A guiltless treat is definitely one of these things that help me get through a day, even the toughest and most stressful one! Also while making my own healthy desserts is always fun, not everyone always has the time or energy to make them! Err… including me, actually! This is where a store-bought treat such as healthy, low-calorie ice-cream comes really handy!
And although there are many other yummy & healthy treats that you can get from a store, let’s agree: ice-cream is probably the most luscious one! …That’s why I always make sure that I NEVER run out of ice-cream! Actually, I make sure that I’m well-stacked on ALL of my favorite ice-creams! Because I usually like to mix and match them according to my appetite and mood!So… Do you see how I can legitimately be called a Healthy Ice-Cream expert 🙂 Because, yes! I’ve tried all of them!
That’s why I’m so excited to share the best of my ice-cream advice with you! The only thing though, let me just add this little note:
THE LITTLE NOTE:
…I used to be someone known as a Cold Stone and Ben & Jerry’s regular in the past.
But ever since I started watching my diet I had to switch to the lighter options! Do all of them taste like the full-sugar & fat ice-cream? Hmmm… Not really! But once I’ve gotten used to eating them – they now actually taste better than the “real” ice-creams!…Not only they help me keep my weight off… They also make me physically FEEL and sleep better than if I had something filled with fat and sugar (and let’s not forget about the calories!) as late at night as I sometimes like to enjoy them!
THE BEST HEALTHY STORE-BOUGHT ICE CREAMS
1. WINK: The Most Guiltless!
I found Wink through Pinterest: when I saw that there’s a 100-calorie a PINT ice-cream that actually exists I HAD to try it! They aren’t as widely in the stores as the other ice-creams just yet (I found that they’re sold in Bristol Farms, but the closest store to me is about 20 minutes away without traffic). So I’ve ordered them online. They usually want you to buy at least $49 worth of their product to qualify for free shipping. So I went for it. I got 8 pints. And here’s what I have to say about it:
- The Price: these sweet treats aren’t super cheap unless you buy a few of them at a time (one pint is about $8, but if you buy 9 at a time, one pint will cost you about $6, which is similar to what other ice-cream brands are charging for). Also if you create an account on their site, they’ll be sending you various offers and coupons which cuts the costs down even further. Finally, you can find a store in your area that sells them (there’s a store locator on their site). Price-wise it’s best to get them from a store (they were $6 pint in Bristol Farms + I got some coupons that Wink sent to my mailbox). But as far as the quality and the nutritional value of Wink goes, in my opinion if you can afford it – go for it: it’s worth it! 🙂
- The Taste: OK, well, it does NOT taste exactly like the Ben & Jerry’s! It’s NOT as sweet. And NOT as super-creamy, filled with candy & sugary syrup swirls! But I personally find it very-very pleasant. In fact, since I always eat my ice-cream late at night (when the rest of the family is finally in bed and taken care of), I like having something just like this: mild-tasting and easy to digest. That’s precisely what makes Wink Ice-Creams my #1 late-night snack choice!
- The Nutrition: Wink claims that their ice-creams are sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and keto-friendly. They use stevia as a sweetener. While they don’t provide as much protein as Halo Top or Enlightened, they are truly the most “guiltless” treat you can ever find!
- The Calories: well, did I already mentioned that they are indeed 100 calories a pint?! That makes a 1/2 cup serving “cost” you just 25 calories! Now, to me – that’s a biggy! 🙂
2. HALO TOP or ENLIGHTENED. The highest in protein, the most “ice-cream”- like texture.
I first tried Halo Top way before it’s become super-popular (about 2 years ago)! And when I tasted it, I could’t believe that something that tasted like an actual ice-cream could be that low in calories!
Ever since then I tried a few other similar brands (the ones that use Erythritol as a sweetener and are ice-cream-like creamy because their main ingredients are the actual milk, cream and egg-yolks). And out of all of these brands my favorites are still the good old Halo and the Enlightened! So, here’s the breakdown:
- The Price: about the same as the regular ice-creams ($5-6 a pint depending if they’re on sale or not).
- The Taste: maybe not exactly as sweet as the Ben and Jerry, it’s still pretty luscious! Compared to the mild-tasting Wink or the older version of the Arctic Zero (the newest version completely changed the formula), it’s very indulgent!
- The Nutrition: While not the lowest calorie option, I love the fact that they’re high in protein and calcium because of the real food ingredients like milk and egg yolks that they’re made out of!
