#1 Summer Treat: Indulge in Ice Cream Guilt-Free (Here’s How!)

This summer has been brutally hot. I have combated the heat with light meals and lots of cold beverages but nothing is better than ice cream in the summer! The latest and greatest trend to hit ice cream is slow churning it and as a dietitian / ice cream lover, I’m a big fan. Click on to read why!

My motto is the age-old “everything in moderation” so I have no guilty feelings about the 2 scoop black raspberry with chocolate jimmies in a cup with a cone on top that I am known to order when hitting an ice cream shop. In fact, ice cream is the treat I indulge on most. I have a favorite ice cream shop in every town I have ever lived in or visited! I went through a frozen yogurt and a sorbet phase in my life but I always come back to good old ice cream!I don’t usually keep ice cream in the house because I’ll eat it, but I do like to buy it once in a while. Now if I feel like I should be “good” when buying ice cream, I turn to the slow churned choices. “Slow Churned” AKA “Double Churned” and “Smooth Churned” ice cream hit the shelves a couple years ago. At the time there were only a limited number of brands that offered it and just a few flavors to choose from. Fast forward to today where every major brand has a slow churned line and the choices of flavors are endless!The great thing about slow churned ice cream is that through its manufacturing process (the churning) they can significantly cut the fat (usually by 1/2) and calories (around 1/3) while maintaining that rich and creamy mouthfeel of real ice cream. I like food as natural as can be and most slow churned have no additional ingredients added except for a small amount of natural thickener (on label as: carageenan, guar gum, carob bean gum, tapioca maltodextrin). Read the label carefully though – some brands add a lot more to mimic the right mouthfeel. Breyer’s is a great choice if you have it available at your store.Although I mentioned enjoying the variety of slow churned flavor choices, you do have to be careful what you buy if you are in fact looking to cut some fat and calories from your diet. If you get slow churned ice cream full of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter you likely won’t be saving too many cals. If I am eating ice cream at home, I go for a scoop of vanilla bean and add mashed berries. I guess that is the RD in me. I’m real though – remember I shared my true indulgence with you at the top of this post!

Enjoy a cold ice cream this hot summer and leave 1/2 the guilt behind when you chose slow churned–the same ice cream that won the best ice cream category in SELF’s 2010 Healthy Food Awards!