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This healthy strawberry ice cream is a soft-serve ice cream you can whip up in minutes in your food processor!
No more buying expensive pre-made ice cream. With only frozen strawberries, frozen banana, and cottage cheese, you can make your own healthier ice cream in minutes. It’s a healthy treat the whole family will enjoy!
What Is Strawberry Ice Cream Really Made Of?
Store-bought strawberry ice cream is made with any number of ingredients. On a good day, they are ingredients you can actually recognize. On a bad day, you can even pronounce many of the ingredients much less recognize them. And even in better brands that have simple ingredient lists, you are still getting a heavy dose of processed sugar and heavy, fatty cream. But when you make it at home, it can be a very different story.
How Many Calories Are In Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream?
As with most recipes, the calorie count can vary based on the recipe. But for this specific recipe, it’s a nice, low, 45 calories per serving. Not too shabby for a bowl of ice cream! In fact, these ingredients are so clean and healthy, that you could practically eat this for breakfast without ever feeling the slightest bit guilty! Hint: This recipe is a great base for smoothie bowls too!
How Do You Make Healthy Ice Cream With Frozen Strawberries?
While you can certainly use fresh strawberries for this recipe, I highly recommend using frozen strawberries. The resulting texture just seems to be better. The frozen berries help solidify and freeze the ice cream as it blends.
Is This Banana Ice Cream?
Essentially, yes. But unlike regular banana ice cream, this recipe includes the use of dairy. This is not a vegan recipe, but you can find a vegan strawberry ice cream recipe here.
Notes On The Bananas
While you can certainly use ripe bananas here, I recommend using bananas that still have a hint of green on the peels. This will reduce the banana flavor and allow the strawberry flavor to really shine. Using more ripe bananas will strengthen the banana flavor. So this is another way you can play around with the flavors of this recipe.
How To Make Freezer Bananas
You’ll want to slice and freeze your bananas ahead of time. I find the best bananas for making ice cream are bananas that have just turned yellow. Once they have brown spots, all you will taste is banana instead of any other fruits you add. So slice up and freeze yellow bananas on a parchment-lined cookie sheet until the slices are totally frozen, after which they can be transferred to a freezer-safe container or zipper-top bag for longer-term storage. Buy bananas on sale and stock up so you have a stash all summer long!
Note that if you require this to be gluten-free, you’ll need to purchase your cottage cheese carefully. They are not all gluten-free.
Liquid – If you find that you need to add liquid to properly blend this, you have many choices. You can try fruit juice, water, whole milk, non-dairy milk (any kind), lemon juice (though you may need to sweeten it if you use lemon juice), or even heavy cream or heavy whipping cream if you don’t mind the added fat and calories.
Sweetener – If you find that your ice cream isn’t sweet enough for your liking, you can blend in any number of healthy sweeteners. Honey, maple syrup, Sucanat, coconut sugar, or even monk fruit will work just fine here. Though you may have a bit of a tough time getting the granular sweetener to dissolve into the ice cream with some sweeteners.
Fruits – You can absolutely use other fruits here. If strawberries aren’t your thing, try a different berry, some frozen mango, or even frozen peaches. The only thing I would not substitute is the bananas because they really help create a smooth and creamy texture.
Additions – You can add things like vanilla extract (or other extracts), peanut butter (or almond butter), cocoa nibs, chocolate chips (though I would stir those in at the end), and other fruits to create a more complex flavor profile for this homemade ice cream.
Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe Ingredients
Bananas – Slice these and freeze them prior to making this recipe. I keep a bag on hand in the freezer all summer long!
Cottage cheese – This can be large or small curd, doesn’t matter. The higher in fat the cottage cheese is, the less it’s been processed. So decide what type you feel most comfortable with. When I first made this, it was made with non-fat cottage cheese. These days, I would not use non-fat. But the choice is yours.
Frozen strawberries – You can buy these (no sugar added), or freeze fresh berries yourself. If you prefer to not use frozen berries, you can use a ½ cup of fresh berries instead.
How To Make Healthy Strawberry Ice Cream
Freeze the bananas and strawberries as needed, at least a day ahead of making this. Then measure out all your ingredients.
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Blend until smooth. You may have to stop it, remove the lid, and poke around at everything a few times to get it all blended properly. If the mixture seems too dry to process properly, add a small splash or two of milk to get things loosened up enough to blend. Then start it again. Add more as needed to avoid burning out your motor.
Depending on how frozen your fruit is or how much liquid you added, it may be necessary to spread out the ice cream over a shallow dish and freeze it for an hour or two before eating.
Serve in your favorite ice cream dish and enjoy.
Methods For Freezing This Ice Cream
To freeze this, I recommend a shallow dish. If you don’t have that, try a wide one. The idea is to freeze this without it being too thick. You can use a large loaf pan, baking sheet, or even a casserole dish. Try to keep it around a half-inch in thickness.
Need Recipe Supplies? The Gracious Pantry Suggests:
You don’t need an ice cream maker to make this! This soft serve ice cream is not a churned ice cream. It’s blended instead! Click any of the images to be taken to the product on Amazon. (Affiliate links)
More Healthy Ice Cream Recipes
Healthy Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe Card
Healthy Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe
- 1 Food processor (or blender)
- 2 medium bananas (sliced and frozen prior)
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup frozen strawberries (or 1/2 cup fresh)
- Freeze the bananas and strawberries as needed, at least a day ahead of making this. Then measure out all your ingredients.
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
- Blend until smooth. You may have to stop it, remove the lid, and poke around at everything a few times to get it all blended properly. If the mixture seems too dry to process properly, add a small splash or two of milk to get things loosened up enough to blend. Then start it again. Add more as needed to avoid burning out your motor.
- Depending on how frozen your fruit is or how much liquid you added, it may be necessary to spread out the ice cream over a shallow dish and freeze it for an hour or two before eating.
- Serve in your favorite ice cream dish and enjoy!
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted on 1/30/2012.
I'm Tiffany, a cookbook author, food lover, mom, and writer for MSN and the AP Newswire.
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