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How to Make Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie (Light Recipe)

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Marshmallows are a key ingredient in Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie.

Marshmallows are a key ingredient in Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie.

How to Make Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie (Lighter Recipe)

I recently found this recipe on fitnessandfreebies.com—it is called Low Calorie Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie. This is a favorite at our house because of its minty flavoring.

I have made several ice cream pies over the years and this is one of my favorites. Another one of my favorites is something called Banana Split Ice Cream Pie.

I am making this soon for a family event but when I began to look at the ingredients, while it is low in calories (only 234 as the recipe stands), I saw some things I'm not fond of using—processed foods.

I started to wonder what would happen if I could come up with different ways to revamp this recipe and take out some of the processed foods and made it more "natural."

Some of the changes I have made are totally obvious—say for instance where the crust and ice cream are concerned. My goal though is that even if I add back in a few more calories (and lose some of the convenience), I might have a healthier product in another way—less processed foods and a more 'natural' ice cream pie. Let me show you what I came up with!

Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie

Makes 12 servings

* Indicates all things that can be substituted

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 20 cookies) *
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted *
  • 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk *
  • 1 7-ounce jar of marshmallow creme**
  • 1/4 cup green creme de menthe*
  • 1 tablespoon white creme de cacao*
  • 1 8-ounce container frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed **
  • 3 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream, softened *
  • 2 teaspoons chocolate syrup *

Preparation Method

  1. Combine cookie crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Stir with a fork to moisten. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill.
  2. Combine milk and marshmallow creme in a bowl that can go into the microwave. Cook on HIGH for 1 minute—stir once in between.
  3. Add creme de menthe, cacao, and whipped topping—stir to blend.
  4. Spread the ice cream over the crust in the springform pan. Top with the marshmallow mixture.
  5. Freeze at least 6 hours.
  6. Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.

Easy Substitutions

  • Use Nabisco Chocolate Wafers for the crust—or substitute Oreo cookies for a delicious change
  • Use a graham cracker crust or chocolate graham cracker crust for the chocolate cookies
  • Use a combination of nuts, oats, and graham cracker crumbs or cookies to equal the 1 cup of cookie crumbs—make your crust with those ingredients
  • Make the pie in a 9-inch pie plate—line with parchment paper to aid in ease of removal and slicing when complete
  • Substitute margarine for the butter
  • Use nonfat (skim) milk in place of the 1% milk
  • Substitute nonfat frozen yogurt for the vanilla ice cream
  • Use a lower fat, nonfat ice cream—even a sugar free ice cream
  • Make your own vanilla ice cream—substitute that
  • Whip up homemade chocolate syrup and use that
  • Melt real chocolate and drizzle over the pie rather than using chocolate syrup—it will be less sweet and is just as simple as using chocolate syrup
  • Really simple solution—omit the creme de menthe and creme de cacao—use softened mint chocolate chip ice cream in place of the vanilla ice cream

Substitutes for Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao

For creme de menthe—substitute the following

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  • Mint Italian soda syrup or
  • Non-alcoholic peppermint extract or
  • Peppermint oil 2 drops per 3 tablespoons water or grapefruit juice

For creme de cacao—substitute the following

  • Powdered white chocolate mixed with water or
  • Non-alcoholic vanilla extract mixed with powdered sugar

Substitute for Marshmallow Creme

It may seem like a "sin" of sorts to substitute for the marshmallow creme but I was just curious if it could be done—and indeed it can!

For 2-1/8 cup of marshmallow creme (equivalent to a 7-ounce jar of marshmallow creme)

Ingredients

  • Marshmallows—Roughly 32-35 large or 320-325 miniature
  • 4-1/8 teaspoons corn syrup

Preparation

  1. Assemble double boiler—or use a glass or metal bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water—do not let bowl touch the water.
  2. Stir until melted—and you have marshmallow creme

Note: If you have a little bit more marshmallow creme than necessary, it won't hurt anything. It will just add a bit more fluffiness to the top of the pie. If you want to be 'precise' measure out 7 ounces of marshmallows on a cooking scale (or a tad more) and then proceed as above.

Substitute for Frozen Whipped Topping (Cool Whip)

If you want to use an organic version of frozen whipped topping, there is a new product on the market—Tru Whip made by Peak Foods. You might want to substitute that at the very least for the frozen whipped topping.

Some people say you can substitute plain whipping cream that has been whipped or whipped creme fraiche (buttermilk and heavy cream whipped together) - however, when I have tried plain whipping cream as a substitute for frozen whipped topping, it has separated and not held up to the task. This recipe is called Stabilized Whipped Cream and it does the trick!

Stabilized Whipped Cream—Substitute for Cool Whip

Makes 12-16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 cups whipping cream (can use lower-fat)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar * (less if you prefer)

Preparation

  1. In bowl or top of double boiler pan, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. If you do not have a double boiler, use a bowl that will fit on top of a saucepan - but don't let the bowl touch the boiling water.
  3. Bring saucepan or bottom of double boiler to nice simmer. Place softened gelatin mixture in bowl over pan of simmering water or top half of double boiler atop pan. Stir until the gelatin dissolves over the boiling/simmering water.
  4. Remove from heat—set aside and let cool for a bit.
  5. In a large bowl or mixer, beat the whipping cream until foamy. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until cream is the desired sweetness. Soft peaks should begin to form.
  6. Add gelatin mixture and continue beating until cream is the consistency of frozen whipped topping.

Note: The addition of a bit of gelatin is the 'stabilizer' that will keep the whipping cream from separating!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Store in clean container in the fridge and you will have for ice cream toppings, to make chocolate milk, etc.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Salt if desired

Preparation

  1. Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in saucepan
  2. Add water and mix until the mixture is smooth
  3. Bring the mixture in the pan to a boil
  4. Boil for 1 minute but be careful not to over boil
  5. Remove from heat and when cool, add vanilla - or almond extract

Substitute for Powdered Sugar

Confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar) can be made by combining the following

1 cup regular sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Whir in a blender or a food processor until the consistency of powdered sugar!

Summing It Up on How to Make Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie

An ice cream pie is a delicious end to any meal—sometimes the perfect dessert for a heavier or spicier meal but especially in summer months, an ice cream pie is simply refreshing.

There are many hundreds of recipes out there for all kinds of ice cream pies from tin roof sundae pies to banana split pies. The sky's the limit on finding recipes!

Healthy recipes doesn't mean the same thing to every person of course! While the above recipe is quite convenient and would save you loads of time in the preparation of a culinary delight, I raised an eyebrow over how healthy the original version was and wanted to see if I could create a more 'natural' end product.

Even though perhaps my way would boost the calorie count of this recipe a bit, I feel it's well worth it to do away with the unknown products and additives in some of the foods used in the original lower calorie, lower fat recipe.

Perhaps even substituting some of the homemade recipes for part of the ingredients would be easier—and in the end more nutritious. We can all pick and choose what parts we would like to improvise on and that is the true beauty of cooking!

Nothing is ever set in stone and experimentation is how recipes are born. I hope you'll try some ice cream pies over the summer and discover the ease with which you truly can create a sumptuous dessert—no matter if you do the short-cut version or the long-way version!

Another Way to Make Grasshopper Pie

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie

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