I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!

I'm not sure about you but the summer heat seems to talk to me, saying "man, I could really go for some frozen yogurt, a Popsicle or an Italian ice right now. Go on, get one you deserve a little sweetness, you look great." I know it's not that hot outside but I think that it may be some verbal mirage, similar to the oasis people invasion when wandering in the desert for hours.

The truth of the matter is that you really did work extremely hard to get ready for the bikini season. But that's more the reason to silence these voices and bite into a refreshing apple for your afternoon snack. But then something else happens; either your child wants a firecracker popsicle, you pass by an overly air-conditioned ice cream shop or that the mint chocolate ice cream sundae dessert on the menu is calling your name. This is when you have to cue your super strength restraint and make sure you have one of the options below on hand or conveniently located in your freezer at home.

On of my personal favorite summer deserts is sorbet. It’s icy, refreshing and sweet and is most likely going to contain less calories and fat than ice creams and gelatos because there is no dairy in them. But that’s not always the case with sorbet so you need to be careful about which brand you are choosing to eat. The best option is definitely Ciao Bella. They have a line of individual sorbet cups and sorbet bars perfect when you just have to give in. All Ciao Bella products are gluten free, all-natural and organic and the individual sorbet cups and bars are perfect for portion control so you don’t end up going back for seconds and thirds. The mini cups are great for on the go and even come with a little stick! Here are your best flavor options:

  • Blood Orange Mini Cup: At 3.5 oz you get to enjoy this icy treat for only 70 calories, 0 g of fat, 17 g of carbohydrates, 13 g of sugar and it even has 20% of your Daily Value of vitamin C!
  • Blood Orange Sorbet Bar: The delicious flavor in the mini cup is now in a popsicle version, something even your kids will enjoy! It’s only 60 calories, 0 g of fat, 16 g of carbohydrates and 11 g of sugar. It also provides 20% of your Daily Value of vitamin C!
  • Blueberry Passion Sorbet Bar: When you are craving berries this will definitely hit the spot. This 70 calorie popsicle has 0 g of fat, 18 g of carbohydrates and 17 g of sugar and also includes vitamin C and vitamin A. Plus you get the astounding antioxidant benefits from the blueberries.

Sometimes all you really want is a scoop of classic vanilla or chocolate. But even low-fat yogurts can be upwards of 150 calories with 3 g of fat for ½ a cup. That’s when you reach for Arctic Zero. Arctic Zero is an all natural, gluten free, dairy free, low-calorie and low glycemic frozen protein shake that satisfies your craving for ice cream. So you are not only getting that much needed scoop of vanilla but you are also getting a little protein too! Every flavor: vanilla maple, chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, mint chocolate cookie coffee, cookies and cream, and pumpkin spice are delicious. Here’s what you need to know:

  • On average, a ½ cup serving (it comes in 1 pint options) is 45 calories, 0 g of fat, 7 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of fiber, 5 g of sugar and 4 g of protein. (Not that I would ever condone eating the whole pint, but the whole pint is only 150 calories!)

When you’re craving chocolate popsicles that even your kids will love the flavor of, Tofutti is your brand. They are all milk-free but they have even come out with a great line of fat free, no sugar added popsicles that are still sweet and delicious. The two best flavors are definitely the chocolate fudge treat bars or the coffee break bars and you’re never going to believe how low calorie they really are. This is also a great option for those who need to watch their blood sugar levels because there is 0 g of sugar in each bar.

  • One of these  fat free, no sugar added bars (either chocolate fudge or coffee break) is only 30 calories, 1.5 g of fat, 6 g of carbohydrates, 0 g of sugar and 1 g of protein.

But what happens you literally have NOTHING in your freezer at home, what happens then? Here are some of my favorite healthy home made icy treats:

  • Slice up a banana and lay them on a plate so they don’t overlap in the freezer for about an hour or until they are frozen. The riper the banana the better. Once our of the freezer mash them up, sprinkle with a tablespoon of cacao nibs, or crush up 1-2 tablespoons of high fiber cereal like Fiber One as sprinkles. You can even add a little packet of stevia for some sweetness.
  • In a blender mix a 1 individual 0% fage yogurt, 1 packet of stevia, some blueberries and strawberries and ice. Either pour it in ice molds or into a bowl and freeze it for an hour, then enjoy!

Ok, sometimes that super strength restraint just doesn’t work. If you can’t get to your freezer in time, try to find the closest pinkberry and exercise restraint there. Here’s what you should do:

  • Order a mini size and your lowest calorie and fat options are going to be original or mango flavor. These are less than 100 calories, 0 g of fat, about 21 g of carbohydrates, 20 g of sugar and 3 g of protein.
  • As far as toppings go, pick one berry and be done. 1 scoop of blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries is 10 calories.

Have a great summer filled with all the frozen treats you love without all the guilt!


Heather Bauer, RD CDN
Heather Bauer, RD CDN

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