Testing quick ice-cream recipes using healthy ingredients is my favorite activity ever since we came back from our summer holiday in Sardinia (the ice-cream heaven!). I don’t have enough patience to test complicated recipes using our ice-cream machine, so my new popsicles molds are getting more time in the freezer than expected in their first week of life, stuffed with yogurt fruity mixtures or chocolatey combos quickly made in the blender.
The idea for these chocolate coconut popsicles came from the incredible talented Alana, and while I adjusted the recipe after a failure to accommodate it to my unusual popsicle moods, the idea remained pretty much the same – chocolate, coconut cream and nut butter, a seriously delicious combination, all vegan and health-approved.
While I’m not a dessert person (I would always choose a simple savory treat such a veggie pastry over a scrumptious dessert), this recipe is something I would repeat because is not about its sweetness but more about the delicious ingredients pairing. I personally kept it on the very low sweetened side to be able to identify the flavors which all have a bold personality taste-wise.
I always recommend to avoid sugar at all costs, especially when you’re dealing with hormone imbalance and especially after 35 years old, when the belly fat builds up easily and disrupts your hormone production. With time I learned to educate my taste buds to be pleased by flavor rather than sweetness and with time my brain got trained to crave a dark chocolate rather than a sugar-packed milk one, because it remembers the unpleasant sensation the body feels when digesting sugar.
Even when it comes to satisfying your sweet-tooth, wisely choosing the ingredients will help you maintain the hormone balance in check and enable you to have more desserts that will give your satisfaction rather than feeling guilty about a scrumptious treat that will give your body a hard time later on. When it comes to ice-creams here are some simple ingredient replacements to help you keep your treats on the healthier side:
- Instead of heavy cream, choose coconut cream, natural yogurt (even if going for a fatter version, such as Greek yogurt) or nut butter. These will give your ice-cream enough creaminess while still maintaining the saturated fats level in check and reducing the burden on your liver.
- Instead of milk, choose plant milks. Your ice-cream flavor will be enhanced, your digestive system will not have a hard time digesting (it takes about 5 hours to digest animal milk), and you will avoid unwanted inflammation.
- Instead of unrefined sugar choose dates, fruits or maple syrup in small quantities. This will keep you away from energy and insulin spikes, empty calories and belly fat.
- Add superfoods that increase the nutritional value, add health benefits and give funky colors to your treats – turmeric, matcha, spirulina, dark chocolate, raw cacao, lyophilised berries, maca powder etc.
- ½ cup coconut cream
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 oz dark chocolate, melted
- 2 tsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- 2 tsp maple syrup, chilled
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Add all the ingredients into the blender and process to obtain a creamy mixture.
- Evenly divide into the popsicle molds and freeze for at least 5 hours.