Protein ice cream is made with 5 simple ingredients in just 5 minutes. It is no churn and healthy (keto and with 6 grams of protein). You can serve it as a soft serve or a frozen dessert on hot days!
What Is High-Protein Ice Cream?
Ice cream is one of the most popular desserts in the world. But if you are trying to lose weight or adopt a healthy diet, it shouldn’t be your first choice!
Traditional ice cream has milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks as its base. All these ingredients contain some protein, but they don't necessarily fit into a healthy diet.
It is loaded with sugar and fat and is high in calories. Yes, all those 3 ingredients have some protein, but how can regular ice cream fit into a diet if it's high in calories, sugar, and fat?
On the other hand, high-protein ice cream contains added protein, most of the time plant-based or whey protein powder, and also low-fat or non-dairy milk. Sometimes frozen fruit like avocados, mangoes, or bananas is blended into the base to provide creaminess.
Moreover, it is sweetened with sugar substitutes such as stevia, erythritol, monk fruit extract, or allulose which doesn't affect the protein content but lowers the calories and number of net carbs. It is much healthier and higher in protein than regular ice cream!
So you can say protein ice cream is the best dessert for health-conscious adults who look for flavor and high-protein content without all the carbs and calories.
What kind of protein powder is best for this protein ice cream recipe?
Although most forms of protein powder can be added to ice cream, whey protein powder is the best pick! The reason is that it helps increase the consistency of the unfrozen portion of the ice cream while maintaining both small air cells and small ice crystals.
In other words, it produces smoother and creamier ice cream that has good resistance to heat shock.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Frozen avocado – if you prefer you can use frozen banana, although it is not keto-friendly.
- Almond butter – you may replace it with creamy peanut butter or any nut butter of your choice. Some recipes call for canned coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, or Greek yogurt!
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – Use your favorite one!
- Chocolate whey protein powder (if you prefer, you can use a plant-based protein powder but it won’t make this high protein ice cream as creamy as whey would. You may use vanilla protein powder but you’ll have to add a little more cocoa powder to the recipe
- Sugar substitute -- I used erythritol (but you can pick any sweetener you want. If using sugar, make sure it is refined sugar which dissolves faster. If using frozen bananas or mangoes, there is no need for sugar substitutes because of those fruits’ natural sweetness.
- Salt – It will enhance the sweetness of our protein ice cream.
- Instant coffee – It’s OPTIONAL but it will add a depth of flavor to our chocolate protein ice cream, making one of those healthy desserts you want to have again and again.
How to Make Protein Ice Cream
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth (soft-serve consistency). SEE PICS. 1 & 2
Either serve our high protein ice cream right after making it as a soft serve or freeze up to an hour in a freezer-safe container and then scoop out with an ice cream scoop. SEE PICS. 3 & 4
If freezing the ice cream, use a 24 to 48-hour frozen container to speed up the freezing process and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the wrap touches the top surface of the ice cream.
NOTE: If you’re not using a food processor, thaw the frozen avocados a little before blending in the blender so your blender will be able to handle them.
Protein Ice Cream Recipe Tips + Tricks
- If you don't like chocolate flavor, you can make a flavor variation of this homemade protein ice cream such as vanilla by replacing cocoa powder and chocolate protein powder by adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract and using a vanilla-flavored whey protein powder.
- You can use a 1M star tip to give your in cream a professional soft-serve look. Just pipe it into a small bowl or container once it is ready.
- You can add toppings to your vanilla flavor or chocolate protein ice creams like berries, chopped nuts, cacao nibs, chocolate chips, or unsweetened coconut flakes to make this protein ice cream even healthier and tastier.
- If you enjoy high-protein meals, check out our 30 High-Protein Dinners and our Protein Overnight Oats.
Is This Ice Cream Healthy?
We have added 2 tablespoon of protein powder to the ice cream. While the amount of protein in 2 tablespoon will depend on the brand and type of protein powder that you use, it is still a significant amount of protein.
Moreover, this high-protein ice cream has no artificial preservatives or colors. It has just five required ingredients.
We have used erythritol instead of other sugar alternatives because it is known to be good for your digestion.
It has the goodness of avocados, which has a lot of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fat that help your body grow stronger and healthier.
Benefits of Protein Ice Cream
Protein ice cream is a yummy treat and a great way to add protein to your diet—plus it is low in calories if compared to regular ice cream. Here are a few health benefits that can convince you to make your own at home:
High in protein
Of course, protein powder ice cream will have a high amount of protein. Depending on the protein powder you use, you will get close to 11-15 grams of protein per serving.
Protein helps build muscles, develops your immunity system, improves blood flow in the body, and repairs damaged tissues. From a workout point of view, protein is essential.
If you make whey protein ice cream, it will help you lose weight, improve your muscles' growth and help you recover after a workout.
Lower in calories
Traditional ice creams are loaded with calories due to their sugar, cream, and milk content. A ½ cup of standard chocolate ice cream may have as many as 146 calories. Our protein ice cream has nearly the same amount of calories but it contains 3 times more protein, 6 times fewer net carbs, and 16 times less sugar than regular chocolate ice cream. This is because we use all-natural ingredients and zero-calorie sugar substitute erythritol.
If you want to lose those few extra pounds, but your heart is aching for a bite of your favorite ice cream, then this healthy and delish protein ice cream is what you should have.
