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7 Homemade ‘Nice Cream’ Recipes You Can Make in 10 Minutes or Less

No matter how you scoop it, people love ice cream! The United States produced about 1.38 billion gallons (approximately 5.25 billion liters) of ice cream and related frozen desserts in 2022, according to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), and the third Sunday in July has been proclaimed National Ice Cream Day, a celebration most Americans gladly participate in whether they’re aware of this distinction or not.

Although ice cream may seem like an all-American dessert, however, many historians believe it actually originated in ancient China, notes Newsweek (although this is still debated). The original recipe for the sweet, creamy, frozen dessert was a mixture of rice and milk, with fruit to sweeten it — a long way from the sugar- and toppings-loaded pints you can purchase today.

While ice cream is fine as an occasional treat, the calories, added sugars, and unhealthy fats can add up all too quickly. A two-thirds cup serving (the amount recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]) of Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Bean ice cream, for example, has 340 calories, 32 grams (g) of sugar including 24 g of added sugar, and 13 g saturated fat — a full day’s worth, according to the recommended limit from the American Heart Association). And that’s if you stick to the suggested serving size and skip any mix-ins or toppings.

Revisiting that early recipe for a simple, fruit-sweetened ice cream may not be such a bad idea, then. And it turns out, it’s not difficult to do. You can easily make healthier versions of your favorite frozen dessert at home, and enjoy them more often because they’ve got more good-for-you nutrients and less of the stuff you don’t need in your diet, like unhealthy fat and sugar. These “nice cream” recipes ditch the dairy so they are vegan-friendly, but still creamy and delicious.

The following simple recipes come together in just a few minutes in a blender or food processor and your freezer. Feel free to scoop, savor, and repeat this summer without sacrificing flavor or your health goals! 

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