, fruit chunks, sprinkles… The result is something that satisfies both carb and sweet cravings while being relatively low in net carbs because of the fiber from the yogurt and protein blend.

Usually I just eat the ice cream on its own, especially if I’m mixing in goodies, but on weekends I’ve been loving making my husband and I cones using the CucinaPro Waffle Cone and Bowl Maker ($34.99). It’s so easy and a great way to pack more protein and fiber into your dessert. I was worried it might be messy, but it’s really not as long as you coat the cone maker with some avocado oil spray before you use it. Just mix 1 scoop of the Carrington protein powder (or any protein powder), 2 egg whites, and a 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil. This makes about 4 cones. I use one to hold the ice cream and then I crumble up the rest for topping!

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