4 Healthy Options to Replace Ice Cream in Smoothies

A rich ice cream smoothie is certain to be quite pleasant, but it is rather unhealthy.

Ice Cream in Bowl

A ½ cup serving of ice cream (vanilla) has about 96 mg of cholesterol, 17 grams of fat (or 26% of the recommended DV), and 265 calories. There are several alternative choices substituting ice cream to ensure the smoothie is cholesterol and fat free, while also being much lower in calories.

Here are four healthy replacements for ice cream in smoothies:

1 – Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese can be tangy and lumpy and less common ingredient for a smoothie compared to ice cream. But, blending the cottage cheese before use can create a lighter and creamy texture. A ½ cup serving of milk fat cottage cheese (1%) has a nice 14.2 grams of protein, 5 mg of cholesterol, 1.2 grams of fat, and 82 calories. Plain cottage cheese is easily flavored if preferred using cocoa powder or vanilla extract.

2 – Frozen Fruit

A touch of sweetness is added to the smoothie by using frozen fruit. Most types of frozen fruit are effective in smoothies, but a highly favored option is berries for the nutritional value and low-calorie count. A ½ cup serving of mixed unsweetened berries has 4.2 grams of fiber, 0.5 grams of fat, and 34 calories. Alternatively, a ½ cup serving of bananas has 2.2 grams of fiber, 0.26 grams of fat, and 65 calories. A smoothie can work with either pre-frozen fresh fruit or store-bought frozen packs.

3 – Milk

Milk is able to offer a similar smooth flavor to the smoothie, but without the thickness. Skim milk is the preferred option and in a ½ cup serving contains 4 2 mg of cholesterol, .1 grams of fat, 4.2 grams of protein, and 38 calories. You can freeze milk (using an ice cube tray) to produce a thicker smoothie that is compared to ice cream.

4 – Yogurt

Substitute ice cream with yogurt to get a similar level of creaminess but without the excess cholesterol, fat, and calories. A fat-free and plain yogurt is still able to provide a great taste, but brings with it more health benefits. Plus, yogurt can be combined with oats or berries to give the smoothies taste more depth. A ½ cup serving of yogurt has about 2 mg of cholesterol, .24 grams of fat, 68 calories, and 7.2 grams of protein. A plain yogurt can be replaced with a fat-free flavored version with slightly more calories if wishing to introduce on flavor. Also, the thickness of the yogurt is achieved by freezing for 45-60 minutes before use.

Caution: Lactose content

Ice cream might not be a practical food option for certain people because of the rich concentration of a milk sugar known as lactose. This can cause problems with those that are lactose-intolerant and missing the type of enzyme that make it possible to digest lactose. There is lactose supplement that can be taken to help with alleviating this issue, or ice cream can be substituted for other products with a common choice being soy milk.

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