One of the main things to consider is how often you have ice cream or other frozen desserts because if it is a regular occurrence for you then the calories, fat, and sugar may soon add up. Portion control should definitely be practiced with these foods since they are often high in fat and sugar and low in nutritional value. A portion of ice cream is 1/2 cup (125ml or about 1/2 a tennis ball). Some products even come in single servings to help you with portion control. Otherwise, remember to dish it out rather than eating from the container (a pint isn't meant to be a single serving!).
There are many different options with ice cream and gelato at the high end for Calories. Both are made with cream, milk, eggs, sweeteners, and flavours. Ice cream is whipped with air to give it a fluffy texture. Premium brands (Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry's) use heavy cream and a 1/2 cup serving can easily be more than 300 Calories and 20g of fat! Gelato tends to be lower in fat due to a higher proportion of whole milk to cream, but it can be high in sugar, so it's still one to enjoy in moderation. Also watch out for (or avoid) added candies, cookies, chocolate chips, waffle cones, and sauces.
Some lighter options include frozen yogurt which is made with lower fat milk yet still offers a texture like ice cream (not like yogurt). Check the nutrition facts panel though as it can be high in sugar. Products such as Skinny Cow are made with skim milk and thus have a low fat content.
EatRightOntario dietitians have a few suggestions for DIY:
Try granita! Granita means flavoured ice in Italian – and indeed, granita looks like shaved ice (or a crunchy slushie). Popular flavours are chocolate, espresso and fruit. Here’s how to make your own:
- Start with a liquid – puree some fruit with water or brew up a large pot of coffee and let cool.
- Pour the liquid into a shallow glass or ceramic container and place in the freezer.
- Every 30 minutes, use a fork to break up the ice crystals that are forming.
- After two hours you should have a mixture of crunchy flavoured ice crystals.
- Grab a cup and a spoon and enjoy!
Have fun with frozen fruit. Get a serving of fruit while still enjoying a cool treat. Add a popsicle stick to strawberries or bananas. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for one hour.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation also has a few fun recipes:
- Strawberry Banana Sorbet
- Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Popsicles
Since it's Q's Day, I would also like to know:
What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
Steph Langdon (Wheler), RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching