Looking for frozen desserts to enjoy post-Christmas but don’t want the sugar content that comes with them? Nutritionist, Sarah Flower, has seven sugar free frozen desserts that you can make at home

Everyone loves to indulge in some ice-cream, from treats as a child, to sitting in front of your favourite movie or mending a broken heart.  But, a quick look at the most popular ice-creams and frozen desserts in the supermarket and we can see why we are suffering from an obesity epidemic. Freezers are bulging with tempting delights.  Ice-creams are becoming more and more tempting; decadent desserts we could never make at home, all at affordable prices.  We may look at these items as treats, but they are becoming daily snacks.

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Here’s a list of the most popular ice creams and their sugar content.

Ice-cream Sugar Content
Iceland 3 Caramel Ice Cream Trees with Popping Candy 18.6g of sugar (4 ½ tsp) per tree
Sainsbury’s Gingerbread Dairy Ice cream 17.0g of sugar (just over 4tsp) per 2 scoops (75g)
Haagan-Daz Baileys Ice cream 18.3g of sugar (4 ½ tsp) per 2 scoops (83g)
Heston from Waitrose Christmas Pudding Ice cream 18g of sugar (4 ½ tsp) per serving (1/5 pot.)
Tesco Christmas Tree Mint Ice cream 17.7g of sugar (4 ½ tsp) per 63g lolly
Tesco White Chocolate & Raspberry Dome Gateux 22g of sugar (5 ½ tsp) per 75g serving (1/8th)
Iceland Millionaires Salted Caramel Dessert (482g) 21.3g of sugar (5 ½ tsp) per serving (1/6th)
Snickers Ice cream Bar 13.2g of sugar per bar (3 ½ tsp)
Mars Ice cream Bar 12.4g of sugar per bar (3 ½ tsp)
Walls Magnum Almond Lolly 21g of sugar (Just over 5 tsp)
Cadbury Dairy Milk Ice Cream Lolly 21.9g of sugar (almost 5 ½ tsp)
Daim Ice Cream Tub 16.4g (4 tsp) of sugarper 80ml serving
Walls Feast Ice cream Lolly 21g of sugar (just over 5 tsp)
Cadbury Flake Cones 19g of sugar (almost 5 tsp)
Cadbury Crunchy Blast Lolly 23g of sugar (almost 6 tsp)
Malteser’s Teasers Ice cream Lolly 19.9g of sugar (5 tsp)
Oreo Ice cream Tub 12.2g of sugar (3 tsp)per 80ml serving
Cornetto Classic Cone 13g of sugar (just over 3 tsp)
Smarties Ice cream cones 11.3g of sugar (almost 3 tsp)

 

These figures show how easy it is to increase sugars – this is just a treat and can contain anything from three to six tablespoons of sugar.  Remember, the World Health Organisation recommend no more than 25g (roughly six tsp) per adult and less for a child per day.

Add your breakfast cereal, lunch, dinner, desserts and other snacks and you can see why we are suffering from the effects of sugar consumption. One hundred years ago we consumed roughly one kilogram of sugar per year.  We are now consuming as much as 46 kilograms.

One hundred years ago we consumed roughly one kg of sugar each a year. We are now consuming as much as 46kg

It is not just the sugar content that is incredibly worrying, it is the ingredients list.  Most read more like a science project rather than real food.  We don’t need emulsifiers, caramelised sugar syrups, stabilisers, colourings, locust bean gum, beetroot juice, reconstituted skimmed milk, carrageenan, potato starch, ammonium phosphatides, fructose syrups, palm oils etc.These sugary ice-creams offer no nutritional contribution to our health.  We give these to our children as treats unaware of the damage to their health and waistline.

For now, a sugar-free diet means the ice-cream aisle of your supermarket is a no-go area.  At the time of writing, the only ice-cream in the UK that is sugar free is WheyHey and Oppo.  Both are sweetened with Xylitol.   Waitrose have just started to stock a brand called Only By Nature, who offer no added sugar frozen yoghurt.  These only contain naturally occurring sugars from the milk and added fruit.   I was also very impressed with Booja Booja, as these are made with only a handful of organic, natural low-sugar, dairy free ingredients and taste as good as the leading sugar-rich brands.  My children absolutely loved them.

So, why not make your own?

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Ice-cream treats can actually be really easy to make, and if you use full fat cream and milk, you really don’t need to add much sweetener, if at all.

You can even make some of these recipes without an ice-cream maker, but for real ice-cream recipes, these machines do make life easier.   Ice-cream makers range from basic machines from £20 right up to state of the art machines that come in over £100.

For ice-lollies you will be best to invest in some good quality moulds.  I prefer the silicon moulds but you can use whatever you prefer and don’t forget to use your leftovers. A wide range of food and drink can be transformed into a lolly or a base for an ice-cream.   Make lollies from left over smoothies, yoghurt, cream, milk and fresh juice.  For ice-cream, you can use bananas, avocados, cream, frozen fruit, milk and eggs.

