If you’ve been to the freezer section of your grocery store lately, you’re probably aware that several brands offer protein-rich ice cream alternatives. But if you’re looking to save money or recreate your favorite flavor by making protein ice cream at home, TikTok has you covered. Users have shared their easy protein ice cream recipes that come together in minutes. Now that the topic has garnered over 80 million views on the app, it’s clear the savory trend is here to stay.
Below, how to get in on the action – plus a dietitian’s perspective on protein ice cream nutrition.
How to make protein ice cream
The wonderful thing about high-protein ice cream is that you can improvise based on your preferences and what you have on hand. Most recipes include a cup or less of your nut milk of choice as a base, along with ice cream, frozen fruit, or other sweet add-ins (including Oreos, whipped cream, pudding mix, even cereals). Obviously, you’ll also be adding a source of protein — TikTokers love adding flavored protein powder, flavored Greek yogurt, or powdered peanut butter.
To make your protein ice cream of choice, you’ll need a powerful blender or food processor. The key ingredient many TikTok creators rely on to give the chilled treat an ice cream-like texture is xanthan gum, a thickening and stabilizing agent commonly found in traditional ice cream, as well as in salad dressings, baked goods, syrups, soups, etc. It’s also commonly found in protein powders, which is why you only need to add about a teaspoon to your protein ice cream.
Need inspiration? You’ll find many variations of the dessert on TikTok, including @my.getfit’s protein ice cream recipe, which uses 1 scoop of whey protein powder, 1 tsp xanthan gum, 1 tsp mix of sugar-free pudding and a zero-calorie sweetener of your choice, 1/2 cup unsweetened cashew or almond milk of your choice, and ice.
TikTok user @haileybirch_health opted for a peanut butter banana version, mixing together two to three frozen bananas, a scoop of vanilla protein powder, 2 tbsp of powdered or regular PB and a splash of milk. almonds, bananas serving as a replacement for ice cream. They also added chocolate chips towards the end of the mix for a bit of crunch.
Nutritional Benefits of High Protein Ice Cream
Nothing compares to regular ice cream, but if you want to add extra protein to keep you full and support your muscles and bones, rest assured protein ice cream is an RD-approved method. “What you put in your protein ice cream can make all the difference from a nutritional standpoint,” says Nicole Lindel, MS, RDN, Registered Dietitian and Everlywell Consultant. “Using fruit, protein powder, Greek yogurt, and cow or nut milk makes for a delicious, well-balanced snack or meal.”
Eating the right amount of protein each day is key to supporting your body’s functioning, Lindel notes. “It is recommended that the average adult consume 0.8 to 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight,” she notes. “However, it really depends on the individual. Various factors can contribute to this, such as age, gender, health and level of physical activity. Protein is essential for growth and development. Our bodies need protein from food to build and maintain bones, muscles and skin.
Lindel recommends adding a little honey with lots of fruit for a natural sweetness. Also, some TikTok commenters have noted digestive issues with xanthan gum (consuming it may cause abdominal discomfort in some people), but you can omit it or substitute it with another thickening ingredient. “Chia seeds soaked in water are a great substitute for xanthan gum,” says Lindel. “It’s also a smart addition to protein ice cream, as chia seeds are packed with fiber and a range of essential nutrients.” FYI, if you skip those thickening agents entirely, you might end up with a more smoothie texture than fro-yo.
Voila, all you need is a blender, a few ingredients, and a healthy dose of creativity, and you’re sure to find a frosty, high-protein combo you’ll love.
This story first appeared on www.shape.com
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