It’s “Sundae” Funday!
by Christina Meyer-Jax, Tastemaker in Residence
Crazy factoid is there is actually a National Ice Cream Day and Month! Ronald Reagan made honoring the “coolest of cool” treat official back in the 1980’s (guess he liked more than just jelly beans). But what is really amazing to me is there is only one day we celebrate this fantastic frozen fun for the tongue! Gratefully I dug a little deeper and found that the “Day” is really part of a whole National Ice Cream Month. Whew!
As a nutritionist, the struggle is often real between my desire to indulge and the motivation to be in summer body mode. Ice cream can also be a little hard to deal with digestively for some due to lactose (natural milk sugar) or milk proteins (one type). I’m always on the quest to find the “sweet” spot (pun intended), so I thought I’d find out the best way to have my ice cream and bikini too.
Here are my top “Sweet Spot” tips to celebrate the “Sundae Funday” of National Ice Cream Month:
1. Choose pre-portioned ice cream! If left to my own devices, I can easily plow through a pint. So picking a Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar with only 100 calories and 5 grams of protein is perfect to crush the craving and not the healthy eating plan.
2. Celebrate Italian style! While gelato is not technically ice cream, it is a tad healthier choice. Ice cream typically has between 14-17% milkfat vs. 3-8% in gelato. I personally love the texture of gelato and options such as Talenti that have high-quality ingredients.
3. Avoid ice cream bloat! The ability to tolerate lactose and dairy, in general, can be a real party pooper to the ice cream celebrating. Fortunately, there are many options that are free of dairy and the potential post-prandial belly balloon. Many of these are also vegan and soy free if you are avoiding those in your diet as well. Here are some of my favorites in this category based on taste and high-quality ingredients: Julie’s Organic Sorbet, Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Frozen Dessert, So Delicious Dairy Free Cashew Milk Frozen Dessert, Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy line (almond milk based).
4. Add on for the win! Scooping ice cream to fill the bowl can add up quickly on serving size. The nutrition label currently lists the serving size as a half-cup, which doesn’t look like much in most serving dishes. So after placing the one scoop in your bowl add some sliced or frozen fruit, chopped nuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, or coconut to top it off. It tricks your eyes on portion size and includes healthy nutrients you need anyway!
5. Make your own! A great way to control the quality of ingredients and nutrition is to make homemade ice cream. Take the celebrating to the next level and involve friends and family in a “Best Homemade Ice Cream Social Contest”. Often when we invest time and effort into cooking, we end up cherishing and enjoying the food even more. In the end, that’s what healthful eating is all about! Here is one of my favorite “healthier” ice cream recipes you might want to try! Enjoy your Sundae Funday! = Banana Based Ice Cream