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Healthy Refreshing Dessert

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Few things scream “summer” more than a creamy, melty scoop of ice cream atop a crunchy sugar cone. But sometimes, the nutrition facts attached to those treats limit how often we allow ourselves to indulge. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to combine some much healthier ingredients (with names you can pronounce!) to create a similarly creamy and indulgent dessert.

The Evolution of Ice Cream

Ice cream’s origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C., although no specific date of origin nor inventor has been undisputably credited with its discovery. We know that Alexander the Great enjoyed snow and ice flavored with honey and nectar. Biblical references also show that King Solomon was fond of iced drinks during harvesting. During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86) frequently sent runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavored with fruits and juices.

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Our healthy ice cream recipe let you choose the ingredients you put into your ice cream, so you can chose lower-fat dairy instead of full fat dairy to reduce fat and calories, but still get delicious, creamy results. Try this healthy homemade ice cream recipe today!

Strawberry-Chocolate Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon water
3 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 large egg yolks
1 14-ounce can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup fresh or frozen chopped strawberries
1/4 cup cocoa nibs, (see Note) or mini chocolate chips

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PREPARATION

  1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you make the base for the ice cream.
  2. Pour 1 1/2 cups milk into a large saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the milk and add the pod.
  3. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil or the custard will curdle.
  4. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl. Add the softened gelatin and whisk until melted. Whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  5. Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. During the last 5 minutes of freezing, add strawberries and cocoa nibs (or chocolate chips) to the ice cream maker. If necessary, place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.

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TIPS & NOTES

Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week. | Equipment: Ice cream maker

Note: Cocoa nibs, which are bits of roasted and hulled cocoa beans, are crunchy and have a pure (unsweetened) chocolate taste. Some brands of nibs are coarser than others. You can find them at large grocery stores, gourmet retailers.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 236 calories; 4 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 89 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 9 g protein; 1 g fiber; 104 mg sodium; 500 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (25% daily value), Vitamin C (16% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 low-fat milk, 2 other carbohydrate

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