Cold, sticky, and sweet, ice cream is universally beloved by children everywhere. But no matter how much delicious fun it gives your child, you know it’s packed with fat, artificial colors, and empty nutrition. And that’s not what you want — especially in summer (peak ice cream season) when children eat five times more sugar than normal, the New York Post reports. By making your own ice cream, you get to control what goes in it, but you don’t have to skimp on the fun either. Unicorn ice cream dazzles with its bright, rainbow swirls and colorful sprinkles and can be made without artificial or unhealthy ingredients.
Healthy ingredient switches
Traditional ice cream relies on heavy cream to form a rich custard before being churned and frozen. However, heavy cream is also high in fat and calories, which some parents prefer to avoid. Moreover, if your child is vegan or dairy-intolerant, you’ll need an appropriate alternative. So, replace heavy cream with coconut milk. Coconut milk is heart-healthy and high in medium-chain fatty acids, which quickly metabolize for energy without being stored in the fat cells.
Plant-based food colors
Of course, what makes unicorn ice cream so exciting is its delightful array of colors. But artificial food coloring is a no-go since it may cause hyperactivity, allergies, asthma, and insomnia. Instead, use gluten-free, non-GMO decorative food colors derived from plants — blue, pink, yellow, and green work great in unicorn ice cream. These colors are derived from antioxidant-rich spirulina, beets, and turmeric. Spirulina contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and may even have anti-cancer properties; beets are anti-inflammatory and support digestive and brain health; while turmeric lowers blood sugar levels and boosts mood. In other words, they do the body good.
How to make unicorn ice cream
To make your unicorn ice cream, you’ll need four cans of coconut milk refrigerated overnight, one cup of organic white sugar, one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and plant-based decorative food colors. An ice cream maker is also required to churn the ice cream to a soft-serve consistency. The day before, heat up the coconut milk and sugar in a pan for five minutes until warm. Fold in vanilla extract. Divide mixture into four bowls and add a different food color to each bowl. Stir to combine and leave to chill overnight. The next day, churn each of the colors of ice cream in the ice cream maker. Once each color is done, layer them one on top of the other in a loaf pan. Swirl the layers with a spoon, but don’t over-mix. Cover and firm in the freezer for two hours. Then scoop, sprinkle with naturally-colored unicorn sprinkles, and eat!
While ice cream will never outdo broccoli in the health department, making healthier switches for your children is better for them in the long run. Your kids will have fun both making and eating unicorn ice cream in all its beautiful, naturally-colored glory. And you can feel better about providing them with a healthier option, too.