Easy to make and No Churn
Making this protein ice cream is super easy! All you need to do is gather the ingredients and your favorite protein powder and blend them together until smooth!
It is no-churn – it doesn’t require an ice cream machine!
Moreover, you can replace any of the ingredients to accommodate your allergies and food sensitivities.
For example, if you are allergic to almonds, you can use peanut butter instead of almond butter. Don't like avocados? Substitute them with other fruits such as bananas. You have complete control over what you are eating.
Here are a few things to watch out for before scooping down a tub of protein ice cream.
It may contain added sugar
Protein ice creams available in the market use added sugar to make them extra sweet, increasing your blood sugar. That's why I have used erythritol in my recipe to ensure that those with diabetes and obesity can also have it.
Make sure to check the labeling on protein ice creams you buy from the market and check for added sugars before going ahead and eating it.
Low in nutrients
Protein ice creams are protein-focused. But the ingredients may lack other important sources of nutrition such as vitamins and minerals.
This is why I have based my recipe on avocado, one of the world's healthiest fruits. A 7 oz avocado can give you up to 23% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, 28% of vitamin E, and many minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and folates.
All these are essential for important bodily functions such as immunity, hair growth, skin renewal, aging, and other things.
It may cause digestive issues.
Pay attention to the ingredients in protein ice creams that you buy in the market. Many of them have prebiotics and sugar alcohols such as xylitol which can cause gas, bloating, nausea, and other digestive problems.
I have used erythritol in my protein ice cream since it does not have the same digestive issues. I have not recommended adding any prebiotics either.
May cause overeating
Protein ice cream is lower in calories and has lower sugar than traditional ice cream.
But despite this, eat it in moderation. If you start gorging on protein ice cream daily, it can still cause you to gain weight.
Moreover, brands might lull you into a sense of false security that nothing bad can happen from protein ice cream, which may lead you to eat too much of it. You might even start eating it in place of healthier options such as fruits.
Guide to Protein Powder (Different Types and Their Differences and Uses)
Whey protein is derived from cow's milk. It is considered a "complete protein" because it has all 9 essential amino acids and the acid leucine, which helps in protein synthesis. It is also easy to digest. However, it contains lactose so lactose-intolerant people should not use it.
Whey protein is available as Whey concentrate (lower quality, 60-80% protein and higher in calories), whey isolate (90% protein purity, lower calories), and whey hydrolysate (which is expensive but the easiest to digest).
Casein is another protein found in cow's milk. It gets digested much more slowly than whey protein, thus releasing its amino acids very slowly. Professional weightlifters and bodybuilders use this type of protein just before going to bed, to avoid a long fasting period.
Plant-based protein powder
Plant-based foods such as peas, rice, and soy contain a good amount of protein. While these are not as complete a source of protein as whey (they don't have all 9 essential amino acids), they are a good option for vegans and those with lactose intolerance.
Keep in mind that you should always buy plant-based proteins from protein-rich food sources like soy. These products also tend to cause bloating and indigestion.
While egg protein-based powders are comparable to whey in terms of nutrition, they are usually expensive and harder to find. They might be a good option for people with lactose intolerance.
How to Serve High-Protein Ice Cream
There are two ways to serve this protein ice cream:
- As soft serve (Right after making the ice cream, spoon the mixture into one or two bowls and serve right away with toppings of choice).
- Frozen, scoop-able ice cream (Transfer the ice cream mixture to a freezer-safe container such as a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 1 hour. Once frozen, scoop and serve with your favorite ice cream topping. If the ice cream gets too hard in the freezer, allow it to thaw on the counter for 5-10 minutes before scooping. It has the consistency of frozen yogurt!). Metal loaf pans work great because they chill faster and keep the temperature better than glass or plastic!
How to Store Leftovers
Freeze protein ice cream leftovers in a freezer-safe container tightly covered and stored for up to one month in the freezer.
To prevent freezer burn, make sure to place a wrap on the top surface of the ice cream and press it down. Then wrap more or place a lid on top.
Other Ice Cream Recipes
- Mango Ice Cream
- No Churn Keto Coconut Ice Cream Recipe
- Peanut Ice Cream
- Sorvete Nata Goiaba (Sweet Guava-and-Cream Ice Cream)
- Chocolate Pudding Ice Cream Pie
Other High-Protein Recipes
PIN & ENJOY!
Protein Ice Cream
- 1.04 pounds frozen chopped avocado or 472 gram
- ¼ cup almond butter or creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoon chocolate protein powder
- ¾ cup erythritol or more if you have a sweet tooth. You may replace with another type of powdered sugar substitute such as monk fruit or even confectioner's sugar.
- ⅛ teaspoon salt OPTIONAL
- ⅛ teaspoon instant coffee OPTIONAL
- Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth (soft serve consistency).
- Either serve our high protein ice cream right after making as soft serve, or freeze up to an hour in a freezer-safe container and then scoop out with an ice cream scoop.
- If freezing the ice cream, use a 24 to 48-hour frozen container to speed up the freezing process and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the wrap touches the top surface of the ice cream.
- NOTE: If you’re not using a food processor, thaw the frozen avocados a little before blending in the blender so your blender will be able to handle.
** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.
Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.
John / Kitchen Riffs says
What an interesting idea! Love ice cream, and this looks great. And added protein is a plus. Thanks!