This Independence Day, in the spirit of our nation’s founders, Americans everywhere will be making choices — choices between burgers and hot dogs, iced tea and lemonade, or potato salad and pasta salad. Whether or not you strongly prefer one dish to the other, one item is ubiquitous come dessert time, when Americans everywhere will be savoring ice-cold treats. These five tips will help you prepare healthier ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and more, whether served in a cup, on a stick, atop cake or pie, or in an old-fashioned cone. You definitely won’t want to miss any of these classic recipes and flavors when celebrating the nation’s birthday.
Build High, Not Wide
There’s nothing more American than a banana split, and these Healthy Banana Split Parfaits (pictured at top) deliver on all counts, with fresh bananas, strawberry ice cream, chopped walnuts, chocolate sauce and, of course, the signature cherry topper. This vertical version of the fountain classic is healthy for a reason: Gravity helps the ice cream melt into the fruit and nuts below, so you need only a small scoop per serving.
Another great option for guiltless splurging is to serve a classic banana split that’s been pared down in size. Exhibit A: Food Network Kitchen’s Baby Banana Splits. This comforting treat uses baby bananas, which keep the portion size in check. Once the bananas are roasted, top them with a scoop of ice cream (coconut works nicely) and chopped nuts.
Highlight Seasonal Fruit
Macerated strawberries meet rum, Greek yogurt, vanilla and citrus flavors in the Neelys’ bright and flavorful Strawberry Frozen Yogurt for just 2 grams of fat per serving. If you’re hosting a large crowd this Independence Day, be sure to plan ahead: Place your ice cream maker insert into the freezer a full 24 hours before preparing the frozen treat.
Try Healthier Mix-Ins
Food Network Kitchen puts a healthy twist on kid-friendly ice pops the form of these Healthy Chocolate Chia Pudding Pops. This recipe yields extra-fudgy results (despite the fact that each one contains only 180 calories), thanks to the combo of chia seeds and cocoa powder. Don’t have the patience to wait for the frozen version? No problem. The pudding tastes just as good at room temperature as it does frozen.
Swap Buttermilk for Cream
Sure, there’s some cream involved in making this Raspberry-Buttermilk Sherbet, but buttermilk is the true star here, imbuing every scoop with buttery flavor for fewer calories. Start by pureeing raspberries with buttermilk, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker for a deliciously sweet and tangy sherbet.
Check out these recipes from family and friends for a festive Fourth of July celebration.
Feed Me Phoebe: Red Beet Hummus Recipe with Lemony Yogurt
The Heritage Cook: Tangy Caprese Salad with Pickled Cherries (Gluten-Free)
Creative Culinary: July 4th Red, White and Blue Patriotic Poke Cake
Weelicious: Blue Corn Chip Crusted Fish Sticks with Red Pepper Coulis
The Lemon Bowl: 3 Steps to Perfectly Cooked Sweet Corn
Bacon and Souffle: Red, White and Blue Bark
Taste with the Eyes: Dessert for the 4th of July: Elderflower Berry Pavlova
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Best Ever Elk Burgers For The 4th of July
Red or Green: Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Heirloom Tomato Pie
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Summer Raspberry Sorbet
Homemade Delish: 4th of July Cheesecake
FN Dish: Portable Picks to Make and Take on July 4th