September’s sugarless, sweet sensation
Veggies for dessert? Try this sweet potato ice cream recipe!
Have you ever had a craving for something ice-cold, sweet and guilt-free? You may have searched high and low for a product worthy enough to be labeled as guilt-free but have never had any success. Sure, there are plenty of “light” and “fat-free” ice cream products, but these products might not satisfy your craving.
The quest for a rich, flavorful ice cream product with no added sugars continues. When you’re ready to give in and purchase “regular” ice cream, look no further than your kitchen; you can make your own ice cream with fruits and vegetables. Try freezing a banana, with the peel removed, and blend it until smooth in your food processor or blender. Another recipe to try, available at the bottom of this article, uses sweet potatoes as its base.
When you’re looking for recipes, make sure to choose ones that use whole foods instead of added sugars. You’re probably thinking, “Why on earth would someone do that? Sugar makes it taste good!” The answer to your question is, not all sugar is created equally. Fruits, vegetables and milk naturally contain sugar, whereas processed goods contain added sugars, such as corn syrup and granulated white sugar. According to the American Heart Association, the use of added sugars is related to the obesity epidemic, as well as other health concerns. We need sugar and carbohydrates in our diets because they are used as a primary source of energy, but the type ingested will either positively or negatively affect the body.
Sugar from fruits, vegetables and whole grains are digested differently, mainly due to fiber content. The fiber causes sugar to breakdown more slowly, preventing a rapid spike in blood sugar from occurring. The sudden spike in blood sugar is what causes our bodies to “crash”, and puts us at risk of developing health issues like type 2 diabetes.
Coconut Sweet Potato Ice Cream Recipe:
- 1 sweet potato, baked with skin removed (medium sized)
- 1 can coconut milk, original
- ½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 2 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- Pecans, unsalted
- Maple syrup, sugar-free
- Coconut flakes, unsweetened
- Blend coconut milk, baked potato, vanilla and cinnamon in blender.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and fold in coconut flakes.
- Place mixture in ice cream maker for about 10-15 min or until mixture becomes uniform and sticks to spoon when testing. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you may spread mixture evenly in an airtight container and freeze overnight. This may require a couple minutes of thawing prior to serving.
- Scoop homemade ice cream into serving bowl and enjoy!
If the ice cream doesn’t curb your sweet tooth on its own, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle with pecans and coconut flakes. This recipe contains NO added sugars, while incorporating a vegetable. Don’t let the idea of using a vegetable terrify you- the flavor combination is amazing and so are its healthful benefits!
Tip: Toasting pecans will bring out more flavors leading to less usage and less fat and calories.