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Meet Your Lower-Calorie Ice Cream Alternative: Semifreddo

by Lentine Alexis
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3.47/5 (17)
Meet Your Lower-Calorie Ice Cream Alternative: Semifreddo

There’s something about homemade ice cream that’s just special: the texture, the flavor, the timeworn process of watching the cream churn and the surprise when you pull it from the freezer a few hours later. But don’t forget the mess or the sometimes-confusing egg-cooking technique and the occasional surprise when you realize something went wrong. Yes, homemade ice cream is a special kind of kitchen adventure.

The good news is: Semifreddo is so simple. It comes together more quickly and,  easily and with fewer ingredients than ice cream. Plus, it’s typically lower in calories, fat and sugars than ice cream. If you’re ready to make your own, give these dairy and nondairy recipes a whirl:



  • 1 pound (450g) apricots, diced
  • 1/3 cup (65g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 2 cups (480g) heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) organic sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup (125g) plain whole-milk Greek yogurt


Cook apricots and sugar in a medium pot set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has broken down into a thick, chunky jam (you don’t want a syrupy texture!) roughly 10–15 minutes. Stir in the rice vinegar and let cool.

Meanwhile, toast black sesame seeds in a dry, small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip cream and salt until cream holds a medium-stiff peak. Then, gently whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and yogurt until completely blended. Next, fold in half of the apricot jam, just enough to create streaks, then gently fold in remaining jam (the mixture should be marbled with pockets of jam).

Transfer to a medium bowl or waxed-paper lined 8-by-4 loaf pan and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

Serve semifreddo topped with toasted sesame seeds. Recipe makes 6 servings at 3/4 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 288; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 10g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 57mg; Sodium: 55mg; Carbohydrate: 31g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 26g; Protein: 6g



  • 1/2 cup (75 g) shelled pistachios, roasted and unsalted
  • 1 cup (150 g) sweet cherries, pitted and chopped coarsely, plus extra to serve
  • 2 (51/2-ounce/160 g) cans coconut cream, chilled overnight
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar 


Line an 8-by-4 loaf pan or (or smaller) freezer-proof container with waxed paper.

Coarsely mash the cherries with a fork. Shell the nuts, then coarsely chop. Scrape the thick layer of coconut cream into a bowl.

Discard 1 tablespoon coconut water from each can, then add the remaining water to the bowl. Beat until thickened and soft peaks form. Beat in the honey (or maple syrup or agave nectar) and add one or two drops of rose extract, if desired.

Gently stir in the pistachios and cherries and spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the surface level and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight until firm.

If frozen overnight, transfer the semifreddo to the refrigerator 1 hour before serving. Invert onto a plate or board and peel away the plastic wrap. Cut into slices and serve scattered with extra cherries. Recipe makes 6 servings at 3/4 cups each.

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 184; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 8g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 9mg; Carbohydrate: 13g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 2g



About the Author

Lentine Alexis
Lentine is a curious, classically trained chef and former pro athlete. She uses her bicycle, raw life and travel experiences and organic ingredients to inspire athletes and everyone to explore, connect and expand their human experiences through food. She previously worked as a Chef/Recipe Developer/Content Creator and Culinary Director at Skratch Labs – a sports nutrition company dedicated to making real food alternatives to modern “energy foods.” Today, she writes, cooks, speaks and shares ideas for nourishing sport and life with whole, simple, delicious foods.


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