- The Calories: like I said, they’re the highest-calorie option on this list. (ranging from 280-360 calories a pint). So I wouldn’t recommend eating the whole pint in one sitting! 🙂
3. ARCTIC ZERO. The sweetest.
Just like I mentioned above, Arctic Zero completely changed their old formula. While their previous versions tasted more like Wink Ice-Creams and had less calories then the current version (it used to be 150 calories per pint), the newest version is definitely a sweeter-tasting one! So here’s the breakdown:
- The Price: about the same as the regular ice-cream ($5-6 a pint)
- The Taste: OK, the newest Arctic Zero is SWEET! Very-VERY sweet!
- The Texture: very creamy, if you go for their Cookie Shake or Salted Caramel flavors. At the same time I was not crazy about their chocolate and Peanut Butter flavors’ texture at all! It’s super-icy when frozen. And if you let it thaw a bit like they recommend, it turns into a weird bubbly mixture. I had a return one unfortunately, because it just did not look edible! 🙂
- The Nutrition: With the change in the formula Arctic Zero’s nutritional values also changed. While before their main ingredient was milk protein and fiber, now their main ingredient is sugar! (No wonder it tastes so sweet!) …The real sugar! With that said, it’s a great choice for you don’t want to fill up on sugar-substitutes like Stevia or Erythritol that may cause indigestion or bloat (this has never been a case with me, but that’s what Internet has been claiming!) At the same time, you should also keep in mind that by eating this ice-cream you’re filling up on the sugar. Lots of it! Also, while their 160-180 calorie dairy-frees have some bean protein as the second ingredient, their 320-360 pints are basically all sugar. With the mix-ins of all sorts of candy and syrupy swirls!
- The Calories: ranging from 160 to 360 per pint.
4. FRILL. The all-natural.
While Arctic Zero mostly relies mostly on real sugar as a sweetener, if you read all the way to the end of the ingredient list, you’ll see that they also use Monk Fruit extract (a lesser know then Stevia natural sugar substitute). And while just as Stevia, Monk Fruit is a natural sugar substitute, it’s still a substitute. Thus said if you’re looking for an ice-cream that’s completely all-natural Frill is the way to go!
- The Price: about the same as the regular ice-cream ($6-7 a pint)
- The Nutrition: Just like I mentioned, this ice-cream is 100% natural, with date sugar being the first ingredient either cocoa powder or other natural flavors mixed in. It isn’t high in protein or calcium (since it’s also vegan), but the dates and the berry mix-ins make it fiber and vitamin rich.
- The Taste: Have you ever had dates? Well, this ice-cream tastes exactly like eating frozen dates: a very natural taste, but definitely nothing like what we call an “ice-cream”.
- The Calories: 280-320 per pint.
5. LOCAL ICE-CREAM AND YOGURT SHOPS.
As much as I love all the ice-creams on this list, my life would never be as fulfilled 🙂 without our local Humphrey Yog-Art’s Dream Delight ice-cream!
Humphrey is a small kiosk located inside our Sherman Oaks Gelson’s and you can enjoy their ice-creams at the venue, portion-sized, or get a quart to take home!
Just 9 calories an once (which makes a pint come up to just 144 calories), it’s very pleasantly sweet, made with real yogurt and fructose as a sweetener! Guiltless, yummy and filled with probiotics, it’s an ultimate treat!
Now… When it comes to finding a local parlor, you do have to make some research on yelp (or trip-visor). It’s also a bit of a hit and miss, because you may find a “Healthy Ice-Cream” store in your area to only come and discover that they aren’t selling what you’re looking for (for instance a lower sugar option like I do, and theirs is just “all-natural”, but full-sugar and full-fat option!) So read some of the other people’s feedback and look at some of the posted photos first!
Another thing is that unless they offer significant discounts for the to-go sizes, you might have to buy it at the price pay per once which is OK if you’re having a 4 oz portion in the store, but not OK if you end up paying $15 per pint!
But as far as my Humphrey goes, they do charge “regular” ice-cream prices for their smaller sizes (a 6oz medium is about $6). But when you take the 32 oz to go all you have to pay is $9! Which is actually cheaper than most store-bought ice-cream pints!Alright! And that about concludes it!
I hope that this overview of all the different healthy ice-cream options will help you find just the right one (or ones 🙂 ) for you to indulge on!
And if I missed anything – please let me know in the comments below!