We have a bit of an obsession with healthy ice creams; from Halo Top to Enlightened, we’re always on the prowl for a good-for-you frozen treat. When a box of Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bars came to our desks, it was mere minutes before all of them were gone. The results? Amazing. Everyone was super into all the flavors.
Yasso’s sweet treats ring in at 100 calories a pop (pun intended), and 120 calories per sandwich. They each have five grams of protein, and are low in sugar – seven grams in the sandwiches and 14 grams in the pops (much, MUCH lower in sugar than the Unicorn Frappuccino). The bars have two grams of fat, while the sandwiches have 3.5 grams. You’ll also get some gut-friendly probiotics from the Greek yogurt, which is a nice added health bonus.
So how do they taste? Damn delicious. Here’s a breakdown of the flavors we tried – S’mores, Toffee Caramel Chocolate Chip, and Black Raspberry Chip bars, and Vanilla and Mint cookie sandwiches.
- OMG, it tastes like graham cracker! These are stupid good. Perfection.
- Can’t believe it’s only 100 calories
- You can really taste the graham cracker, and I like the marshmallow, but I’m not sure what they’re made of. The only reason I gave it a 4 is because of the aftertaste.
- Literally tastes like a straight-up frozen s’more.
- Doesn’t taste that healthy!
- I was put off by the tartness of Greek yogurt with mint, but with the Oreo it works!
- It wasn’t all that minty, but somehow refreshing.
- Had a funny aftertaste, but I keep going back for more. Overall pretty impressive for a healthy dessert.
- So good and yummy!
- Can’t even taste the difference [between this and a regular ice cream sandwich].
Black Raspberry Chip
- Great balance of fruit and chocolate!
- Love the white and dark chocolate with the raspberry – a bit of an aftertaste though!
Toffee Caramel Chocolate Chip
- Very rich! Good, but not sure I could finish it all.
- Good ice cream flavor!
The healthy ice cream market is booming right now – with industry leaders like Halo Top catching fire, it looks like everyone wants a scoop of these lightened-up frozen desserts.
Enter: Enlightened Ice Cream. It’s low-calorie (between 240 and 400 calories per pint, depending on the flavor), high-protein, and sugar-free – it uses erythritol (sugar alcohol) for sweetness . . . just like Halo Top. If you’re a fan of the gold-rimmed pints at the grocery store, you’ll want to try out the selection from Enlightened, as they have over 20 flavors on offer. We tried seven of them, including Chocolate, Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Toasted Almond, Snickerdoodle, and Piña Colada.
We Got the New Flavors of Halo Top’s Healthy Ice Cream (Spoiler Alert: the Cookie Dough Is Insane)
If we learned anything from this taste test, it’s that ice cream flavors are like politics on Facebook – as in pretty polarizing. Some of our testers loved the intensity of flavoring while others were totally turned off by it. For example, some rated Butter Pecan with a 5, exclaiming, “BUTTER!!!” while others gave it a 2 saying, “ew, butter!” – so keep that in mind when going through these reviews. In the love-hate relationship that manifested in our taste test, some clear winners emerged – like the Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Butter Pecan.
- “Tastes like rocky road!”
- “Best one. Texture is good for a chocolate flavor. Creamy.”
- “Like a fudgsicle.”
- “Light and refreshing!”
- “Tastes like perfume.”
- “Fro-yo type flavor” (several people said this).
- “Weird aftertaste”(x2), “Really weird aftertaste,” and “Do not like aftertaste.”
Chocolate Peanut Butter
- “Love everything about this flavor.”
- “Watered-down Reese’s.”
- “This was my favorite! Super yummy and peanut buttery. Yum.”
- “Would be great for weight gain.” (???)
- “Wanted to like this more . . . it’s like frozen horchata.”
- “Does not taste like snickerdoodles; too much cinnamon and not enough cookie. Very pumpkiny.”
- “Good but a little bland.”
- “Tastes like a chai latte.”
- “Butter!!! Intense flavor, good texture.”
- “A little too much butter.”
- “DAMN PECAN! Love this one. Needs extra texture of the pecan.”
