If you’re a salted caramel feign raise your spoon in the air. Okay, everyone’s spoon raised?
Now dig into this creamy salted caramel dream:
I’m not about doing away with all refined sugar and nutrient-void treats. That’s no way to live. Some days your heart may be set on a McDonald’s McFlurry, and maybe you should listen to it. Some days. Maybe.
But on most days? When you want to avoid the insanely high amounts of processed sugar hidden in conventional ice-cream? This healthier, high-protein ice-cream has you covered.
Salted Caramel Protein Ice-Cream: HOW, WHAT?!
Making an ice-cream that is healthy and satiating and yummy sounds like an impossible feat. Luckily I didn’t let my self-doubt get the best of me this time. Let me reveal the details of this edible salted caramel treasure with you:
Speckled bananas and caramely dates provide ample natural sweetness
Coconut cream creates a luscious, creamy texture
Almond butter adds a nutty swirl that pairs wonderfully with the caramel
Salted caramel pea protein adds an extra oomph of salted caramel, while also making this ice-cream (shockingly) filling!
This protein ice-cream sundae is one of those sweet treats you don’t have to reserve for Sunday afternoons. It’s an everyday kind of dessert that is healthy enough to warrant having after a regular day at work or a mediocre (or non-existent) gym session.
No need to preemptively sweat off the food regrets. This sundae is 100% naturally sweetened and full of healthy, plant-based fats and protein.
How to Construct a Healthier Ice-Cream Sundae
The key to a
good (scratch that), MIND-BLOWING, ice-cream sundae is in the LAYERS. I’m talking multiple, varying layers of texture and flavor.
- Salted caramel ice-cream
- Almond butter caramel sauce
- Whipped vanilla coconut cream
- Chopped salted caramel protein bar
- Maple syrup drizzle
Just think of yourself as an artist, and your glass as your easel. Layer everything together to make your work of art!
And then proceed to eat it. All.
Salted Caramel Protein Ice-Cream Sundae
Healthy decadence that is quick to whip together and packed with protein! This salted caramel ice-cream sundae is also vegan-friendly and dairy-free.
- 2 medium speckled bananas, previously sliced and frozen
- 4-6 deglet noor dates (or ~2-3 large medjool dates)
- 1 heaping tbsp natural almond butter (plus more to swirl in; or other nut/seed butter of choice, but the flavor will change)
- 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut cream (chilled overnight in the fridge*; preferably a brand with a higher fat percentage, i.e. ~90% coconut*)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 servings (~38 g) salted caramel pea protein powder* (I enjoy Two Island's caramel protein)
- 2 tsps hydrolyzed collagen powder (optional)
- Generous pinch or two salt (add to taste based on desired salted caramel flavor)
- ~2-4 tbsps milk of choice, as needed to blend the ingredients
- Caramel Drizzle:
- 1 1/2 tbsps almond butter (or other nut butter, but the flavor will change)
- 1 1/2 tbsps maple syrup (or sub brown rice syrup/agave/etc.)
- 2-4 tsps water, as needed for thinning (or use coconut oil for a richer syrup)
- Pinch or two salt (to taste)
- Coconut Whipped Cream:
- 1/3 cup full-fat canned coconut cream (previously chilled*; choose a can with ~90% coconut for best results*)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar or stevia/erythritol to taste (optional, add if you'd like a tad more sweetness)
- Optional Toppings:
- Chopped caramel protein bar
- Protein granola
- Chopped gooey dates
- Sliced banana
- Pinches of flaky sea salt, such as Maldon (this really elevates the salted caramel flavor!)
Make the ice-cream by placing all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and pulsing/blending until well incorporated and creamy (some visible date fibers are natural). Taste and add a pinch or two more salt for a stronger salted caramel flavor, or 1-2 more dates or tsps of maple syrup if you'd like a tad more sweetness. If it's not incorporating well, add ~1-2 tbsps milk at a time.
Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and freeze for ~1-2 hours for a soft-serve like consistency, or ~3-5 hours for a more solidified ice-cream. Allow to thaw slightly (~15-30 min) if it's fully frozen before scooping out.
As you wait for the ice-cream to freeze or thaw, prepare the other layers. Make the caramel sauce by combining the almond butter, syrup, and pinch or two salt in a small bowl. Thin it slightly with 2-4 tsps water.
Set aside as you make the coconut whipped cream. Use a standing mixer to whip the chilled cream, vanilla extract, and sweetener (if using) for ~1-3 minutes until thickened up. Add a dash or two milk as needed if the cream is very solidified.
Before constructing the sundae, place your glass in the freezer for a few minutes. Layer the ingredients together as desired and enjoy immediately. The ice-cream is best consumed within 1-2 days, but will keep in a tightly-sealed container in the freezer for longer (I estimate ~2-3 weeks).
*Chilling the coconut cream overnight in the fridge (~10-12 hours) helps thicken it up. It also helps separate the cream and liquid in the can (the coconut water settles on the bottom), making it easier to scoop out the cream. Reserve the coconut water for another use (smoothies or curries!). *Not all coconut creams are created equal! It's best to use a brand with a higher fat percentage, preferably ~80-90% coconut. If you're located in NZ, I recommend Pams or Fia Fia coconut cream if you can get your hands on them (I've purchased the former at New World, and the latter at Countdown). Pams brand separates and hardens up more in the fridge, so you will have to add a few more dashes of milk when blending the ingredients (but it makes the best thick coco whip). Fia Fia retains a runnier consistency (even after chilling overnight) because it has more emulsifiers that prevent separation; although it makes blending the ingredients easier, it results in less fluffy whipped cream. In this recipe either brand should work, but I used Pams! I don't recommend Pacific Crown, as it resulted in a gritty mess. Other brands may work too, those are just the ones I've tried and had success with! If you're in the U.S., check out Minimalist Baker's helpful guide !