Are you looking for the perfect summer treat that is refreshing and high in protein? Then you’re going to love my Ninja Cremi Healthy Key Lime Pie Protein Ice Cream that is made without cream cheese and without heavy cream!
My healthy key lime pie ice cream is the perfect blend of tart and sweet. It is also a high-protein recipe with 56 grams of protein in the entire pint and, is naturally sweetened with maple syrup!
What is a Ninja Creami?
The Ninja Creami is the latest addition to my kitchen and my husband and I are already loving it. We are big ice cream fans to begin with, but the Ninja Creami really opens up the opportunity for endless flavor and ingredient options.
The Ninja Creami is one of Ninja’s latest kitchen gadgets that is taking the world by storm. You can freeze virtually any liquid in one of their provided pint containers, and once it has been in the freezer for 24 hours, you place the pint into the machine and it spins it into the most creamy, delectable treat!
People on the internet have gone crazy with this thing and many people add protein shakes, pudding mixes, cocktail drinks, and more to try to see if it will “creami”. Shockingly, it typically does!
I have the Ninja Creami 7-in-1 Machine and I love it!
How Does the Ninja Creami Work?
The Ninja Cremi uses its dual drive motors to turn virtually anything into ice cream, milkshakes, or sorbet! According to Ninja’s website their “creamerizer” paddle finely shaves and churns ice particles to make things so creamy!
Ninja Creami Recipes Without Cream Cheese
According to the booklet that comes with the Ninja Creami machine, it is recommended to add a small amount of cream cheese to the recipe to get the optimal creamy consistency. While I can attest that it’s tasty, many people are looking for Ninja Creami recipes without cream cheese. This is an ingredient that some people don’t always keep on hand, so it’s understandable; this recipe doesn’t contain any cream cheese! Instead, it gets its creaminess from cottage cheese.
Ninja Creami Recipes Without Heavy Cream
Another common Ninja Creami recipe ingredient is heavy cream; this makes sense because this is also a common ice cream ingredient. However, if you’re like me, you probably like eating dessert pretty often. I tend to feel my best when I’m not eating heavy and rich foods like typical ice cream often, so I’m always looking for a lighter alternative. This recipe doesn’t contain any heavy cream.
Does Cottage Cheese Ice Cream Taste Different?
Personally, I love all forms of ice cream, but especially healthy ones! Cottage cheese ice cream doesn’t taste much different than a normal “healthy” ice cream or frozen yogurt to me. I have heard some people complain in various Ninja Creami Facebook groups that cottage cheese has a strange aftertaste but personally, I don’t experience that. I do try to make sure that I get high-quality whole milk cottage cheese, so you may want to be mindful of the type of cottage cheese you are using if you’re worried about the taste being different.
Healthy Ninja Creami Recipes
The Ninja Creami allows people to create high-protein and low-calorie ice cream desserts, which is incredible. However, for me and my lifestyle, healthy also includes something that is naturally sweetened, and doesn’t include any added colors, or the infamous “natural flavors”, which we know is a quite ambiguous term.
That’s why I created this Key Lime Pie Protein Ice Cream recipe. The base is blended cottage cheese and it is sweetened with maple syrup.
Why Do I Have to Freeze Ninja Creami Recipes for 24 Hours?
Once you’ve blended all of the tasty ingredients for your ice cream, it can be hard to stick in the freezer and have to wait an entire day before you can enjoy it! You may be tempted to pull it out after a few hours in the freezer, but in this instance (and most instances, really) patience is a virtue. If you want the extremely creamy texture, you have to really let the mixture freeze solid.
Why Does The Top Have to Be Flat Before Spinning the Ninja Creami?
I mention in my recipe below that you need to scrape off any “humps” that may have formed on the top of the pint before spinning. This is so that when the blade begins to churn the ice cream, it doesn’t get warped or bent. You can scrape these off with a butter knife or grapefruit spoon before spinning.
Is It Required to Thaw my Ninja Cremi Ice Cream for 15 Minutes?
The short answer is, yes! The Ninja Creami blades are fantastic and churning your dessert creation and turning into a creamy masterpiece, but it has its limits. If your mixture is too hard, you risk breaking the blades or having a mixture that is partially frozen on the outside.
- Cottage Cheese – I like The Good Culture
- Lime Juice – contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually need key limes, any lime will do
- Vanilla – I prefer pure vanilla extract without added alcohol or flavorings
- Pure Maple Syrup – not to be confused with pancake syrup, you can also substitute honey, but it doesn’t blend as well
- Ninja Creami (see notes for instructions on how to make this without this)
Ninja Creami Healthy Key Lime Pie Protein Ice Cream
- 16 oz Cottage Cheese
- ¼ cup Pure maple syrup
- 1 ½ Limes juiced
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 tbsp Milk any type
- 1½ Graham cracker sheets crushed
- Place all ingredients except for the milk and graham crackers in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture into Ninja Creami pint container and tap on the counter a few times so the top is flat.
- Place in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
- Remove pint from the freezer and let thaw for 15 minutes on the counter. If the top isn't smooth, you can scrape the hump off with a grapefruit spoon or a butter knife.
- Meanwhile, crush graham crackers into small chunks. Note: do not crush into crumbs.
- Spin on the "ice cream" setting, and remove
- Make a hole in the center of the pint and add in the crushed graham crackers and spin on the "mix-in" setting.
- Enjoy quickly! This tends to melt a little faster than traditional ice cream.
How to make healthy key lime pie protein ice cream without a Ninja Creami
- Complete step 1 in the recipe
- Pour mixture into a freezer-safe container
- Freeze for 3-4 hours, until hard
- Sprinkle crushed graham crackers on top
What to do with leftovers
Leftovers? No problem! I like to smooth the top of the ice cream and stick it back in the freezer. When I’m ready to eat it again, I pull it out and set it on the counter for 15 minutes and then put it back in the Ninja Creami and spin it on the “ice cream” function. It’s important that you don’t use the “re-spin” function, according to the machine manual. If it’s powdery, you can add a little splash of milk and spin on the “ice cream” function again.