5 Healthy Ice Cream Alternatives to Try This Summer

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JLP Staff

Food & Home /

Rainbow pop

It’s the hottest time of the year, which means there’s no better time to indulge in some icy cool treats.

The nostalgic sound of the ice cream truck rumbling down your street can be especially tempting. But if dairy doesn’t fit into your diet, the 10 minutes of joy you receive from snacking on that sweet treat isn’t worth the bellyache.

That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of cool treats you can prepare at home, in less time than it takes to chase the ice cream man down the block.

Whether you’re giving up dairy because you’re allergic, lactose intolerant or it just doesn’t fit into your nutritional plan, give these dairy-free treats will turn your ice cream cravings into a thing of the past.

Coconut Snow

Nothing transports you to a tropical paradise like the taste of coconut. Add a creamy, cool texture, and you’ll feel like you’re at a 5-star resort.

And since this treat takes less than 5 minutes to prep, you won’t break a sweat doing it.


  • 1 lime
  • 1 14 oz can of coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey


  1. Pour the can of coconut into a shallow pie dish or baking pan.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a small microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Microwave until the mixture simmers and the sugar dissolves when you give it a stir.
  4. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then add coconut milk and a squeeze of lime.
  5. Freeze for 2 hours, scraping every 30 minutes.
  6. Add a topping of your choice — like dairy-free chocolate chips or coconut flakes!


Raspberry Nice Cream

Nice cream gives you the pleasure of ice cream without the guilt of dairy or sugar.

Toss in some raspberry and you’ve got a sweet, tangy and aesthetically pleasing dessert. Plus, each batch makes enough to share!


  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries


  1. Add chopped frozen bananas to a food processor.
  2.  Add water.
  3.  Blend to a smooth consistency.
  4.  Add raspberries.
  5.  Pulse until the mixture is blended but chunky.
  6.  Top with raspberries, and dig in!


Frozen Drumstick Bites

If the earlier mention of ice cream truck delights left your mouthwatering, we’ve got great news — now you can make one of these classic treats yourself, but with a healthy twist.

Here’s our version of a gluten-free and dairy-free “drumstick.”


  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1 pint vegan ice cream
  • 1 cup gluten free pretzels
  • 1 cup dairy free dark chocolate chips


  1. Set the ice cream out to soften.
  2. Line 2 small pans (that will fit in your freezer) with wax paper.
  3. Using a melon baller, scoop the ice cream into small balls and line them into the first pan.
  4. Put the pan in the freezer while you fill the second with ice cream balls. Freeze both pans for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  5. Microwave the chocolate chips and 2 tbsp coconut oil for around 20 seconds in a small microwave safe dish.
  6. Remove and stir, repeat until chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.
  7. Crush pretzels in a plastic bag and spread the crumbs on a small plate.
  8. Using a toothpick, pick up each ice cream ball and turn it in the chocolate so all sides are covered but the bottom.
  9. Roll the chocolate covered ice cream balls in the pretzel crumbs.
  10.  Place balls back in the freezer until firm.
  11.  Mix remaining coconut oil with remaining chocolate mixture and heat for 20 seconds.
  12. Dip the ice cream balls in the melted chocolate, then crushed peanuts.
  13.  Freeze again, and serve when firm.


4 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Shake

Skip the drive-through and make your way to the kitchen to create this convenient, healthy and delicious play on a classic treat.


  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 sliced and frozen bananas
  • 1/4 cup and 2tbsp of non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 1 cup unsalted peanut butter


  1. Blend bananas until they’re crumbly.
  2. Add non-fair milk and blend until creamy.
  3. Add cocoa powder and peanut butter and continue to blend until smooth.
  4. Pour and enjoy!


Rainbow Watermelon Popsicles

Let’s face it, popsicles are just one of those things we’ll never grow out of. And with this fresh and fruity twist on classic popsicles, you can indulge in your favorite sweet snack all summer long.


  • 1 cup pitted cherries
  • 1 medium sized ripe mango, diced
  • 4 cups pureed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Natural sweetener (optional)
  • Possible molds


  1. Layer the diced mango, cherries and blueberries in the bottom of your popsicle molds
  2. Pour the watermelon puree in the molds to fill them up.
  3. Place popsicle sticks in mixture.
  4. Freeze for 6-7 hours.

Time to clean out the freezer and make room for your best summer treats yet!


If you still have a sweet tooth after these, or are simply ready to keep up the healthy desserts, try these 5 ingredient alternatives for guilt-free brownies >


Categories: Food & Home
About The Author
Screen shot 2016 08 11 at 1.30.46 pm

Joan Lunden’s in-house research and writing team works with Joan to create content that complements her focuses and the interests of her fans. The team is dedicated to creating a thriving community through content and conversations, and hopes their work, like Joan’s, can make a difference in the lives of her readers everywhere.

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