I don’t know about you, but I LOVE ice cream. I worked at an ice cream shop for about 4 years in high school and college. I’m pretty sure I ate ice cream every day during that time.
But we all know that ice cream may not be the best choice when it comes to nutrition. I believe all foods can fit into a healthy diet (see “Foods I Won’t Eat” – Why I Don’t Have Such a List!) but I also know it’s important to find balance and probably not eat ice cream EVERY day.
So when I see claims for ice creams and ice cream alternatives that “taste like regular ice cream” but with 1/4 of the calories, I am intrigued and decided to test them out.
This is not a comprehensive list of ALL ice cream alternatives because that would take a long time, I would have to eat a lot of ice cream, and it’d be expensive. This is a comparison of some of the more well-known brands and ones that I wanted to try.
Arctic Zero is “fat free”, “lactose free”, “gluten free”, “GMO free”, etc. Advertising 35 calories per 1/2 cup or 150 calories per pint, I can see why people would be attracted to this item.
Despite the label claiming “creamy”, Arctic Zero is in fact NOT creamy whatsoever. In my opinion, it tastes like dirt. When I looked at the ingredients list, I realized why. The #1 ingredient is purified water. The #2 ingredient is whey protein concentrate (protein powder). So essentially this “fit frozen dessert” is water + protein powder + flavoring. Ick!
I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Halo Top on Instagram lately and people really seem to love it! So I wanted to try it for myself. The website makes claims such as “tastes like regular ice cream” and that it’s a “healthy ice cream” that is “low calorie, high protein, low sugar”.
I liked that it does have the creamy texture similar to regular ice cream. At first I thought it was really good but then there was a weird after taste. It’s made from milk & cream so it does have more calories, carbs, fat, and protein than Arctic Zero but worth it to get the taste back. Still not my favorite.
Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss
Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss is a non-dairy frozen dessert. It is made from coconut milk. It has similar calories to regular ice cream but less protein.
The texture was good – very creamy just like ice cream should be! But VERY coconuty. Even though I got the salted caramel and chocolate flavor, the coconut flavor was so overpowering, it was all I could taste. I am not the biggest fan of coconut so maybe if you like coconut a lot, you would like this brand.
SO Delicious Cashew Milk Frozen Dessert
SO Delicious products are dairy-free. The product I tried was made from cashew milk but they also make products from soy milk, almond milk and coconut milk. My sister who is vegan told me about this brand and product and said she really liked it.
This was definitely my favorite of the ice cream and ice cream alternatives that I tried. It had a good creamy texture and excellent flavor. I also enjoyed the chunks of chocolate and clusters. If I had not known this was dairy-free, I would’ve thought I was eating regular ice cream!
Here is a comparison of the nutritional information for the 4 brands and flavors listed above compared to a “regular” ice cream – Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked (because it’s one of my favs!)
Do you love ice cream? What’s your favorite flavor?
Have you tried any of the ice cream alternatives? What did you think?