This creamy maple walnut protein ice cream is made healthier than traditional recipes, with fewer grams of fat and 5 grams of protein per serving – a sweet treat for any time of day.
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The sun is shining in Pittsburgh. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. That sunshine has me thinking about ice cream!
Homemade Ice cream is one of the easiest desserts to make, especially if you have an ice cream maker. If you love ice cream, but don’t have an ice cream maker, I highly suggest you invest in one. I bought one for my daughter a few years ago for Christmas, and I’ve been using it ever since. She jokes that I use it more than she does – and she’s right. I didn’t plan it that way, but after our first batch, I couldn’t stop. There are lots of different brands on the market, but I use the 1.5 quart Cuisinart frozen yogurt and ice cream maker. I’m telling you, it’s the best gift I ever gave.
Why I Prefer Reduced-fat, Protein-Packed Ice Cream
If you follow my recipes, you know that most of mine have a healthier twist to them. I also modify my ice cream recipes, not only for myself, but to help others find healthier treats to enjoy. My stomach doesn’t respond well to full-fat ice cream well. That’s probably because I don’t eat a high-fat diet. When I reduce the fat and balance out the macronutrients, I have no trouble tolerating it
As a dietitian, I work with weight loss clients and athletes, many of whom come to me with body composition and performance goals in mind. Modifying recipes is my way to help them find foods that easily fit into their nutrition plan. In the case of ice cream, it’s showing how simple it is to incorporating protein and reduce the fat content, without sacrificing taste. This ice cream is delicious, and just as good as the full-fat varieties, in my opinion.
How To Make Maple Walnut Protein Ice Cream
To make this maple walnut ice cream, all you do is combine whole milk, fat-free half-and-half, vanilla protein powder, sugar and maple extract in a large bowl. Stir those ingredients together well, then transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 2 hours.
Once chilled, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and allow it to churn for ~15 minutes. This recipe incorporates crushed walnuts into the ice cream. Some stir-ins can be added to the ice cream mixture from the beginning, but most of the time, I prefer to wait until the ice cream has started to harden. That way, the add-in’s maintain their consistency, and won’t change the color of the ice cream.
After ~15 minutes, the mixture should be visibly thick and resemble soft ice cream. That’s when it’s safe to add the crushed walnuts. Pour them slowly into the ice cream and allow it to churn for another 5 minutes.
Once the ice cream begins to rise to the top, turn the ice cream maker off. Use a spatula to transfer the finished ice cream to a medium pan or container to freeze. I use a glass food storage container, but you can also use an actual ice cream container, or even a long bread pan to store it. Spread the ice cream evenly in the container, cover it tightly, then transfer to the freezer to harden.
At this point, the ice cream will resemble soft-serve and is ready-to-eat. The longer the ice cream remains in the freezer, the firmer it will become. If you prefer hard ice cream, I suggest storing it in the freezer for at least 4 hours, and preferably over-night. Be sure to store it in an air-tight container to prevent freezer burn and ice crystals from forming on it.
Nutrition In Maple Walnut Protein Ice Cream
This recipe makes ~6 cups of ice cream. The nutrition information is for a ¾ cup serving, so the total recipe makes 8 servings.
One ¾ cup serving has 130 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of sugars, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol and 5 grams of protein. That makes it a great treat for anytime of the day.
Do you have a favorite ice cream flavor? Share it in the comments below so I can add it to my list of healthier ice cream recipes to develop.
Maple Walnut Protein Ice Cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 cups fat free half and half
- 1/2 cup vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp maple extract
- 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
- Combine all ingredients, other than the crushed walnuts, in a bowl and transfer to the refrigerator. Allow to chill for ~2 hours.
- Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and allow to churn for ~15. Pour crushed walnuts into the ice cream to combine. Allow to churn for an additional 5 minutes
- Transfer ice cream to a container, then store in the freezer
- Makes 6 cups
- Serving Size: ¾ cup
- Servings Per Recipe: 8
- Nutrition Facts (per serving): 130 Calories, 17 g carbohydrates, 8 sugars, 5 g protein, 3.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 4% calcium.
- Meal Planning Servings: 1 CHO; 1 PRO; 0.5 FAT
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