Enjoy a burst of nostalgic Tang-like flavor in a creamy orange sherbert made healthier with the Ninja Creami that’s only 39 calories per serving.
Who doesn’t love the sweet, tangy taste of orange sherbert? It’s a classic treat that sends us down memory lane, reminding us of our childhood. But the traditional sherbert isn’t exactly a health food. With the Ninja Creami, we’ve managed to recreate that delightful taste with alternatives that won’t derail your diet.
Real sherberts are a mix of dairy (milk and cream) with fruit juice. Thanks to the Ninja Creami we’re able to substitute both with high protein and low carb alternatives. In place of dairy, this recipe uses whey/casein protein powder, and as an alternative to fruit juice the recipe uses a Mango Tangelo flavor of Skittles sugar free drink mix.
Yes, Skittles makes drink mixes! Well not quite. A company based in Chicago has licensed the brand and emulated the flavor of the popular candies into sugar free drink mixes. The Mango Tangelo flavor tastes like a blend of orange and mango and when incorporated into an Creami ice cream recipe it reminds me perfectly of the (likely artificially flavored) Tang-like orange sherberts of my youth. The box also comes with a few other flavors (Strawberry Starfruit, Kiwi Lime, Pineapple Passionfruit) that are worth trying out but this one is my favorite.
Extracts and flavorings are an under-appreciated source of recipe ideas for the Ninja Creami. While they aren’t always the most natural they do add convenience and consistency to your recipes. You can buy extracts for almost any flavor from brands like LorAnn that you’ll find in hobby stores or online (like this sampler pack) but you can also use “found” flavorings by leveraging more common ingredients. Sugar free and low calories drink mixes are a great example.
To get a sherbert flavor and texture this recipe uses approximately half the amount of protein powder than our usual Creami ice cream recipes. In recipe development, I found that using the usual amount had a more ice cream texture and also significantly masked the fruit flavors typical of sherbet. This also made intuitive sense: real sherbet is kind of a halfway point between a sorbet (all fruit juice and no dairy) and ice cream (no fruit juice and all dairy), so half the dairy (in this case protein powder) seems logical.
Just a few notes on the ingredients:
- Unsweetened almond milk: As typical this recipe uses unsweetened almond milk instead of cow’s milk to keep the carbs and calories low. It can be substituted with another type of low-carb “milk” but I have not tested it.
- Skittles Mango Tangelo drink mix: This is an officially licensed sugar free drink mix powder that emulates the flavor of Skittles hard candies.
- Guar Gum: Guar gum is a common thickening agent that helps create a creamy texture in ice creams and sorbets.
- Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is another common ice cream thickener that helps improve the texture and reduces ice crystals. While I typically use just one thickener (primarily guar gum), testing with this recipe showed that it needs both xanthan and guar gums together to produce the right texture. I’ve generally found this to be common in recipes that have lower amounts of protein powder than usual.
- Swerve confectioners: I use Swerve Confectioners Sweetener. You can use any brand of erythritol-based sweetener but you might need to adjust the amount. Brands like Swerve and Lakanto add additional ingredients so that 1 cup of Swerve (or Lakanto) replaces 1 cup of sugar. However, pure erythritol is less sweet than sugar and it takes 1 1/3 cups of pure-erythritol to replace 1 cup of sugar. Check the substitution guide for your sweetener, and adjust accordingly if it’s pure-erythritol you may need to add about 30% more than listed here.
- Vanilla protein powder: I use a vanilla protein powder to give body to the ice cream and increase the protein percentage. I typically use Quest Vanilla Milkshake because it works, from a well-known brand, and is commonly available (i.e. you can get it at Target and not just specialized nutrition stores). You may use your favorite vanilla protein powder but note that Quest is a whey/casein blend and you might get different results with a different type of powder.
How to make
Step 1: Combine all the dry ingredients together (Skittles packets, guar gum, xanthan gum, sweetener).
Step 2: Make sure the ingredients are well mixed in order to prevent the gums from clumping together when they make contact with the almond milk in the next step.
Step 3: In a blender combine the almond milk with the dry ingredients from the previous step.
Step 4: Mix briefly for a few seconds to blend the ingredients together. We recommend a blender because the gums mix better with a high shear velocity. However, you don’t want to mix too long.
Step 5: Pour the blended mixture into a Ninja Creami pint container and place in the freezer. Let freeze for at least 24 hours.
Step 6: After freezing, take the lid off the pint container and place in the Ninja Creami outer bowl.
Step 7: Install the Creami paddle into the outer bowl lid, place the lid on the outer bowl and lock into place according to the instructions in the Creami manual. Select the Lite Ice Cream mode, and it will spin for several minutes.
Step 8: When the Cremi stops spinning, take the container out and assess the consistency of the ice cream. If it’s powdery in texture, like shown in the picture for step 7 below, then add 1 teaspoon of almond milk, place the pint back into the Creami and select respin.
Step 9: Repeat the previous step until is is smooth as shown in the photo for step 8 below. Serve and enjoy!