I scream, you scream, we all scream when we read the calories for the suggested serving size of our favorite ice cream. And yet, we can’t bring ourselves to put the carton down. So-called better-than-ice cream brands have ridden our collective addiction to the sweet stuff straight to the bank in recent years, replacing frozen milk and cream with sugar-free and non-dairy alternatives. Consider this: frozen dessert-aisle darling Halo Top is now the best-selling ice cream brand in America.
From cashew milk to frozen fruit, here’s a breakdown of the best ice cream alternatives out there today.
Calories per serving: 70 (Vanilla Bean)
What makes it better: Like we said, Halo Top currently takes the cake when it comes to ice cream alternatives, using natural sugar substitutes Stevia and Erythritol – a sugar alcohol found in grapes and pears that doesn’t impact blood glucose levels or cause your body to bloat. Some people complain that Halo Top’s wilder flavors, like Chocolate Mocha Chip, can possess a chalky texture, but there’s no denying the popularity of these pints.
Lifeway Frozen Kefir
Calories per serving: 90 (Original)
What makes it better: If you love the tangy, high-protein zing of kefir (and I personally do), you’ll love Lifeway’s frozen kefir. Each pint is packed with 10 probiotic cultures, and is 99% gluten-free.
Calories per serving: 35 (Vanilla Maple)
What makes it better: Water is the first listed ingredient, so Arctic Zero can’t technically be classified as ice cream (but “frozen treat” doesn’t possess quite the same emotional connotation). Sugar cane fiber, chicory root and monk fruit concentrate round out an unusual list of ingredients that come together to form this lower-calorie pint.
So Delicious Cashewmilk Dairy-Free Frozen Dessert
Calories per serving: 150 (Very Vanilla)
What makes it better: It’s right there in the name that this pint is 100% dairy-free. If you’re among the crop of people who prefers their coffee with nut milks like almond or cashew, then So Delicious might very well be the ice cream alternative for you.
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt
Calories per serving: 100 (Best of Both Swirlds)
What makes it better: Founders Drew Harrington and Amanda Klane claim that they’ve packaged up the perfect balance of calories, sugars and protein, thanks to Greek yogurt’s naturally protein-rich properties. Thick and rich like ice cream, Yasso is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. The company also throws low-key shade at Halo Top, pointing out that Erythritol is actually quite difficult for your body to digest.
Enlightened Good-for-you Ice Cream
Calories per serving: 70 (Vanilla)
What makes it better: Enlightened is high in protein and fiber, and low in calories, fat and sugar, while still managing to meet the criteria to be called actual ice cream. Controversial sugar alcohol erythritol also rears its head in each pint of Enlightened.
Ben & Jerry’s Moo-phoria
Calories per serving: 140 (Chocolate Milk & Cookies)
What makes it better: For starters, it’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, so you know you’re in good hands. The company may describe Moo-phoria as their “light” line of ice cream options, but it’s quick to point out that it still uses organic milk and cream for these pints, and avoids sugar substitutes and alcohols.
Frozen Banana “ice cream”
View this post on Instagram
So obsessed with this homemade banana and coconut ice cream. And not guilty at all for having it as it’s made of only two very clean ingredients – frozen banana and shredded coconut, both blended in a high power blender until it turns to this soft creamy ice-cream-like consistency. I added coconut because good fat would help slow down the absorption of sugar from bananas, avoid insulin spikes and, well, coconut is just so yummy. I’m very glad to have ice-cream back in my life. Doesn’t mean I am going to have it every weekend. My treats are more like once or twice a month thing. Pat on the back for some self abstinence. . . . #bananaicecream #bananacoconuticecream #healthytreats #dairyfreeicecream #homemadeicecream #dairyfreetreats #aiptreat #icecreamsunday #frozenbananaicecream #cleaneating #cleaneatingdiet #aipdiet #foodforthesoul #healthydesserts #homemadedesserts
Calories per serving: About 105 calories
What makes it better: The internet would have us believe that wellness-obsessed millennials are giving up on ice cream entirely in favor of this 5-minute frozen fix. Simply chop a banana into large pieces, and freeze. A few hours later, give the frozen pieces a quick spin through a food processor. Voila! Frozen, low calorie banana “ice cream”.