Banana Sticks

Really simple but kids love them.

Makes 2

1 banana, cut in half

2 lolly sticks

Dark Chocolate, cream, nut butter or yoghurt

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  • Cut a banana in half and place a lolly stick into each piece.
  • Dip/coat in dark chocolate, cream, nut butter or yoghurt .  You can then sprinkle with chopped nuts if you prefer.
  • Place into the freezer until frozen.

 

 

Vanilla Ice-Cream

You need an ice-cream maker for this.

This is the base for lots of yummy ice-cream desserts.  You can place the vanilla ice-cream between halves of banana, drizzle with my chocolate ganache and sprinkle with chopped nuts to make a traditional banana split.  Add some berries to this ice-cream before freezing to turn into a berry ripple.  Use your imagination and enjoy experimenting – who said sugar free was restrictive.

This recipe uses just egg yolks, but don’t throw away the egg whites, pop them into a freezer bag and freeze in batches of 2 or 3 ready to whip up a pavlova or use to make the coconut macaroons.  You can also use the egg whites to make an omelette.

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8 egg yolks

150g erythritol or xylitol

500ml full fat milk

500ml double cream

2 vanilla pods

Use your imagination and enjoy experimenting – who said sugar free was restrictive.

  • In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and sweetener together until pale and fluffy.
  • Place the milk and the cream in a saucepan and gently heat on a medium heat.  Add the vanilla seeds (carefully cut the pods in half lengthways and using the tip of your knife, score down the inside of the vanilla pods to extract the seeds).  I also place the empty pods into the mixture as it all helps to create the lovely vanilla flavour.
  • Carefully add a small amount of the hot cream to egg yolks and beat gently – this is the same way we make custard, but do it carefully, a very small amount at a time, as you don’t want the eggs to cook.
  • Gradually and very carefully add all the cream and continue to whisk.
  • Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat on a low heat, stirring all the time until it starts to thicken. Be careful you don’t burn the base.
  • Once it has started to thicken, remove from heat and pop through a sieve.
  • Cover with cling-film, and push this down into the custard as this helps to prevent a skin forming.
  • Once cooled, you will need to pop into your ice-cream maker.  I have tried to make this without an ice-cream maker but it becomes hard and icy.

 

Dairy-Free Post-Christmas Bomb

2 x 400g tins of coconut cream

75g erythritol blend or xylitol

75g almond butter

50g toasted hazelnuts

50g toasted almond slices

75g blueberries

75g raspberries

Zest of half a lemon

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp all-spice

  • Line a 1litre pudding bowl with Clingfilm – this helps when you need to remove it from the bowl.  If you don’t want to use Clingfilm, ensure it is very well greased.
  • Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly until well combined.
  • Pour into your pudding bowl, pressing down firmly
  • Cover well before placing into the freezer for at least 4 hours.
  • When ready to eat, turn out onto a plate.  You can pour over dark chocolate (at least 85% cocoa content) if you want, it will set almost instantly.

 

Mango, Banana and Raspberry Gelato

Bananas and mangos are a great base for an ice-cream as when frozen and whipped, it creates a really smooth creamy ice-cream.  You can buy all these ingredients already frozen.  I freeze bananas once they start to go brown, as my fussy boys won’t eat them once they have the slightest brown mark on them.   Here are some easy recipes using bananas or mango’s as your quick and easy base.

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Serves 6-8

2 mangoes, peeled and chopped, frozen

2 bananas, peeled and chopped, frozen

200g raspberries, frozen.

500ml full fat Greek yoghurt or double cream

  • Place all the ingredients into your food processor and whizz until smooth and creamy.
  • As the fruit is frozen before you whizz, you can serve immediately as it will be nice and cold.       Alternatively, place in your container and re-freeze until needed.
  • Remember to remove from the freezer at least 5 minutes before seving as this ice-cream won’t be the soft scoop type!!

Bananas and mangos are a great base for an ice-cream as when frozen and whipped, it creates a really smooth creamy ice-cream

 

Chocolate Banana Gelato

Serves 4

3 bananas, peeled and chopped, frozen

100g dark chocolate, melted

300ml full fat Greek yoghurt or double cream

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  • Place all the ingredients into your food processor and whizz until smooth and creamy.
  • You can serve immediately as it will be nice and cold.  Alternatively, place in your container and re-freeze until needed.
  • Remember to remove from the freezer at least 5 minutes before serving as this ice-cream won’t be the soft scoop type!!

 

Chocolate Bananums

My son’s invention as he was a big fan of Magnums.  He used my Chocolate Banana Gelato(above) and popped them into a ice-lolly mould.  Once frozen, remove and immediately coat with melted dark chocolate.  Place on baking parchment and re-freeze until needed.

MORE: 4 traditional dessert recipes made dairy free

MORE: 6 super easy sugar free dessert recipes

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Sarah Flower is a nutritionist and author of several cookery and health books.  Sarah is currently writing a family sugar-free cookbook (Available to pre-order here) and is passionate about promoting a sugar-free lifestyle.