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Healthy Recipes for Frozen Treats That Beat the Summer Heat

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    Think Beyond the Ice Cream Truck

    Nothing is more iconic than grabbing a soft-serve cone or popsicle at the ice cream truck in the summer, but those treats aren't usually the most nutritious options. What if you could have your ice cream and eat it too? These healthier ice cream options come in a variety of flavors and diet-friendly options like vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie, or just plain delicious. So instead of listening for the song of the ice cream man, make these better-for-you treats at home.

  • Shaw's Simple Swaps

    Lemon Bar Ice Cream Cake

    Craving ice cream cake (when are you not craving ice cream cake?), but don't want to eat a day's worth of calories in one sitting? This refreshing lemon cake is your answer. With the light lemony cake flavor from the creamy ice cream, you'll get the satisfaction of a refreshing lemon bar for under 5 grams of sugar while also getting more than 13 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber!

    Get the recipe: Lemon Bar Ice Cream Cake

  • Nourished Simply

    Cranberry Lime Frozen Greek Yogurt

    This frozen yogurt is "a healthy summer treat because it is a rich source of protein and is lower in added sugars," says Jennifer Pullman, M.A., R.D.N., L.D.N. Bonus: Protein helps keep you fuller for longer, meaning less mindless munching.

    Get the recipe: Cranberry Lime Frozen Greek Yogurt

  • Love & Zest

    Toasted S'mores Ice Cream Bars

    "I love these ice cream bars because they have all that campfire flavor and are perfect for a hot summer night," says Kristina LaRue, R.D., C.S.S.D. These treats are also vegan-friendly thanks to the coconut cream.

    Get the recipe: Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Ice Cream Bars

  • Emily Kyle Nutrition

    Vegan "Nice" Cream Hearts

    This vegan ice cream reduces the calories and fat in your frozen sweet treat while also adding extra vitamins and minerals. "Plus, not only are bananas low in calories and a good source of potassium, each banana provides approximately 3 grams of dietary fiber," says Emily Cope-Kyle, M.S., R.D.N.

    Get the recipe: Vegan "Nice" Cream Hearts

  • POM Wonderful

    POM Sorbetto

    A little sweet, a little tart, 100 percent pomegranate juice is known for its antioxidants and unique flavor, but this healthy drink can also make a refreshing sorbet. "One hundred percent pomegranate juice makes a great frozen treat," says certified chef Sara Haas, R.D.N, L.D.N. "Simply freeze it in ice cube trays then pop out and enjoy! It's a sweet treat without the added sugar." POM Wonderful offers a recipe that requires a little more work, but the tasty results are well worth it.

    Get the recipe: POM Sorbetto

  • Meal Makeover Moms' Kitchen

    Mango Coconut Soft Serve

    "This mango-coconut soft serve is so delicious, you will swear it's ice cream," say registered dietitians Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss. "We swap out the cream for cottage cheese, which adds 7 grams of protein, and use frozen mango, so a serving provides 45 percent vitamin C!" This frozen treat is sweet and creamy, but has less than one teaspoon of added sweetener from agave nectar.

    Get the recipe: Mango Coconut Soft Serve

  • Homemade Nutrition

    Peach Cobbler Smoothie Shake

    "This shake is such a treat because it has the main flavors you'd find in peach cobbler, but with a couple of lighter swaps," says Amber Ketchum, M.D.S., R.D. "Oats are the secret ingredient for getting that cobbler crust flavor, a touch of pure maple syrup adds rich sweetness, and fresh in-season peaches are the star ingredient that makes this recipe the perfect summer dessert (or even breakfast as a smoothie)!"

    Get the recipe: Peach Cobbler Smoothie Shake

  • Premier Protein

    Protein-Packed Vanilla Fruit Popsicle

    These protein-packed pops are ideal for someone who's active because you get to indulge healthfully and rake in more than 30 grams of protein—from a dessert! "Tasty protein drinks have always been a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth and also fill your body with quality nutrition," says nutrition and health coach Teresa Marie, B.S., C.P.T. "Freezing it into a popsicle just makes it a perfect summertime treat!"

    Get the recipe: Protein-Packed Vanilla Fruit Popsicle

  • Food, Pleasure, and Health

    Golden Milk Popsicles

    Step aside, red, white, and blue Rocket Pops, and make way for these healthy golden yellow popsicles. "These are extremely simple to make with very few ingredients—almond milk, sweetener of your choice, and spices such as cardamom, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon," says Dixya Bhattarai, R.D., L.D. The saturated yellow color is pretty cool, too!

    Get the recipe: Golden Milk Popsicles

  • Spicy RD Nutrition

    Orange Pistachio Cardamon Ice Cream Sundaes

    It's not really summer unless you have an ice cream sundae. This is a sundae like you've never seen before, though. Orange, pistachios, and cardamom might seem like a strange combination for a frozen dessert, but you have to taste this recipe to see how delicious it really is. There's no soy, wheat, or peanuts, so it's safe for everyone to eat, plus the recipe is lactose- and gluten-free, too.

    Get the recipe: Orange Pistachio Cardamon Ice Cream Sundaes


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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