- “The pecans carry this one.”
- “Pancake.” (Also ???)
- “Refreshing and perfect texture with the pecan.”
Protein-Packed Arctic Zero Ice Cream Is Lactose-Free and Low-Calorie, and Here’s What It Tastes Like
- “Tastes like slick, cold marzipan.”
- “Love the almond flavor.”
- “Not my fave, but def addicting. Like I keep wanting to eat it after each bite.”
- “Creamy, a little too much almond extract for my taste.”
- “This is disgusting. It’s so gross and doesn’t taste almond like at all.”
- “Too intense of flavor.”
- “Love this. Would mix it with some Malibu and enjoy on a sunny day.”
- “I taste confused.”
- “Funky aftertaste, like a diet/sugar-free aftertaste. Also sunscreen.”
- “Is this sunscreen ice cream?”
- “This is my favorite – sweet, refreshing, and yummy.”
- “Usually I hate piña colada but I liked this.”
- “Tastes fabulous – the aftertaste is there but subtle.”
Baking calms the mind and feeds the soul, but all that buttery goodness can pack on the pounds. If you’re looking to make healthier baked goods, omitting some or all of the butter from your favorite recipes can greatly reduce the calories, fat, and cholesterol. There are countless ways to replace eggs in recipes, and here are healthier alternatives to using butter (great for vegan bakers, too).
- Applesauce: Often used to replace oil in recipes, applesauce can also be used as a butter alternative, and it works best in cake-like recipes (like this vegan banana apple chunk bread). Replace half the amount of butter in your recipe with applesauce; if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and half a cup of applesauce. If you don’t mind a denser, more moist bread, replace all the butter with applesauce to cut even more calories and fat.
- Avocado: Substitute half the amount of butter in a baking recipe with mashed avocado (it works well with cookies and quick breads like these pumpkin apple muffins); use the same method as you would when using applesauce. Using avocado not only lowers the calorie content, but also creates a softer, moister baked good, and is perfect if you want to omit the dairy. You can also use avocado in place of butter to make vegan “buttercream” frosting.
- Earth Balance: Replace all the butter with Earth Balance to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol. Using Smart Balance rather than Earth Balance will also save some calories, and note that Original Smart Balance is now dairy-free!
- Canola oil: In certain recipes, replacing butter with oil works well, especially if the recipe calls for melted butter. Fiddle with your favorite recipes to figure out when canola works instead of butter; when baking chocolate chip cookies, I’ve had success substituting half a cup of canola oil for half a cup of unsalted butter. Although slightly higher in calories, canola is much lower in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
- Greek yogurt: Replace half the amount of butter in your cookie recipes with half the amount of full-fat plain Greek yogurt. For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, use half a cup of butter and one quarter cup of yogurt. You’ll reduce the calories and the saturated fat. Play around with using more yogurt and less butter to see if you still like the taste and consistency. Here are more ways to use Greek yogurt in baking recipes. If you’re avoiding dairy, use soy yogurt instead, like this recipe for protein banana bread.
- Prune purée: Often used to help little ones stay regular, prune purée also makes a low-calorie and low-fat alternative to butter. Whatever amount of butter the recipe calls for, replace it completely with store-bought baby food prune purée (unless you have time to make your own; just purée prunes in the food processor). This option works well in recipes that involve chocolate and cinnamon.
This recipe for Paleo Lemon Cupcakes is a sweet and tangy gluten-free dessert, made with fresh lemon juice and sweetened with honey. Top with your favorite Paleo-friendly icing or leave the icing off for a simple and deliciously bright sweet treat.
This past Sunday, I made my third attempt at Paleo lemon cupcakes and thank goodness these cupcakes finally turned out well! I love experimenting in the kitchen but Paleo and gluten-free baking is a bit of a beast for me. If I’m not following a cookbook or online recipe exactly, it will often take me several attempts to come up with a creation that we would deem a true success in our house.
Thankfully Ryan and I are the least picky eaters in the world, so we’ve still managed to eat our way through way-too-dense muffins, pancakes that basically taste like ground up almonds and cake that crumbled into pieces on the first slice. But these cupcakes passed the taste test from people outside of the Stomachs-of-Steel Fagan family.
