It’s finally starting to get warm out, and all I can think about is how excited I am for summer! I love everything about summer: the warmth, playing sports, grilling, and ice cream!
I’m sure many of you feel the same way, especially about the last one 😉
But how does eating ice cream fit into a healthy lifestyle and achieving your goals? Clocking in at 32o calories, 20 grams of fat, and 30 grams of sugar, a small dish of chocolate ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery is not the best choice. Even the “low fat” ice cream and frozen yogurts can be crammed with artificial stabilizers, corn syrup, and high amounts of sugar.
Looks like you’re just going to have to give up ice cream for the rest of your life. Just kidding! With a little research and development, aka taste testing, I have found a great recipe for a rich chocolately alternative. It’s smooth, creamy, and cold enough to hit the spot after a day in the sun (or an afternoon on the couch). It contains just 2 ingredients, and costs less than a dollar to make.
Banana ice cream! Bananas are packed with vitamins, sweetened with natural sugar, and balanced out with a good dose of fiber. Paired with unsweetened cocoa powder, or even the superfood cacao powder, it produces a dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you feeling guilt free.
The recipe is very simple, 1 banana and 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder. Cut up a frozen banana into small rounds and place in food processor. Blend until smooth. It will start out blending into tiny pieces, and then it will turn into a creamy consistency. Once it’s creamy, add cocoa powder and blend until the powder is evenly mixed.
This recipe is easily adapted to larger servings, with a 1:1 ratio of banana to cocoa. You can eat it immediately, or freeze it for a couple hours for a harder consistency.
Even though this is made of fruit, and fruit is healthy, it’s still possible to overdo it. We should only be consuming about 2 servings of fruit a day, depending on your weight and activity level, and believe it or not too much fruit is a BAD THING! Fruit can pack a good amount of sugar, and even though it’s natural sugar, too much of it will cause trouble. Did you know that fructose, the sugar in fruit, is processed by the liver? Check out this Harvard article if you’re interested in learning more about that.
Moral of the story: Moderation. Even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. But if you take the time to research, there are usually great alternatives for unhealthy treats. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and food is part of that.
What are some of your favorite alternatives for dessert? Comment below with your go-to treat!