5 Protein Ice Cream Recipes (Low-calorie & Homemade)

James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Published by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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Getting your protein fix doesn’t have to be done with mountains of meat or by downing the same protein shake every morning.

As an experienced health and performance coach, I know there are lots of healthy and delicious recipes out there that are high in nutrition and low in calories, and what better way to get your protein than to mix it into your ice cream?

Well, there are some healthy protein ice cream recipes to choose from.

If there is one food I will never EVER get sick of, it is ice cream. If that means I need to incorporate it multiple times a day in various disguises, you bet I will do it…especially if it means replacing my post workout protein shake with it.

- Arman Liew, Chef and Healthy Living Expert

Here is a selection of some of the most delicious protein ice cream recipes for you to try at home.

Quick Summary

  • To create a healthier dessert, try the Blueberry Mango or Peanut Butter Cup protein ice cream recipes from Total Shape, which blend delicious flavors with the nutritional benefits of protein.
  • The recipes include a variety of flavors like Paleo, Vegan, and Gluten-Free Protein Ice Cream, Blueberry Mango Protein Ice Cream, and Peanut Butter Cup Protein Ice Cream, catering to different dietary preferences and tastes.
  • One of the recipes, the Paleo, Vegan, & Gluten-Free Protein Ice Cream, contains only 67 calories per serving, as noted in a study on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.
  • Personally, I find these protein ice cream recipes to be a delightful way to satisfy sweet cravings without compromising my fitness and health goals.

1. ​Protein Ice Cream (Paleo, Vegan, & Gluten-Free)

Healthy No Churn Workout Protein Ice Cream

This is one of the healthiest protein ice cream recipes I've come across, and it's incredibly simple to make – a perfect blend of health and convenience in my experience.

​With just three ​things blended and frozen, you'll have a healthy ice cream that's vegan, paleo, gluten-free, ​and not reliant on sugar for flavor.

Any blender or your regular food processor can be used to mix the ingredients; you don’t need an ice cream maker or any expensive equipment at all, just a big enough dish as it’s so tasty you’ll want to make it in bulk.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of 14 oz full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-4 scoops of your favorite protein powder (32-34 grams per scoop)
  • ½ cup Medjool dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place a deep dish pan or container into the freezer
  2. In a blender pour in the chilled coconut milk and blend until creamy
  3. Add in the Medjool dates and protein powder and continue blending until a thick and creamy texture
  4. Transfer the protein ice cream mix into the pan and put back into the freezer
  5. For the first hour make sure to stir the mixture every 20-30 minutes to avoid the ice cream becoming too crystalized
  6. Thaw for 10-15 minutes before eating. Wet your ice cream scoop to allow easy transfer into a bowl

Nutrition

Each serving should be about 67 calories, and the protein content will vary depending on how much powder you use.

One of the studies from the National Center for Biotechnology Information website indicates that the phenolic compounds of all coconut milk preparations provide protection against oxidative damage on lipids and inhibit oxidative damage of both proteins and DNA [1].

Check this website for the recipe credit: The Big Mans World

2. Blueberry Mango Protein Ice Cream

Blueberry Mango Protein Ice Cream

Whenever I'm in the mood for something fruity, I love adding real fruits to my protein ice cream recipes; it's a delicious and nutritious trick I've learned to enhance both flavor and health benefits.

This blueberry mango ice cream is big on flavor and low in calories with a delicious creamy texture. Eat it pre or post workout for a quick and yummy protein fix.

The ingredients listed make for a single serving that is ready as soon as it comes out of the blender. If you want less, just tweak the recipe to taste and desired calorie content.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup or 140g of frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup or 140g of frozen mango chunks
  • 1 scoop of your chosen vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk

Instructions

  1. Add the chilled milk into the blender
  2. Add in your fruit and protein powder
  3. Blend until smooth and with a creamy texture
  4. Serve and enjoy

The recipe and ingredients are simple, and there is lots of room to tweak it in terms of flavor and consistency. Play with it yourself.

Nutrition

This makes one large serving with 305 calories and however much protein you put in there. If adding more protein powder, just add a little more liquid and fruit to balance it out.

According to another study found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, blueberry is rich in flavonoids that have anticancer and anti-obesity properties, prevent degenerative diseases, anti-inflammation, protective properties for vision and liver, prevent heart diseases, antidiabetes, improve brain function, protective lung properties, strong bones, enhance immunity, prevent cardiovascular diseases, and improve cognitive decline [2].

