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Sometimes you need to take a time out and treat yourself to a clean cheat meal. Ice cream made with supplemental protein powder is a beloved recipe among fitness pros and the like, and making it is remarkably simple. It can feel like a throwback to your old high school science class days: take two Ziploc bags, some protein powder, yogurt, milk and ice, and some biceps power to shake them all together. And presto! Guilt-free ice cream.
Homemade Is Better
The typical sweet-tooth culprits lining supermarket shelves (ice cream, cookies, cupcakes, brownies, candy) are loaded with fat, sugar and calories, which makes it so much harder to achieve a lean look. Moreover, research shows that eating refined sugar can cause cravings for more sweets. Think about it: have you ever succeeded at stopping at just half a cup of Ben & Jerry’s Spectacular Speculoos? — which, for your interest, boasts 260 calories, 17 grams of fat and 18 grams of sugar per serving (a half cup). Now, multiply that by four for the whole pint. Yikes! This recipe cuts down on sugar content by pairing the sweet indulgence — a peppermint candy, in this case — with protein powder. The protein helps to stabilize blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream after you consume the ice cream, which, in turn, slows the release of insulin, making you less likely to want to polish off the whole pint.
The Basic Steps
Start with a milk base. Try unsweetened vanilla almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, light coconut milk or low-fat cow’s milk. For something a little more decadent, use low-fat chocolate milk, which is a great recovery beverage.
Add protein. Toss in a scoop of protein powder, approximately 20 grams. Try whey, hemp, pea or soy in either chocolate or vanilla flavors. Note that whichever flavor you choose will be the most pronounced flavor in the ice cream.
Sweeten it up. Extracts, like vanilla, almond and peppermint, as well as sugar-free syrup, agave, cocoa powder or cinnamon, will give the ice cream a sweet taste and bold flavor, without excessive sugar.
Add texture and taste. Want a little crunch in your ice cream without turning it into a calorie bomb? Add one to two tablespoons of any of the following: chopped nuts, chopped dark chocolate pieces, a tablespoon of peanut butter or frozen fruit chunks.
Peppermint Protein Ice Cream Recipe
Ready in: 10 minutes
Makes: 2 servings
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened 2% Greek yogurt
- 1 peppermint candy, crushed
- 1/2 cup table salt
- Mix all ingredients together, except for peppermint candy and salt, in a bowl. Or, use a blender for quicker results.
- Pour mixture into a sandwich-sized resealable bag and add the crushed peppermint pieces. Seal the bag. Set aside.
- Fill a gallon-sized bag half way with ice. Add 1/2 cup table salt. Place the small bag into the large bag and seal.
- Shake the bag vigorously for 5 minutes, until mixture becomes creamy. Remove the bag and rinse off salt. Serve.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 106, Total Fats: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g,Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 29 mg, Sodium: 142 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 6 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 13 g, Iron: 0 mg