There are very few indisputable facts of life, but here’s one: Everyone loves dessert.
The mix of sweet, salty, and a little bit of fat is physiologically proven to be irresistible. (That is, of course, assuming your name isn’t Jason Feifer; the amazing man without taste.)
The problem, of course, is that most desserts aren’t healthy. They’re filled with all the stuff you’re told to avoid (sugar, fat, more sugar). And, while I’d argue that the occasional dessert is part of a healthy diet, eating lots of desserts usually does more harm than good. Or, at the very least, it makes it really hard to lose weight and look the way you want.
This leaves most people with two options:
1) Eat dessert and don’t look the way you want (or train much more)
2) Don’t eat dessert and crave bad foods.
Both of those options seemed pretty awful to me, so I created a third option:
3) Protein ice cream (AKA protein pudding or “healthy dessert”)
Protein ice cream might not sound as good as cheesecake, but it’s simple and it tastes really good (even my wife approves). The best part: it’s healthy, can be added to any diet plan, is low in calories, and a great job of solving sweet cravings at almost any time of the day.
How to Make Protein Ice Cream
Protein ice cream requires just 3 ingredients: protein powder, almond butter (or peanut butter or cashew butter), and milk (of your choice). That’s it.
I can’t recall where I discovered the first variation of this dessert, but I’ve made many small adjustments to the original recipe, and for the past 15 years this has become a daily staple of my diet. (Yeah, I eat this stuff every day. )
Specifically, protein ice cream is the last thing I eat each day. Why? For starters, I love it. It tastes awesome, it’s healthy, and it’s the perfect way to finish my night. But, I also find that it satisfies my sweet tooth and doesn’t leave me craving foods that are much worse.
In fact, I’ve shared this with every client who struggles with cravings, and they’ve found the same thing. And when you consider that desiring treats are usually the hardest for people when they are adjusting to a healthier diet, this is the perfect way to break up the monotony and help with the transition.
If you want to give my nightly treat a try, here’s how to make it yourself.
Born Fitness Protein Ice Cream
Ingredients: (amounts vary by how many calories you want)
- 1-2 scoops of protein powder (I use Ladder because I created it; both the whey or plant works.)
- 1-2 tablespoons of almond butter (I prefer Justin’s Nut Butter; the maple almond is my favorite when combined with chocolate powder)
- 1-3 oz of your milk of choice
Place your almond butter in a bowl and then add protein powder. Wisk in the almond milk slowly, and then mix the powder, almond butter, and milk, until you have a pudding-like substance. If you want, you can eat this right now and call it protein pudding. I prefer to throw it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes for an ice-cream-like consistency.
If you want, you can top the ice cream with a variety of garnishes. Oftentimes, I add sliced bananas and cacao powder, or even a few minced nuts for some crunchiness. If you want to go crazy, throw on a dollop of whipped cream. You won’t be disappointed.
Adam Bornstein is a New York Times bestselling author and the author of You Can’t Screw This Up. He is the founder of Born Fitness, and the co-founder of Arnold’s Pump Club (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Pen Name Consulting. An award-winning writer and editor, Bornstein was previously the Chief Nutrition Officer for Ladder, the Fitness and Nutrition editor for Men’s Health, Editorial Director at LIVESTRONG.com, and a columnist for SHAPE, Men’s Fitness, and Muscle & Fitness. He’s also a nutrition and fitness advisor for LeBron James, Cindy Crawford, Lindsey Vonn, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to The Huffington Post, Bornstein is “one of the most inspiring sources in all of health and fitness.” His work has been featured in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Fast Company, ESPN, and GQ, and he’s appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and E! News.