The Sweet 16: Delicious and Healthy Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Recipes


Now that it's officially summer, my tastebuds have decided they'd like to cool off for a while. So, rather than making all my standard baked desserts, I like to try my hand at ice cream and frozen yogurt recipes. Something about the chill makes these treats feel healthier, but if I'm not careful, I can consume way too much heavy cream and sugar. Those ingredients aren't exactly a bikini body's best friend. (See also: Stuff We Love: Make Delicious Ice Cream With the Lello Gelato Junior)

Here are 16 frozen delights that feature whole foods and lighter ingredients. Enjoy!

1. Classic Chocolate

This no-churn Chocolate Ice Cream uses full fat coconut milk as a base and agave as a sweetener. After combining all the ingredients, a few hours of chilling time is all you need before attacking the bowl with a spoon.

2. Simple Vanilla

Dust off your ice cream maker for this 4-Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream recipe. You can use two cups of your milk of choice, including non-dairy creamer or even coconut milk. Then add some sweetener and vanilla extract and follow your machine's freezing instructions.

3. Banana Whip

One of the healthiest and easiest "ice cream" recipes around involves nothing more than frozen bananas blended together in a food processor. You can add peanut butter, cocoa powder, or any other flavors to your taste.

4. Cherry Froyo

I picked cherries at a neighbor's tree as the base for this pleasantly tart Cherry Frozen Yogurt. Combine cherries and sugar on the stove and let cool. Next add the yogurt and coconut milk and chill for three hours. Then follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to make the magic happen. I think this recipe would also work well with other fruits or even chopped rhubarb.

5. Green Cream

This deliciously green Almond Pistachio Froyo has a secret up its sleeve. Not only can you make it without an ice cream maker, but there's an added dose of spinach and avocado that the author claims is undetectable.

6. Rainbow Sorbet

No special tools needed for these vibrant fruit sorbets. Each is sweetened naturally with banana and a little maple syrup or agave nectar. Whether you like blueberry, strawberry, pineapple, or mango, you can enjoy them frozen all summer long with a quick pulse of your blender.

7. Cookie Dough Paleo

Simply stir almond-based chocolate chip cookie dough into homemade vanilla ice cream for this delightful Paleo dessert. Those of you with nut allergies can substitute your favorite nut-free cookie dough.

8. Chocolate Peanut Butter

This Greek yogurt soft serve recipe combines the best of chocolate and peanut butter. The author divulges that the trick to getting this consistency at home is serving directly from the ice cream maker sans added chill time.

9. Vegan Fudgesicles

I can't wait to try my hand at these Vegan Fudgesicles. You need a can of coconut milk, some cocoa powder, sweetener, vanilla, sea salt, and — of course — a popsicle mold.

10. Jungle Pops

Slice any fruit you fancy and pop them into popsicle molds. Fill the empty spaces with coconut water and let freeze overnight. Not only are these Jungle Pops a quick fix, they are also undeniably good for you.

11. Avocado Cream

This Avocado Ice Cream is full of good fats. Once you've made a zesty syrup of lemon and lime and let it cool, you just blend together with the avocado flesh and some whole milk. Use an ice cream maker for the rest or whip by hand and set in the freezer.

12. Blueberry Chocolate

As another great coconut milk-based recipe, this Blueberry Chocolate Ice Cream is also highly adaptable. Use whatever fruit you have on hand or is in season and combine with bittersweet chocolate chunks.

13. Dark Chocolate

If you love the idea of avocado ice cream but need more convincing, try this Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream recipe. The green flesh is blended with raw honey, as well as carob and cocoa powders to make a dark treat you'd never suspect is full of nutrients.

14. Peanut Butter Hemp

This Peanut Butter Ice Cream recipe cuts the heavy cream a bit by using hemp milk in its base. Hemp milk is high in plant-based protein and essential fats, so it's a great substitute. For an extra punch of staying power, add a scoop of protein powder.

15. Banana Bonbons

If you want the most taste with the least effort, Frozen Banana Bites are what you're after. Cut bananas into chunks and freeze with a mixture of melted chocolate chips and peanut butter on top. You can dip them into any toppings you like — from nuts to crushed cookies. Then chill until frozen.

16. Ice Cream Pops

Ok, so this specific combination might not be the healthiest, but it's the concept of these Ice Cream Pops that intrigues me. The idea is to take your favorite ice cream (think sorbet or frozen yogurt, too) and then layer it with toppings and other flavors for a unique treat. I'd use whole fruit, nuts or nut butter, and maybe some chocolate chips for my own mix.

What's your favorite homemade frozen treat? Please share a scoop in comments!

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