Thursday, July 05, 2018

Enlightened Ice Cream

Healthy ice cream.  One of the latest food trends.  One I've had very little interest in.

Years ago, I did go through a "healthy" phase, where I did care about fats and calorie counts, and I remember discovering Arctic Zero (it was brand new on the market at the time), and I was so excited.  It sounded too good to be true.  200-400 calories in ... an entire pint?!  Full of protein?  OMG.  And then I tried it.  It was not creamy, it didn't really resemble ice cream, and, well, I didn't try any other products in this market for years, even though it has been a hot market.

I like creamy, high fat, actually tasty ice cream just too much.

But I was given the opportunity to try Enlightened bars, so I figured I'd give the concept another try.

Enlightened makes "Good-for-you" ice cream, available in pints and novelty bars.  Same concept at Halo Top and the like, <100 calories per serving / 400 calories per pint, high protein, low sugar.  In Enlightened's case, it is actually made with dairy.  And I'll be honest, some of the flavors, particularly for pints, sound great: "Movie Night", popcorn ice cream with chocolate bits and caramel swirl? Marshmallow Peanut Butter? French Toast? Glazed Donut? Bananas Foster?  Yes, please!  They also, of course, make all your classics, chocolate, vanilla, etc, etc, and all the "modern classics" like sea salt caramel, birthday cake, cold brew coffee, and more.  Plus bars, in many of the same flavors.

It was a bar I was able to try, along with many co-workers.

We were decently impressed, but I still won't go purchase these.

The bars come 4 to a box, individually wrapped.  We tried the Sea Salt Caramel flavor.
Sea Salt Caramel.
"Salty this ice cream is prettier than you’ll ever be? One bite and all will be forgiven. Silky ribbons of caramel swirl threaded through sea salt caramel ice cream."

At first glance, it fared pretty well.  It did have a lovely swirl on it!

It was actually better than I imagined, although it was more finicky than regular ice cream, texture wise.  You definitely needed to let it soften up, more than normal ice cream (which is always *better* soft, but isn't necessary).  You also needed to lick it rather than bite it, again, more than regular ice cream, as biting into it made it come across as grainy.  But when it was melty, and soft, and you licked it, it was creamy and smooth, nearly like normal ice cream.

The ice cream had a slight sweetness to it, more interesting than a plain vanilla, but not strong in the caramel.  The caramel ribbons were really tasty, sweet, and gooey, in a way that added some interesting contrast.

It wasn't a decadent normal ice cream at all, but for 80 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein it would be crazy to pass this up if you are concerned with reasonable ice cream choices!
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