Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream
- 1 cup creamed whipped 4% milkfat min. cottage cheese
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil or peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons toasted chopped pecans
- dash cinnamon
- Entire recipe yields about: 1 and ¾ cup before freezing
- In a blender, measure out cottage cheese, almond milk, brown sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and coconut oil or peanut butter. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover with seran wrap, and transfer to the freezer for one hour, stirring after 30 minutes.
- About 20 minutes before serving, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast pecans for nine or ten minutes. Stir ice cream and top with toasted pecans and cinnamon to taste. The entire recipe is about 570 calories and 32 grams of protein with coconut oil or 563 calories and 33 grams of protein with peanut butter. (Compare this nutrition rundown with that of one pint of Red Velvet Cake ice cream, which has nearly twice as many calories and only half the protein.)
- This recipe can be eaten immediately, in one sitting—or you can save it in the freezer for some emergency when you need to walk away from a pint.
I’m not going to tell you to stop eating ice cream. I would never do that. I’m someone who will abstain from eating dessert for six consecutive days, then, on the seventh day, eat an entire 1000-calorie chocolate chip cookie with no regrets. Because I understand myself (and you, fellow dessert lover) well enough to know that there’s no substitute for the real thing. Spare me the diet cookies and their more-frequent-but-lackluster satisfaction; I am a disciple of delayed but complete gratification.
That said, things don’t always go as planned. There inevitably come times, in the midst of a rough week perhaps, when you want to have your cake (or ice cream, as the case may be) and eat it too. Take this Monday, for example. After a few happy-hour cocktails and a string of unfortunate events, the night culminated around four in the morning with me seated at the kitchen table, drinking an entire melted pint of Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet Cake ice cream from the carton in three minutes flat. Had I factored this into my weekly plan for a balanced diet? No. Did I feel, in the moment, that what I needed more than anything was 56 grams of fat and 92 grams of sugar to the face? You bet. But—could I just as easily have consumed a slightly less destructive alternative had it been available? Mhmm.
That’s the beauty of emotional eating. Since what you’re really doing is responding to the impulses of your lizard brain, it makes no difference whether your autopilot face-cramming indulgence is something so bad for you it’ll ruin your whole week of healthy eating, or something like this protein-packed, lower-cal homemade ice cream option with cocoa, pecans, and cottage cheese. Your lizard brain is no gourmet. Though I have to say, I think even a gourmet would lick the spoon for this one: creamy, bittersweet, and with a not-unsophisticated flavor depth created by freshly toasted pecans and a hint of cinnamon. It’s so good you might forget this is the healthier option.