Frozen Treats to Keep Cool This Canada Day

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What are your plans for Canada Day? Whether you’re heading downtown for live music or enjoying a backyard cookout, you’ll probably want a cool treat to survive the heat! Today we’re breaking down the differences between the most popular frozen treats and sharing some DIY dessert recipes to keep you cool for Canada Day. 

What makes ice cream, gelato, frozen yogurt and sorbet different?

Ice cream and gelato are made with milk, cream, eggs and sugar, but differ in the way they are manufactured. More air is incorporated into ice cream to make it fluffy and light, while gelato is denser because it is slow-churned. Gelato is made with less cream, so it can be lower in fat than ice cream, but both are high-calorie (and often high-sugar) treats.

Frozen yogurt is made by simply swapping yogurt in for cream, so while it is lower in fat than ice cream, it often contains a lot of sugar.

Sorbet is made with just fruit, ice, juice and sugar, so it is dairy-free and a good option for vegans and those avoiding lactose. While sorbet is fat-free, it often contains a lot of sugar just like other frozen treats.

If you’re looking for a low-fat option at your local dessert shop, a ½ cup (125 mL) serving of sorbet is a better option than ice cream or gelato. If sorbet is just not your thing, opt for the same small serving size of your favourite ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt and choose a cup over a cone. If you’re looking for low-fat treats in your supermarket, be sure to read the label as they may be high in sugar. Compare products and choose one with less or no added sugar. 

What about those “guilt-free” desserts in the supermarket? 

High-protein, low-calorie frozen desserts are trending right now, especially among online fitness influencers. You may see these in the supermarket next to the regular ice cream, but are they healthier? For some brands, a ½ cup (125 mL) serving provides about 80-100 calories and 8-10g of sugar—less than your typical ice cream coming in at about 170-270 calories and sometimes over 20g of sugar per ½ cup (125 mL). What makes these lower in calories and sugar is the use of gums for creaminess and indigestible sugar alcohols like erythritol for sweetness. Sugar alcohols can cause digestive discomfort and have a laxative effect if you consume more than 10g a day, so enjoy these alternatives in moderation as you would regular treats.

Try these DIY frozen treats for your Canada Day celebrations!

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Ryan Stallard