To me, nothing says “it’s summer” like ice cream—sundaes, sandwiches, even frozen yogurt. I have fond memories of summer vacation at the beach and riding bikes with my cousins to the nearby ice cream shop in the evenings. Back then I always ordered ice cream in a cone.
Recently, I read that licking ice cream is more satisfying than eating with a spoon, so I’m going back to my childhood ways.
“Flavor in ice cream is released when the fat—which carries the flavor—is warmed to at least body temperature,” explains Kay McMath, a food technologist for New Zealand’s Massey University, in an article in the August issue of EatingWell magazine. When you lick ice cream it coats the tongue and fully warms the frozen treat. A spoon, on the other hand, insulates the ice cream. And then there’s the psychological aspect of savoring the treat more slowly: You just cannot lick ice cream as fast as you can spoon it.
So whether you make your own, or make a pit-stop at your favorite local ice cream shop, enjoy an ice cream cone! You just might find yourself satisfied with less.
Here are my favorite diet-friendly frozen treats to lick during summer:
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream: This simple low-fat vanilla ice cream has all the richness you’ll need but about 90 fewer calories than store-bought premium ice cream and a whopping 15 grams less total fat and 10 grams less saturated fat per serving. I like to jazz it up by adding crumbled cookies. (Stir them into the ice cream maker during the last 5 minutes of freezing.)
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt: Jammy raspberries and rich chocolate combine for a delicious, low-calorie frozen yogurt. Mini chocolate chips give you the most chocolate in every lick, but any kind of chip will work.
Banana Pudding Pops: When it comes to licking, pops rock. These banana popsicles taste rich and decadent but are low-fat and really easy to make. We especially like them with some chocolate chips added.
Strawberry Sherbet: Buttermilk gives this low-fat sherbet tanginess and complements the chunks of fresh sweet strawberries.