Next time a craving hits, skip the full fat ice cream and try one of these substitutes to calm your sweet tooth for many fewer calories and less fat. Even plain old vanilla of the regular stuff can have 7 g fat or more, and most of that is saturated. Smarter choices are just as easy, super tasty and may even provide better nutrition.
1. Double Churned Ice Cream
Not so much a substitute as just a smart choice, double churned ice creams are listed as light and usually rack up around 100 to 150 calories per serving, with just a few grams of fat. You’ll find just about every flavor imaginable to take the place of your ice cream shop favorites.
2. Icy Fudge Pops
When creaminess is what you need, and other Popsicle-style treats won’t do, fudge pops are like chocolate ice cream on a stick. Compare the sugar free and fat free varieties to see what suits you, but both contain about 70 calories and minimal fat.
3. Fruit On a Stick
All-fruit pops are popping up all over the frozen novelty aisle. Most varieties have around 80 calories and natural ingredients, making them a healthy option when you’re looking for something sweet. One of the greatest features is that the bars are already portioned for you, so there’s no risk of accidentally eating more than a standard serving. Be sure to double check the ingredient list; some brand names can be tricky, stating that they are made with whole fruit. You’ll even find whole pieces in there, but there may be other ingredients like added sugar that you should avoid.
4. Fro Yo
A great ice cream alternative is frozen yogurt. There are shops out there that offer a 1/2 cup serving for around 60 calories. Lots of flavors are available in your grocery store as well. A guilt-free scoop and a cake cone can bring you in at just 100 calories, so you can enjoy it anytime!
5. Go Greek
Greek yogurt has extreme health benefits – tons of protein, calcium, minimal or no fat and about 120 calories in a six ounce cup. Toss the little plastic containers in the freezer for a tasty treat. The fruity and vanilla flavors pass for ice cream, or mix it with berries and cover it with plastic wrap before freezing.
6. Fruit Smoothies
Smoothie shops are booming, and for good reason! Delicious and healthy, a smoothie is a delicious treat that mimics a trip to the ice cream store, but all that fruit packs a ton of vitamins and antioxidants. Mix a banana, 5 strawberries, 1 cup ice, 4oz fat free yogurt, 1/3 cup orange juice and a splash of fat free milk in your blender and process until nearly smooth. Add other berries, chopped mango or pineapple for a completely different flavor.
7. Pudding Cups
Chill those little childhood lunch box favorites in the freezer and they are more like mousse or ice cream, or just eat from the fridge for a sweet fix. Even better, make your own from the box and use fat free milk to avoid preservatives and chemicals, and still keep a serving around 80 calories. Try different flavors or add slices of strawberries, bananas or even a drop of mint extract to the chocolate variety.