Who doesn’t love ice cream? So many flavor choices and styles: slow churned, gelato, frozen custard, chocolate-dipped vanilla softy in a cone! Yum! And the list goes on. Truly, nothing is better than a frozen treat after a hot day at the beach. Unless, of course, you are lactose intolerant. A total bummer, especially during the summer, the peak ice cream season. But all is not lost. You have many ways to beat the heat with alternative frozen treats that are both non-dairy and low in sugar.
Lactose intolerance is the inability to properly breakdown lactose, the sugar found in milk. This sugar is not only found in cow’s milk, but all milk from mammals: cows, sheep, goats, and humans. Although we are all born with the enzyme to digest lactose, more than half of the world’s population cannot properly digest dairy products. According to the National Institutes of Health, 65 percent of the human population suffers from lactose intolerance.
Once a child is old enough to be weaned from mother’s milk and begins to eat solid food, the enzyme for lactose digestion goes away. When the sugar is not broken down, it passes into the colon where it mixes with bacteria and ferments. The resulting symptoms include gas, bloating, discomfort, and diarrhea. Although the condition is not serious, it is uncomfortable and embarrassing to say the least.
However, finding a creamy, summer-time, frozen treat is still totally possible for someone with lactose intolerance. The recipe for Raspberry-Coconut Chia Pudding Pops from Skinnytaste uses coconut milk in lieu of milk and stevia in lieu of any type of sugar. All of the ingredients are easy to find, and they look yummy.
Frozen banana ice cream is another simple, dairy-free dessert with only one ingredient. That’s right. Bananas. Eat it plain or add your favorite toppings like nuts.
Someone a bit more ambitious in the kitchen might love this Wild Blueberry Lavendar Ice Cream from Ambitious Kitchens. Although dairy-free, this recipe does use both honey and coconut sugar. Honey is unique; the bees have added their own enzyme that has broken sucrose down into glucose and fructose, making it easier for us to digest.
Greek yogurt and full-fat yogurts are additional options that have little to no lactose and can be tolerated more easily. This yogurt pop recipe from Kalynskichen.com is perfect for making pops at home. Children will especially love these treats since they are similar to yogurt pops bought in the store, but the amount of sweetener used is up to you.
Ice cream is not the only frozen treat in town anymore. Many dairy-free and sugar-free choices can be either purchased at the grocery store or made at home. Whatever your choice, having a food intolerance is no longer a limiting factor when looking for tasty frozen treats this summer.