Anyone else love ice cream but don’t want the added sugar? Yes?!?!? I knew I wasn’t alone!
I have ALWAYS had a weakness for ice cream. I grew up in Southern California, and summer was my favorite time of the year as a kid. It meant long days spent playing at the beach, with a special ice cream treat from the beach ice cream shop every afternoon. Strawberry was my favorite!!
My weakness for ice cream has continued through my adult life. Up until a couple of years ago, I indulged in a bowl almost every night. It made me very happy.
Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called Crohn’s Disease a few years ago.
I don’t think sugar caused my Crohn’s, but I know eating too much of it contributes to chronic inflammation (the root of most diseases), and can make my symptoms worse.
After learning of the effects of excess sugar on my body, I decided to remove all “added sugars” from my diet, including my beloved ice cream.
The first few weeks were rough, but I rarely crave ice cream anymore. There are times, however, especially during our hot and humid east coast summers, that I really want a bowl of that icy sweetness.
I have found two keys to maintaining a lifelong healthy habit are balance and moderation.
I don’t completely deprive myself of the foods I love, but instead replace them with a healthier version that still fills my need, and eat them in moderation.
I recently began experimenting with making my own ice creams and sorbets using only fruit and natural sweeteners. Occasionally allowing myself to eat these healthier versions of my favorite treat has helped me stay away from store bought ice creams that contain a high added sugar content.
Here is one of my favorite no sugar added icy treats…I hope you enjoy it as well!
Strawberry, Watermelon, Mint Sorbet
2 c. frozen strawberries
3 c. seedless watermelon, fresh, chunked
1/8 cup maple syrup
2 T fresh mint, finely minced
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process on high until smooth.
2. Pour mixture into a glass bowl or casserole dish. I have found that a smaller dish, such as an 8x8 casserole dish or a loaf pan that allows for some depth in the sorbet works best.
3. Place in the freezer. Stir every 20 minutes until mixture begins to “form”. Scoop into individual serving dishes before mixture fully forms, if desired.
4. Remove from freezer 5-10 minutes prior to serving. Enjoy! ***
***Though fruit and natural sugars are processed differently by the body than processed sugars, they are still sugars and should be eaten in moderation and in appropriate portions.