As a teenager, I worked at a local ice cream store. Almost everyone who frequented the store ordered a single scoop – five ounces – that cost 26 cents with tax. This amounted to approximately 110 to 130 calories, five grams of fat and 15 to 20 grams of sugar. The major ingredients in ice cream back then were simple: milk/cream, sugar, and vanilla, along with some minor ingredients to enhance the quality and storage of the ice cream.

Today, many ice creams have a long list of ingredients that may not be so healthy. For example, low carbohydrate varieties are loaded with sugar alcohols to cut the calorie content. Some contain up to 21 grams of sugar alcohol per serving. The problem is that with more than 10 grams per serving, sugar alcohols are known to cause cramps or diarrhea. I caution people to read the list of ingredients in processed food and to stay away from foods that contain a long list of ingredients.

It is best to keep the caloric content of ice cream lower by returning to the five-ounce portion, which is a little more than a half-cup, and buy ice cream that has been “slow churned.” Slow churned ice cream is lower in calories and fat without all the extra ingredients.

Low-Calorie Chocolate Sauce

1/4 c. evaporated 2 percent milk
1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Place a heavy saucepan over medium heat and add all five ingredients. Cook the mixture, while stirring, until the chocolate is melted and the sauce is smooth. Serve warm, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Calories per one-tablespoon serving: 52

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