You scream, we scream, we all scream for ice cream
Did you know? One in five consumers say that they think about health before deciding which frozen treat to buy. That gives frozen bars, cones, cups, pops, and sandwiches an edge over ice cream tubs. Why? It’s easy to stop after just one. And companies are tripping over each other to snag health-conscious eaters by cutting calories and sugar and adding yogurt, (safe) stevia, and monk fruit extract (a natural sweetener that hasn’t been well tested in animals, though monk fruit has been eaten in China for centuries).
Just don’t get carried away with promises like “the good-for-you ice cream” or “dessert with benefits.” After all…most frozen treats still deliver a dose of added sugar.
Here are a few worth trying the next time you find yourself in the ice cream aisle.
Nearly all frozen yogurt bars are better than traditional ice cream bars.
Just watch out for the few that are dipped in chocolate coating. And don’t worry about whether the yogurt is greek or not. The protein and calcium are about the same, probably because most greeks contain more milk than greek yogurt.
The good news: most yogurt bars deliver 4 or 5 grams of protein and 10 to 15 percent of a day’s calcium for just 80 to 100 calories. That’s great for a frozen dessert (though 100 calories or so of refrigerated greek yogurt has twice that much protein).
Our taste favorites:
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars. Yasso offers 15 flavors, including Chocolate Fudge, Mint Chocolate Chip, Black Raspberry Chip, Vanilla Bean, and Strawberry. You name it, we liked it.
Nestlé Outshine Simply Yogurt. “Made with simple ingredients—100% yogurt and real fruit or fruit juice,” says the box. (Like all frozen yogurt bars, they also contain some added sugar.) Choose from 5 luscious varieties: Blueberry, Mango, Peach, Strawberry, or Strawberry Banana.
Some ice cream bars are lower in calories, but not flavor.
Edy’s, Ben & Jerry’s, and Häagen-Dazs cups may look petite, but most of them pack 150 to 250 calories. There’s no need to go there. Instead try:
Enlightened The Good-for-You Ice Cream Bars. They’re not quite good for you, but they sure are better.
Each bar is lower in calories (70 to 100) and total sugar (roughly 1 to 1½ teaspoons) than most bars in the same size range. And they’re higher in protein (7 to 8 grams) and calcium (15 to 20 percent of a day’s worth).
That’s because Enlightened adds skim milk and milk protein isolate, which boosts the protein and calcium, and replaces some or all of its sugar with (safe) erythritol and monk fruit extract.
If that doesn’t sound appetizing, trust us. From Mint Chip Swirl and Sea Salt Caramel (our faves) to Chocolate Peanut Butter, Frozen Hot Cocoa, Fudge, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, and Toasted Almond, delectable varieties abound.
Fudge bars. Most brands are good choices because they’re largely skim milk, sugar, and (sometimes) a little cream, all for about 70 to 100 calories in a full-size bar.
Latte bars. Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Latte bars (40 calories and 1½ teaspoons of total sugar) are downright delish.
Get your hands on one of these sandwiches or cones.
Why bother with the 440 calories in a Trader Joe’s Sublime Ice Cream Sandwich when you can have a lip-smacking 120-calorie Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Sandwich?
Yasso puts mint or vanilla greek frozen yogurt between two fabulous dark chocolate wafer cookies. The company cuts some of the added sugar with erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit extract, so each sandwich ends up with only about 1½ teaspoons of total sugar.Other sandwiches—like Trader Joe’s Mini Mint Mouthfuls—cut calories simply by shrinking their size. That also helps non-dairy So Delicious Dairy Free almond or soy milk sandwiches, Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Mini Vanilla Sandwiches, and Almond Dream Vanilla Lil’ Dreamers. The non-dairies didn’t wow our tasters, though.
Looking for a mini ice cream cone? Weight Watchers Snack Size clocks in at just 90 calories each. Trader Joe’s rich chocolate-dipped Hold the Cone! minis drop to 70 calories, but they’re about half the size. Three bites, max.
Do you have a favorite better-for-you frozen treat? Let us know in the comments.
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