Vegan Coconut Pineapple Ice Cream: The Perfect Healthy Summer Treat
7 minute read
With summer right around the corner, nothing sounds more refreshing than cool ice cream. The trouble with ice cream is that it may not be the healthiest of snacks, but we cannot resist that cooling sensation it delivers.
The good news for you this summer is that there is a recipe for healthy and vegan ice cream. Not only can you promote health, but it’s great for everyone, and it’s guaranteed to keep you cool all summer long.
Healthy Ingredients for Ice Cream
When it comes to healthy ice cream, all that matters is the ingredients. Many store-bought versions are loaded with dairy and sugar ingredients which can be bad for you when consumed in excess.
If you are looking for a sweet treat to keep you cool this summer, try making your own ice cream from bananas and pineapple. You can get the same refreshing sensation without all the unhealthy fats and sugars.
There are a number of health benefits to pineapples and bananas, which makes them ideal ingredients for your new summer treat.
Benefits of Bananas
1. Regulate blood sugar: Bananas are full of pectin (a fiber) and resistant starch, which escape digestion and help to regulate blood glucose levels. Bananas slow the digestion process as well as stomach emptying, and as a result, they slow the absorption of blood sugar, which prevents dangerous spikes and crashes. The resistant starch in bananas also helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
2. Healthier heart: Bananas are full of potassium, which is a mineral essential to heart health. Potassium can help to regulate blood pressure and prevent hypertension as well as lower your overall risk for heart disease. Bananas also contain magnesium, which is also important for heart maintenance and health.
3. Healthier kidneys: Potassium helps blood pressure as well as kidney function. Studies have found that eating a daily banana can lower your risk of kidney disease and promotes overall healthier kidney function as a result of increased potassium levels.
4. Support weight loss: The high fiber content in bananas helps you feel full longer, and this can prevent unhealthy snacking that causes weight gain. In addition to this, bananas are also low in calories, which makes them a good snack for when hunger pangs hit.
By reducing your appetite and caloric intake, a banana a day can help support your weight loss program.
5. Antioxidant boost: Like most fruits, bananas are full of powerful antioxidants. Both dopamine and catechins are found in bananas, and these work to protect you from oxidative damage that can cause heart disease, degenerative conditions, and cancer.
The dopamine in bananas does not act the same as the hormone that crosses into your brain and affects mood. This dopamine cannot cross the blood-brain barrier but instead simply acts as an antioxidant.
Benefits of Pineapple
1. Antioxidant powers: Pineapples are loaded with antioxidants which fight damage caused by free radicals. Oxidative damage is linked to some of the most serious diseases, but pineapples can help prevent this as part of your daily diet. The actions of the flavonoids and phenols, in particular, will protect your tissues from free radicals and promote overall health and function.
2. Ease digestive troubles: Pineapple contains a powerful enzyme known as bromelain. This enzyme is a protease that works to break down proteins into amino acids. Individuals with digestive issues may be low in digestive enzymes, so bromelain can help to ensure proteins are effectively broken down.
This enzyme is widely available as a digestive supplement, but wouldn’t it be better just to eat pineapple ice cream instead?
3. Boost your immunity: The collection of vitamins and minerals in pineapples have long been known to fight illness and collectively can boost your immunity. Studies have found that those who eat pineapples regularly have less inflammation and lower risk for viral and bacterial infections. It was also found that pineapple eaters have more disease-fighting white blood cells in their system than those who do not eat this tropical fruit.
4. Ease arthritis: Arthritis affects millions of Americans and can disrupt quality of life. Bromelain in pineapples is an anti-inflammatory agent which allows it to reduce the inflammation associated with all types of arthritis.
Taking a bromelain supplement has been shown to reduce pain symptoms in arthritis patients as well as allow for improved mobility. It has even been found to work as effectively as leading anti-inflammatory medications.
| Related: 8 Health Benefits of Eating Pineapple |
5. Reduced risk for cancer: Cancer is marked by the uncontrolled growth of cells and is often associated with inflammation and oxidative damage. The compounds in pineapple have been studied with regards to cancer and have been found to reduce your risk as a result of reducing inflammation and protecting against oxidative damage.
Bromelain, the main antioxidant in pineapples, has also been found to suppress the growth of cancer cells in breast cancer as well as stimulate cancer cell death. Bromelain also boosts your immune system and white blood cells, which can serve to fight cancer in the body more effectively.
2 ripe bananas
1 pineapple OR 4 cups frozen pineapple
coconut flakes (as much as you like)
Break bananas into smaller pieces, and if using fresh pineapple, cut into small pieces so that they fit in the food processor. Put banana and pineapple into a food processor and blend for 60 seconds or until smooth. Scoop into a freezer safe dish and freeze for approximately 2 hours until frozen. Serve and sprinkle coconut flakes on top. For extra creaminess and extra coconut flavor, add the cream from one 13.5 ounce can of full-fat coconut milk.
The Bottom Line
The summer heat can be hard to beat, but ice cream has what it takes to cool you down. With so many tempting ice cream flavors and varieties out there, it can be hard to choose one. To stay cool while staying healthy, you are better off making your own. The recipe above has nutrition and flavor and will make sure those hot summer days don’t have you down.