Protein Ice Cream Recipe
In a perfect world, I would be sponsored by Ninja Creami, but I suppose at the end of the day this product doesn’t need paid ambassadors: people invest in this machine and are so excited about it, they share it like crazy, all their friends buy one, and then everyone is screaming for protein ice cream. It’s just that cool an invention.
I wouldn’t even count ice cream in my top five favorite desserts (I mean, it’s delicious but I’ll always go for some kind of baked good first), but if you can make a healthier alternative that doesn’t taste like, well, disappointment, I’m in.
So often, “healthy versions” of desserts are sad reproductions of the real thing that only serve to enhance your cravings or remind you of what you’re missing out on – but protein ice cream, done right, is so close to the real thing (but nourishing enough to actually be fulfilling, and a frequent addition to a healthy diet) that you may have a hard time justifying Ben and Jerry’s after you try it.
Here is my most basic recipe, using the Ninja Creami – I’m quite sure you can create a similar texture using other blender-type devices, but that’s up to you to experiment.
Protein ice cream
Prep time: 5 minutes
Freeze time: 12-24 hours, but frozen ice cream base can stay in your freezer for weeks.
Actual “ice cream making” time: 5-10 minutes
Makes: 1-2 servings (it’s enough to share but you don’t have to!)
- I cup milk of choice (I use whole cow’s milk, because fat is what makes ice cream delicious; with that said, the Ninja Creami does such a good job of creating an “ice cream” consistency that you can get away with lower fat milks and it will still taste good – cashew, coconut, and almond milk work too!)
- 1-2 scoops protein powder of choice (the more protein powder, the more protein, obviously, but also the more flavor and since most protein powders have sweetness, you won’t need to add your own)
- Any spices or sweeteners (I find a dash of salt makes chocolate flavor richer; here is where you can add a couple drops of sweetener, cinnamon, or flavor extract. For example, if you’re doing mint chip, you can add a few drops of peppermint extract – start very minimal and taste as you go, since extracts like that can easily overpower other flavors!)
- Add your milk, protein powder, and spices/sweetener to the Ninja Creami pint container.
- Blend well using an immersion blender, stick blender, or handheld mixer.
- Freeze overnight.
- Run the pint container under warm water for about 20 seconds, take off the top, put it in your Ninja Creami (follow instructions for how to use the machine properly) and use the Lite Ice Cream setting.
- When it’s finished, you’ll probably notice that your ice cream is crumbly and not ice cream consistency; chances are you’ll have to run it through 2-3 times. Add a splash of milk and run it through the “Re-Spin” cycle. (One thing no one tells you is that the Ninja Creami is loud as heck and it takes probably 5-10 minutes to get your ice cream. Not ideal for when a baby is napping or something, so plan accordingly!)
- After you’ve re-spun to your perfect consistency, you now have a pint of creamy, high-protein ice cream! If you want to add some extra fun and texture, think about adding crushed nuts, chocolate chips, or even crushed up cookies (depending on your goals and preferences). Add an ounce or so of your “topping” and then put your ice cream through the “mix-in” setting. (Even if you add “non-healthy” mix-ins, you’re still treating yourself to a dessert with better ingredients than what you’d get at the store, and the protein content will help you feel satiated while the lower sugar content will keep you from experiencing the energy crashes and carb-cravings that so often come from indulgences like ice cream.)
And you’re done! Here are a couple combinations I really enjoy:
-Vanilla Mint chip (vanilla protein, peppermint extract, and chocolate chips)
-Ferrero Rocher (chocolate hazelnut protein powder with 1 teaspoon added cocoa powder and crushed hazelnuts)
-Chocolate Peanut butter (chocolate protein powder with crushed peanut butter cups, if you really wanna treat yourself!)
If you try any of these, let me know how it goes! Tag me on IG @themusclemaven. If you want more yummy dessert recipes, I have a ton for you here.