FoodHealthy homemade ice cream: A summer treat made with cottage cheese

Healthy homemade ice cream: A summer treat made with cottage cheese

Ice cream
Ice cream
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Olga Yastremska, New Africa, Africa Studio

21 June 2024 19:56

It's the favourite summer dessert that everyone loves, regardless of age. The problem is that traditional ice cream usually hides a hefty dose of sugar and fat, which is unsuitable for our health. Fortunately, there is an exciting alternative. To prepare it, we will need... cottage cheese.

Though our ice cream consumption is far from the world record holders, New Zealanders, who consume over 28 kilograms of frozen specialities annually (Brits about 5 kilograms), there is no doubt that it is one of the favourite summer desserts. This is confirmed by a study conducted by the ARC Market and Opinion Institute commissioned by the Koral brand. It shows that as many as 94% of our compatriots like ice cream, regardless of age, gender, or residence. According to respondents, frozen delicacies improve mood, facilitate conversations and family moments, and unite people.

The study also showed that we are traditionalists and often choose flavours we know well. Which ones? We mainly go for cream, vanilla, chocolate, and fruit flavours.

However, it is worth paying attention to the product's composition, which may not be very interesting. Ready-made ice creams usually contain a lot of sugar and fat, artificial colours, additives to maintain the desired colour and taste, and various stabilisers or emulsifiers.

A healthier alternative may be homemade ice cream, even those made with cottage cheese.

Cottage cheese – nutritional values

Of course, the most important ingredient in ice cream is white cheese, preferably full-fat or semi-fat. This will ensure the dessert not only has the right consistency but also provides a solid dose of valuable nutrients.

Milk fat is necessary for the building and functioning of every cell, and it also serves as a carrier of many active compounds. It contains a wealth of easily digestible proteins, which are important building blocks of tissues and bones and also necessary for producing enzymes, hormones, and immune bodies. It contains a lot of calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth helps maintain proper blood clotting and efficient muscles, improves well-being, and reduces stress.

Like any dairy product, cottage cheese contains many B vitamins, especially B2 (which plays an important role in metabolic processes, is essential for the formation of red blood cells, and the production of antibodies by the immune system) and B12 (which increases resistance to stress, prevents anaemia, improves appetite, and even reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease).

Cottage cheese ice cream – how to make it

To prepare the most classic version of the ice cream, we need good-quality cottage cheese, full-fat or semi-fat (250 millilitres), which we first blend into a smooth mass with thick natural yoghurt (250 millilitres). Then we add honey or another sweetener, e.g., maple syrup (3-4 tablespoons), vanilla extract (teaspoon), and juice squeezed from half a lemon. Mix again.

Transfer the ice cream to a mould and freeze it for at least four hours. It's best to use a particular ice cream machine to give our dessert the perfect consistency. If we don't have such a device, we blend the mixture every half hour to break up any forming ice crystals. Remove the ice cream from the freezer a few minutes before serving.

Of course, from such a base, you can prepare desserts of various flavours by adding blended fruits (strawberries, raspberries, mango, blueberries) or finely chopped chocolate or nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts) to the cottage cheese mixture (of course, before freezing).

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