​​​​​​​​Recipe from this website: ​Mugs For Muscles

3. Peanut Butter Cup Protein Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Ice Cream

Peanut Butter is not only a delicious treat for any time of the day but is also a little protein punch itself, which makes it an ideal flavor to base a protein ice cream around.

Based on my experience, the combination of peanut butter, banana, and chocolate balances the salty with the sweet just perfectly, and makes for a healthy snack that doesn’t hold back on flavor or nutrition.

Ingredients

  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 tbsp all-natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 4 medium frozen chopped bananas

Instructions

  1. Combine the powder and liquid first in a separate bowl and stir until completely combined with a smooth consistency.
  2. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the bananas and peanut butter.
  3. Mix well until a thick creamy consistency is achieved.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy it.

Nutrition

This recipe is intended to make about 4 servings, and you can freeze the remainder for a chocolate and banana flavored treat at a later date. Each serving should typically provide around 237 calories and 10g of protein, but you can tweak this yourself further by modifying the ingredients. Adding any fruit or flavoring of your choice should work alright.

Related Post: Does Banana cause Weight Loss?

4. Apricot Protein Ice Cream

Apricot Protein Ice Cream

By a matter of chance, all the ice cream so far has been accidentally vegan, as long as you’re not using whey or casein, at least.

So here’s one for you cream heads out there that is full throttle moo milk - another perfectly simple recipe with just 4 ingredients, all whole foods that are healthy and delicious.

The apricot flavor really pops out of the yogurt to create a moreish and great tasting treat.

Ingredients

  • 1 500g tub of 2% Total Greek Yoghurt
  • ½ cup of vanilla whey protein powder
  • ⅛ cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 fresh apricots

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a blender and mix vigorously until a smooth and creamy consistency is achieved.
  2. Pour the mixture into a shallow container to allow for even freezing.
  3. Pop in the freezer for around 40 minutes.
  4. Take it out and churn it to break up any ice crystals. Repeat this process until the desired consistency is achieved. (Churning at 40-minute intervals)
  5. Enjoy.

Nutrition

This recipe should yield three servings all of about 217 calories for 25g of protein. You can substitute in a full-fat yogurt, but it will add calories, obviously. You can also choose a low-calorie protein powder to lessen the calorie content.

Recipe credit: Protein Pow

5. ​PB ​Ice Cream by IFBB Pro Arash Rahbar

Check out this video by IFBB Pro Arash Rahbar for another tasty ​dessert ...

youtube

Pro tip: Make your own protein powder at home, Click here.

FAQs

Can You Use Ice Cream Diet to Lose Weight?

No, you can't use ice cream diet to lose weight. An ice cream diet is not a sustainable or healthy way to lose weight, as it lacks essential nutrients and can lead to unhealthy eating habits.

Can I Eat Ice Cream Once a Week and Still Lose Weight?

Yes, you can eat ice cream once a week and still lose weight, as long as you maintain a calorie deficit overall and follow a balanced diet. Moderation and portion control are key.

How Does Protein Ice Cream Compare Nutritionally to Traditional Ice Cream?

Protein ice cream typically contains fewer calories, less sugar, and more protein than traditional ice cream, making it a healthier alternative. It's an excellent choice for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth while maintaining a balanced diet.

Can Protein Ice Cream Be Adapted for Different Dietary Restrictions?

Yes, protein ice cream can be easily modified to suit various dietary needs, including vegan, keto, and gluten-free diets. By substituting ingredients like dairy milk with almond or coconut milk and using appropriate protein powders, you can cater to these dietary restrictions.

How Do Different Types of Protein Powders Affect Protein Ice Cream?

The type of protein powder used in protein ice cream can influence its texture, flavor, and nutritional profile. Whey protein tends to create a smoother texture, while plant-based proteins might require additional ingredients to enhance creaminess and flavor.

What Are the Best Storage and Shelf Life Tips for Homemade Protein Ice Cream?

To maintain the best quality, store homemade protein ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer and consume it within a week. Prevent ice crystals by covering the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap before sealing the container.

What Are Some Creative Serving Suggestions for Protein Ice Cream?

Protein ice cream can be served with a variety of healthy toppings like fresh fruits, nuts, and dark chocolate chips for added flavor and texture. It can also be used in protein-packed desserts like sundaes or blended into shakes for a nutritious treat.

Are You Going To Try These Protein Ice Cream Recipes?

Try it out for yourself or use the recipes with your favorite powders and let us know how it goes.

Not in the mood for ice cream? Make sure to check out our ​high-protein donut recipe and high-protein waffle recipe.

Pro tip: Make your own whey protein powder at home, Click here.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7422486/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164568/
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