How to Substitute Ice Cream: 6 Healthier Alternatives

How to Substitute Ice Cream: 6 Healthier Alternatives

There are few desserts as mouth-watering as ice cream. From classic options like creamy chocolate to the more sophisticated herb-sprinkled gin and tonic, we all have a favorite. Ice cream is the best snack for the hottest days of the year, and it's also a decadent side for warm desserts. However, it's time to face the fact that ice cream is not that healthy. Most ice creams are made from cream, whole milk and added sugar; they're scoopfuls of saturated fat.

Don't worry, here at OneHowTo we'll show you how to substitute ice cream with six healthier alternatives. This way, you'll enjoy this dessert while still preventing obesity and other diseases. Read on!

How to make healthier ice cream

If you don't want to quit ice cream completely, a good alternative is simply to substitute industrial ice creams for healthier brands. Take a look at your local farmers' market and research proximity brands. The ingredients will be healthier, and you'll leave a smaller ecological footprint. Make sure you choose ice creams with skim milk or without any dairy at all.

Of course, there is no healthier alternative to industrial ice cream than the one you can make at home. If you do eat dairy, use skim milk or other low-fat products. Cottage cheese-based ice creams, for instance, are super creamy and smooth. Non-dairy options are even healthier: Look up ice cream recipes with coconut, almond or soy milk, or try soft avocado. Remember to use natural sweeteners (what about dates?) instead of sugar or syrups.

Here you can learn how to make banana ice cream with almond milk.

How to substitute ice cream with frozen fruit

Think about what makes you like ice cream so much. Is it the fact that it's fresh? Is it its colorful aspect or its soft texture? Good news: You can get all that with frozen fruit, and it's much healthier and vitamin-packed.

How to make healthier smoothies:

A classic smoothie is made with fruit, yogurt and ice; you can make a healthier smoothie by not adding any syrups or flavorings. In order to make a smoothie to substitute ice cream simply peel, chop and freeze your favorite fruit (make sure it's in season!). After a while, blend it or use a food processor together with low-fat or soy yogurt and ice cubes.

  • Our recommendation: Banana is a good choice to make a smoothie without any yogurt. Simply chop it, freeze it and process it, and dress however you want (with cocoa, vanilla, other fruits...).
  • Give your healthier smoothie a boost by adding flavored protein powder. It's a full meal now!
  • You can find healthy concentrated smoothies in some supermarkets. Since you have to prepare the drink yourself, you can choose its texture.

How to make healthy juices:

The world of juices is expanding surprisingly fast. You can find anything out there, from cold pressed chia drinks to the classic squeezed oranges. Here you can find info on the best detox juices for your skin and the best juices to lower cholesterol levels. Pick and choose!

Of course, you can always choose the simplest option and freeze fresh fruit. If the fruit is bigger than grapes or berries, chop it. Just as fresh and sweet as an ice cream, except the calorie count is much lower.

How to substitute ice cream with fruit sorbet

A classic sorbet is simply frozen and sweetened fruit juice. Of course, you can adapt it to make it even healthier! Here is an easy and healthy fruit sorbet recipe. You'll need:

  • 3 cups of your favorite fruit, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water, fruit juice or coconut milk

Freeze the fruit for an hour or two if your blender or food processor can take it, although you can also blend it by hand. Process the fruit with the liquid, and add sweetener (syrup or liquid stevia) if you want. Make it as liquid or dense as you want; use a strain for a smoother texture, or whisk for a longer time. Freeze again.

How to substitute ice cream with frozen yogurt

Frozen yogurt is probably the best option to substitute ice cream, since the texture is just as creamy. However, it's easier to simply change the normal yogurt that you would usually use as a base for a low fat version.

Choose any taste that you like by adding frozen fruit, scraps of jam or fruit juice, or simply freeze your favorite Greek yogurt and let it thaw before eating.

How to substitute ice cream for ice pops

Making ice pops - or popsicles, as they're called in the US - is not only easy, but also fun. This is a great activity to get children used to cooking, and they'll love to personalize their own snacks. And trust us, so will you.

Ice pops are water-based, so they're much lower in fat and calories than normal ice creams. To make popsicles, simply pour the liquid of your choice into a popsicle mold and freeze. Why not try:

  • Fruit or veg juice: Popsiclify your superfoods!
  • Lemonade
  • Green tea (it has antioxidants!)
  • Herbal tea
  • Greek yogurt
  • Soy yogurt
  • Almond milk
  • Your favorite smoothie
  • Your favorite cocktail, from coffee and kahlua to sangría or fruit daiquiris

You can also add solids to your homemade popsicle. Choose a healthy ingredient, like chopped fruits (strawberries, bananas, cantaloupes) or granola and freeze with the liquid. Done!


Now that you know how to substitute ice cream with six healthier alternatives, try them out and share your ideas and tips with us in the comments section!

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