Ice cream may be synonymous with summer, but let's be real: Your favorite go-to pint isn't exactly the most nutritious.
A two-thirds cup of vanilla ice cream has 190 calories, 12 grams of fat and 18 grams of sugar, according to the USDA. And that can put a damper on your health goals if you eat ice cream regularly and don't limit yourself.
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But that doesn't mean you can't indulge your sweet tooth now and then, as there are plenty of frozen dessert recipes that are equally delicious as ice cream and won't undo your health wins.
Instead of reaching for that pint one too many times, try these healthy frozen desserts that just happen to be a breeze to whip up at home.
1. Frozen Mudslide
While a boozy milkshake sounds like the perfect weekend treat, this lighter alternative is even better.
This dessert keeps things on the lighter side, thanks to simple ingredient swaps that don't pack on extra calories or sugar, says registered dietitian, Beth Stark, RDN, LDN.
"This frozen mudslide offers a similar flavor profile to the original, and contains no vanilla ice cream for a much slimmer sipper," Stark says. "However, as with all alcoholic and sweetened beverages, try to only drink one, and then switch to seltzer (or water) to hydrate."
Get the Frozen Mudslide recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bark
"If you find yourself reaching for a quick sweet dessert, this option is hard to beat," Australia-based dietitian Alicia Edge, RD, tells LIVESTRONG.
"A way more fun version of your traditional yogurt snack, this one ticks the boxes of being a sweet option that doesn't cost extremes, or comes with the added fats and sugars."
But aside from providing your taste buds with a burst of sweetness, Edge suggests that this frozen fruit yogurt bark can also be the perfect recovery snack after an intense workout.
Just be sure to use Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt for an added protein boost.
Get the Frozen Fruit Bark recipe and nutrition info at Courtney's Treats.
3. Healthy Pineapple Dole Whip
This iconic Disneyland treat has definitely spawned tons of Pinterest-friendly recipes to try at home.
However, it's safe to say that many of these recipes contain startling amounts of added sugar, which isn't ideal, especially since the American Heart Association%20per%20day.) recommends getting under 25 grams (for women) and 36 grams (for men) a day.
Culinary nutrition expert and dietitian Jessica Levinson, RDN, CDN says this whipped recipe is a delicious and healthier alternative to many Dole whip recipes online, as it uses whole fruit (like pineapple), which provides fiber as opposed to added sugar.
"Pineapple is also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, and it is the only dietary source of bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps the body break down protein," Levinson adds.
"Especially during the hot summer months, this is a hydrating snack that tastes like a decadent treat without the saturated fat, added sugars and artificial ingredients found in so many summer treats."
Get the Healthy Pineapple Dole Whip recipe and nutrition info at Living Well Mom.
4. Frozen Lime and Avocado Tartlets
"A typical frozen dessert consists of added sugars, saturated fat from heavy cream and limited fiber and antioxidants," says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE.
Instead of using heavy cream packed full of saturated fat, this dessert calls for avocado.
Smooth texture aside, avocados are very nutrient-dense and a good source of antioxidants and fiber, as well as monounsaturated fatty acids, potassium and magnesium, according to a May 2013 study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
Palinski-Wade raves that this dessert calls for natural sweeteners (like fresh fruit) instead of relying on added sugars.
"Many desserts rely on a high amount of added sugar for sweetness, which can provide a significant amount of calories, and spike blood sugar and insulin levels," she says.
"Instead, this recipe uses the natural sweetness from fresh fruit with banana and lime to flavor the recipe without added sugars. In addition, these fresh fruits offer a boost of fiber and antioxidants."
Get the Frozen Lime and Avocado Tartlets recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Three-Ingredient Easy Watermelon Granita
Enjoying iced foods in hot weather not only satisfies your taste buds but has also been shown to lower your core temperature, according to Edge, making this granita worth trying.
However, while many granita and cocktail recipes can be high in sugar, Edge says this dessert keeps the sugar content low thanks to the use of agave as a sweetener.
"With such a generous serving of fruit and only small additions of sugar (via the agave), this create-at-home granita reduces the sugar content, while also providing a realistic serving size," she explains.
Get the Three-Ingredient Easy Watermelon Granita recipe and nutrition info at Jessica in the Kitchen.
6. Pina Colada Pops
Those who are sensitive to dairy products will definitely want to whip up these flavorful pops at home, as they are dairy-free and rich in vitamin C and manganese, says registered dietitian Becky Kerkenbush, RD-AP, FAND.
"This dessert is dairy-free, which is great for those with lactose-intolerance or food allergy," Kerkenbush explains.
"Pineapple is high in vitamin C and manganese, and also contains thiamine and bromelain. Additionally, the sweet cherries inside these pops also contain fiber, vitamin C and potassium."
Get the Pina Colada Pops recipe and nutrition info here.
7. Yummy Chocolate Frozen Yogurt
Whipping up tasty frozen desserts at home doesn't mean you have to purchase tons of items at the grocery store.
"This recipe uses healthful ingredients that are likely in your home, and and the finished product is a creamy, dreamy and lighter way to get your chocolate fix," Stark explains.
But aside from offering delicious flavor, this froyo recipe also has nutritional perks to boot.
"Making it with Greek yogurt also gives it a substantial protein boost so you get the added bonus of feeling fuller for longer after spooning it up," she says.
"If I was making this for myself, I would garnish with fresh berries and sliced almonds to kick up the fiber content."
Get the Yummy Chocolate Frozen Yogurt recipe and nutrition info here.
8. Honeydew Cantaloupe Pops
Need more healthy DIY ice pop recipes? Kerkenbush says these pops are an absolute nutrition powerhouse you won't want to miss.
"Low in calories, sodium, fat and cholesterol, this dairy-free dessert is a win-win for your nutrition and your taste buds," she says.
"Honeydew and cantaloupe are both high in water, which promotes hydration. Additionally, they are both rich sources of vitamin C, and also provide potassium, thiamine and magnesium."
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect cells against free radicals, Edge says.
While vitamin C is best-known for its immune system benefits, the nutrient also helps make collagen, and is linked to a lower risk for certain cancers and eye diseases, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Get the Honeydew Cantaloupe Pops recipe and nutrition info here.