By Colleen McTiernan | Photos by Jimmy Ho Photography
Whether you have dietary restrictions or are just trying to maintain a healthy diet, it can be hard to work desserts into your routine — delicious though they may be. But as nutrition has begun taking a front seat in people’s minds, companies have begun developing healthier alternatives that can satisfy your cravings without doing a disservice to your body. Ice cream is just one market where you have many healthy options to consider!
From Halo Top to So Delicious to Arctic Zero, there are many choices when it comes to healthier ice cream alternatives. But which one best suits your dietary needs while still delighting your taste buds? We decided to do a taste test to find out for you!
Arctic Zero Creamy Fit Frozen Desserts: Chocolate Peanut Butter
Boasting just 150 calories per pint, this frozen dessert really earns its “fit” descriptor. Lactose free, fat free, GMO free and gluten free, it certainly suits most dietary restrictions. However, we found the taste a little lacking. It tasted thin and a little reminiscent of freezer burned ice cream. We then realized that for the best texture, we were supposed to leave the ice cream to thaw for about 15 minutes or pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. While that did improve the texture, we still were not 100 percent sold.
So Delicious Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert: Dark Chocolate Truffle
Clocking in at about 720 calories per pint, this dessert may not be as diet friendly as some of the other ice cream alternatives, but it is dairy free. Made with cashew milk, this frozen dessert was exactly what I was hoping for. It was just as creamy as regular ice cream, and the flavor was rich and decadent. We agreed that we definitely would be satisfied with just a few bites rather than a whole bowl, which is a good thing! All in all, So Delicious definitely earned its name. If you are just looking for a dairy-free dessert, this is a great option, but if you are trying to stick to a diet, you should pick up a different pint.
Halo Top: Birthday Cake
At 280 calories, this ice cream also boasts a high protein content, with 20 grams per pint. This low-sugar, low-carb and low-fat option is definitely creamy like regular ice cream, but the texture was on the thick side. It almost seemed more like custard, which was not necessarily a bad thing! However, this flavor did seem a little overly sweet to us, which was surprising as the entire pint only contains 28 grams of sugars.
Enlightened: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
This ice cream features 28 grams of protein and 400 calories per pint. While the low sugar content and high protein content certainly made the dessert seem appealing, we were not a fan of the texture at all. It had a very thick, almost pasty consistency. However, at least one of the tasters thought that this ice cream tasted most like traditional ice cream.
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt: Mint Championchip
Unlike the other ice creams we tried, this one relied on a Greek yogurt base to increase its nutrition content, and at 520 calories and 24 grams of protein per pint, it certainly accomplished its goal. The mint flavor of this ice cream was certainly spot on, but the texture was a little thinner than with a typical ice cream. However, once you got used to the difference in consistency, it was definitely palatable.
In the end, if you are looking for a healthier ice cream, remember that in losing some of the dairy and sugar, these alternatives will not have the same taste or texture as traditional ice cream for the most part. However, if you are looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth while sticking to dietary restrictions, you can certainly find something tasty.