Two of my close girlfriends have little ones who do not eat dairy and one of them also does not eat gluten, so I try to make some Paleo and gluten-free snacks they can enjoy when we all get together on occasion and these cupcakes passed the toddler taste test when I served them up yesterday, too!
These Paleo lemon cupcakes are lower in sugar than most cupcakes (especially if you leave the icing off, which is what we did for the little ones – does that make them muffins?) and the tangy lemon flavor stands out perfectly against the light sweetness of honey.
Get the recipe here: Paleo lemon cupcakes
Happy birthday to you! OK, so maybe it’s not your birthday, but it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere, so there’s a good reason right there to immediately bake a batch of these chocolate cupcakes smothered with homemade chocolate frosting. And when you have your first decadent bite, you just might drop the rest of your cupcake when you realize that they’re low-calorie and totally vegan, plus the frosting is made with avocados instead of butter!
The healthy fats in the avocado make these cupcakes as healthy as a bowl of kale and bean soup! OK, maybe not that healthy, but healthy enough to feel good about reaching for more. Each cupcake offers almost five grams of fiber and is just 230 calories. A real-deal chocolate cupcake is 459 calories! That’s a crime when you can make these chocolate gems.
Be sure to use ripe avocados for the frosting.
- For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- For the frosting:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper or silicone cups.
- Whisk together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar, and set aside for a few minutes so the milk curdles.
- Beat in the sugar, oil, and vanilla until foamy.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Slowly beat the dry ingredients into the wet until smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcakes.
- Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and after a few minutes, move cupcakes to a cooling rack.
- While the cupcakes bake, make the frosting. Scoop out the avocado flesh, and place in a food processor.
- Add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla, and puree until smooth.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes, and enjoy!
Source: Calorie Count
- Desserts, Cupcakes
- 12 cupcakes
- Cook Time
- 40 minutes
- Calories per serving
Ooey-gooey molten chocolate lava cake is one of the most indulgent desserts you can make – for your valentine or for yourself! But how do you make it healthy?
Some tips from the wizards at Tone It Up and Perfect Fit Protein: swap regular flour for coconut flour and protein powder and use dark chocolate – lots of dark chocolate. This gluten-free, dairy-free recipe uses natural ingredients for sweetness, like coconut sugar, orange juice, and dark chocolate chips. The tangy, sweet, rich combination of flavors makes this protein-packed dessert as decadent as it is good for you.
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (this recipe uses Perfect Fit Protein)
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 egg
- Juice from 1/2 an orange
- 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir. Add in wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in orange zest.
- Spray ramekins with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in 3/4 of the batter. Make a small hole in the center and pour in chocolate chips. Pour in remaining batter to cover and smooth across the top. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
- Allow to cool. Enjoy as is or with a drizzle dark chocolate sauce on top.
- Desserts, Cake
- North American
- Cook Time
- 15 minutes
Your alarm goes off, and you barely have enough time or energy to slip out of your PJs and into a decent outfit, let alone prepare a nutritious (and tasty!) breakfast. Boom! This recipe has your busy morning’s back. Make it the night before, and you’ve got breakfast for the week.
Each chewy, nutty, and subtly sweet bar is 176 calories and offers 8.4 grams of fiber but only has 5.5 grams of sugar. Munch down two bars, and that’s a 350-calorie breakfast with almost 17 grams of protein.
And did I mention they taste like cookies? Easy, quick, and yummy. Check out the simple recipe below.
- 1 cup almond butter
- 3 ounces vanilla plant-based protein powder (I used Vega)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-by-11-inch pan with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, use an electric mixer to mix almond butter, protein powder, and maple syrup. Beat in the eggs.
- Stir in rolled oats, coconut, and baking soda, and mix well.
- Firmly press stiff dough into the pan using the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until the top browns slightly.
- Cool pan on a rack, cut into 18 squares, and store leftovers in an airtight container.
Source: Calorie Count
- 18 bars
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Calories per serving