YouTube videos of folks making keto ice cream in mason jars have racked up millions of hits, and it’s no wonder: The recipe is stunningly easy, the results are decadent, and the treat boasts a secret ingredient that kills appetite as it triples fat burn. “I’m a huge fan,” says New York weight loss expert Tro Kalayjian, MD, who personally shed 150 pounds while enjoying lots of keto ice cream and milkshakes. “This is more than just a substitute for Häagen-Dazs — it’s a powerful weight-loss tool.” Women once struggling to shed a single ounce report using flavors like mint chip and double-chocolate peanut butter to trigger losses of up to 12 pounds a week. “I have also seen many diabetic patients get off insulin,” adds Dr. Tro. “Keto ice cream can help transform your health for the better!”
Unhappy with skimpy portions on Weight Watchers and fad diets, Texas pastry chef Geri Terry, 65, “saw all the keto food my son was shoveling down while losing weight and thought, ‘I should try that,’” she laughs. Creating huge salads with rich toppings and buttery low-carb baked goods, she shed 15 pounds in 14 days. Then she sampled store-bought keto ice cream. “I knew I could make it better,” says Geri, who added MCT oil for creaminess and to boost results. Soon down 60 pounds and off arthritis meds, “I tell friends that on keto you can eat ice cream and have the body of your dreams!” Find her recipes for ice cream, blackberry sorbet, and more at KetoniaFoods.com.
While there are tons of yummy keto ice-cream recipes on the internet, the mason jar option can’t be beat for simplicity. Just add heavy cream, zero-carb sweetener, MCT oil, vanilla extract, and “any keto-friendly extras you like,” says blogger Maya Krampf, who created a highly-rated version for WholesomeYum.com. “You shake it for five minutes to thicken it and pop it in the freezer until it’s set.” Then just grab a spoon and dig in. Mmm.
What does keto ice cream work?
The best way to use mason jar ice cream to speed to your happy weight? Make it part of a basic keto diet, counting the dessert’s carbs (two grams or so per serving, depending on mix-ins) toward your daily carb allowance. “On keto, you limit carbs to about 20 grams per day and focus on protein plus non-starchy veggies and plenty of high-quality fat like olive oil, avocado, and the cream in ice cream,” notes Dr. Tro.
This prevents your body from making enough blood sugar to fuel itself, and instead, it begins turning fat into compounds called ketones, which become your new fuel. “Not only does fat burn faster, ketones inhibit appetite too.” Bonus: Falling blood sugar slashes levels of insulin, a hormone that locks us in fat-storage mode.
Why do some recipes use MCT oil?
MCT, short for medium-chain triglycerides, is a special type of fat extracted from coconut and palm kernels. While it’s added to mason jar ice cream to help keep it creamy when frozen, that’s hardly all it does: “MCT is scientifically proven to improve blood sugar, eliminate cravings, lift brain fog, raise metabolism and even target weight gained in our midsections,” says natural wellness expert and Glow15 author Naomi Whittel, who has whipped up her version of keto ice cream on The Dr. Oz Show.
What sets MCT apart? The fat is made up of tiny components that digest rapidly, triggering a blast of heat and the release of compounds that boost health and set calorie-burning on fire. In fact, Italian scientists found that when we consume MCT, we burn three times more calories for six hours afterward. Meanwhile, a Columbia University study found that women in their 50s given MCT lost 600 percent more belly fat than those given olive oil.
Also key: A new study from Sweden found that MCT doubles the production of ketones compared to other oils. That means MCT — in ice cream or used any way you like — helps you reap more rewards from a keto diet and reap them faster!
How do you make it?
To slim down fastest, use a free app like the one at CarbManager.com to get carbs under 20 grams per day. Enjoy as many scoops of MCT-kissed keto ice cream as your carb budget allows.
As always, get a doctor’s okay before trying a new food plan.
BASIC VANILLA KETO ICE CREAM BASE: In a pint-size mason jar with a lid, shake one cup heavy cream, half a tablespoon of powdered MCT oil, half a tablespoon of a low-carb artificial sweetener, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract until thick, which is about five minutes. Freeze for three hours. Best when first set; to enjoy later, let soften at room temp 15 minutes.
KETO PEANUT BUTTER CUP: To the vanilla recipe, add a quarter-cup of natural peanut butter and three chopped keto peanut butter cups.
MINT CHIP: To the vanilla recipe, add two tablespoons of sugar-free chocolate chips, two drops of green food coloring, and a quarter-teaspoon of mint extract in place of vanilla extract.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE: To the vanilla recipe, add one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and two tablespoons of sugar-free chocolate chips.
STRAWBERRY: To the vanilla recipe, add two or three mashed strawberries or an ounce of freeze-dried berries blitzed to powder in blender.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.