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DIY healthier homemade ice cream

By Carolyn Malcoun, June 17, 2010 - 11:17am

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I was in perhaps the best shape of my adult life when I met my husband seven summers ago. During those first few months our nightly ritual involved a bike ride, run or yoga class followed by a farm-fresh summer dinner and capped off with a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Not a bad way to start a relationship, huh?

Now ice cream isn’t all bad, since the dairy in it can be a good source of calcium—a bone-strengthening mineral that most of us don’t get enough of. (Find creamy, nutritious ice cream recipes that offer at least 15% of the recommended daily value for calcium here.) But even though we’re active, all the fat and calories consumed on those romantic ice cream dates added up fast. It’s possible that if we had chosen ice cream cones over bowls of ice cream, we might have been satisfied with less—find out how here. While we could’ve opted for lower-in-fat frozen yogurt, we both have a major weakness for full-fat premium ice cream. It turns out that my favorite flavor has 330 calories and 20 grams of fat, 11 of which are saturated fat! No wonder my slim, trim figure quickly disappeared! (Trying to undo the effects of your ice cream habit? Get our easy 4-week meal plan to slim down here!)

So I set out to develop healthier ice cream recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. Now I can enjoy a scoop of rich, creamy Strawberry-Chocolate Ice Cream without feeling guilty, since it saves me 100 calories and 16 grams of fat over my premium fave. I swap heavy cream and whole milk for a combination of nonfat sweetened condensed milk and low-fat milk with a little gelatin to keep it rich and creamy without adding too much fat. Find 10 more secrets to cooking healthier here.

And while you might think that making ice cream is difficult, it only takes about 15 minutes of active time to whip up a batch. All you need is one of our 22 easy ice cream recipes and an ice cream maker. (Here’s a review of the ice cream maker we use in the EatingWell Test Kitchen.)

Don’t have an ice cream maker, but still want a creamy frozen treat? Try our ultra-quick Raspberry Chocolate-Chip Frozen Yogurt.

Get the recipe: Strawberry-Chocolate Ice Cream

What’s your favorite low-fat frozen treat? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Healthy Cooking Blog, Dessert, Recipe Makeover

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, 2-year-old daughter and dog.

Carolyn asks: What’s your favorite low-fat frozen treat?

Tell us what you think:

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