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How to Make Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches at Home

  • Emily Kyle Nutrition

    Go For an Open-Face Version

    To make your favorite ice cream sandwich just a little healthier, try an open-face version. This will help you cut calories and saturated fat from the cookies or brownies on the outside (and it leaves you with one side to enjoy).

    Get the recipe: Vegan Nice Cream Hearts

  • Jump, Jive & Kale

    Make a (N)ice Cream

    Lindsey Pine, R.D.N., of Tasty Balance and Kim Klee, R.D.N., of Jump, Jive & Kale are both in favor of the "nice" cream trend! Lindsey says, "Instead of using ice cream, make your own 'nice' cream by blending frozen bananas with fruit and flavorings like peanut butter, coconut, or even cocoa powder." Kim agrees, noting: "If you're not a chocolate lover, try adding chopped walnuts and almond extract for a banana-nut sandwich. Don't knock it until you try it—it tastes more like ice cream than bananas and it's delicious!"

    Get the recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip "Ice Cream"

  • RDeclicious Kitchen

    Opt for a Whole-Grain Bar

    No need to nix the sandwich altogether. Instead, try using KIND Breakfast bars like Julie Harrington, R.D.N., of RDeclicious Kitchen has in her stellar breakfast version. Not only are these sandwiches made with 100 percent gluten-free whole grains, they also feature a blend of oats, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa. You'll also fill up on protein from the Greek yogurt. Now that's a powerful way to start your day!

    Get the recipe: Breakfast Ice Cream Sandwiches

  • Fitful Focus

    Create a Healthy "Chocolate" Coating

    Create a healthy hard shell for the ice cream sandwich by mixing melted coconut oil with maple syrup and unsweetened cocoa powder. Dip your sandwich in the mixture, freeze for a few minutes, and enjoy it—it's like a healthy Klondike!

    Get the recipe: Thin Mint Ice Cream Sandwich

  • Pure Protein Crunch

    Add in Chocolate. Yes, Chocolate.

    I crave texture when diving into an ice cream sandwich. Unfortunately, most ice cream textures come from candy-coated goodies that don't pack a ton of nutrition. That's why I liked to mix Pure Protein Crunch Double Chocolate into my ice cream. This new, bite-size protein snack is packed with nutrition and contains non-GMO ingredients (plus, it's completely gluten-free). Just one single-serving pouch delivers 10 grams of soy protein in crunchy crisps. Pair that with the protein in your Greek yogurt ice cream and you've got yourself a guilt-free indulgence.

  • KISS in the Kitchen

    Add Flavor with Essential Oils Instead of Artificial Ingredients

    Instead of artificial flavors or extracts, I love to add a drop or two of my favorite high-quality essential oils. From lemon to orange to peppermint, the flavor options are endless.

  • Teaspoon of Spice

    Add Fresh Fruit and Herbs

    The Teaspoon of Spice ladies know a thing or two about healthy kitchen hacks. Using vanilla ice cream as the base, they create their own gourmet ice cream by infusing fresh fruits and herbs into the mix. Sandwich this between two whole-grain cookies and you're left with a winning treat—sans cleanup, too!

    Get the recipe: Fruit + Herb Ice Cream Mix-Ins

  • Wonderful Pistachios

    Add Natural Sprinkles

    Last but certainly not least, my favorite ice cream sandwich ingredient is nuts. I love to crush up pistachios and roll them on the outside of my sandwich to get that great texture. Plus, they add a pop of color from those green and purple antioxidants, aka "nature's sprinkles." Jump on the savory ice cream trend and use the Sweet Chili Wonderful Pistachios with a hint of lime sherbet—talk about a nutrient-dense treat.


Elizabeth Shaw MS, RDN, CLT

Elizabeth is a San Diego based nutrition communications consultant who works with local and national brands to help encourage healthy living behaviors. You can find her on social media @shawsimpleswaps.
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