This sounds too good to be true. A whole pint of ice cream, less than 300 calories. It’s not too good to be true. But also, it’s not exactly ice cream as we know it. These three frozen desserts are no rocky road sundaes, but they do the trick as guilt-free midnight snacks or post-bad day outlets when succumbing to a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s that only leads to a further downfall of feeling guilty and bloated.
Overall, from the scientific standpoint, the ingredients each of these desserts are made of are pretty legit. Each is made from real ingredients and for a dessert that actually tastes good, these are better alternatives to indulging in ice cream every day.
Here’s the low-down of what these desserts are made of, how they’re made, and the verdict.
With only 100 calories per pint and free of the top most common allergens, Wink proves to be virtually sugar and fat-free. Wink uses pea protein as a base, a protein made from peas by milling and dehydrating peas until a protein-rich flour is formed. Organic tapioca flour, guar gum and xanthan gum are used as thickening agents (both gums are also found in ice cream). Zero-calorie, low-glycemic sweetness is provided by an active antioxidant in monk fruit extract as well as from the more well-known stevia extract, which is a natural sweetener. Additionally, Wink uses cinnamon, cocoa powder and baking powder in their products.
The verdict: Because Wink is fat free, the creamy texture of ice cream is definitely not there. Wink sort of tastes like a sherbet, and still does the trick when it comes to sweetness and authentic flavor.
Though in a different form than normal ice cream’s dairy content, Arctic Zero is made with whey protein that is found in milk, but has been filtered to remove the lactose, which is the main sugar found in milk. Xanthan and guar gum are used as stabilizers, as well as the same monk fruit concentrate as Wink, in addition to chicory root, a soluble plant fiber that’s known for its prebiotic and blood-sugar-stabilizing properties, as well as sugarcane fiber, an insoluble fiber that helps aid in digestion. Arctic Zero also uses sea salt, plant-based natural flavors, organic cane sugar, and purified water. Though not sugar free, Arctic Zero is low-calorie and fat free.
The verdict: With a shave-ice consistency more than anything else, Arctic Zero was definitely the least like ice cream in that regard and also in overall sweetness. Suggested more for the nights you want to add in some chocolate chips, coconut flakes or berries, Arctic Zero still hits the spot without hitting all the calories.
Less focused on being sugar and allergen-free, Halo Top contains both milk protein concentration and eggs, as well as organic cane sugar, which keeps it in the category of ice cream. Even so, it contains prebiotic fiber, carob gum and guar gum as the other ingredients. Halo Top ice cream is high carb, but a lot of it comes from fiber, and it’s relatively high in protein.
The verdict: The favorite of the bunch, Halo Top is made from milk, cream and egg which definitely save the consistency and flavor of ice cream. The flavors are perfectly on point and needed no toppings. And to be honest, devouring an entire pint didn’t even feel necessary.
But just as you read the ingredient list of your ice cream carton and rarely understand everything, without the background of food science, the same goes for these desserts.
Halo Top is a more healthful ice cream option than your typical Ben & Jerry’s, whereas Wink and Arctic Zero may skimp out on some of the flavor and texture of ice cream while saving some calories and sugar content and classifying themselves as “frozen desserts.”
Whatever they’re called, the main thing to know is that on occasion, it’s totally acceptable to devour an entire pint of any of these three. The rest is more up to your taste buds and likeliness to skip out on the real deal to stick with healthy eating.