If you’re looking to lose a few pounds or are getting into fighting shape, ice cream is one vice – loaded with sugar, fat, and calories – that simply has to go. One serving of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, for example, has 18 grams of fat, 27 grams of sugar, and nearly 300 calories (and, as a reminder, one serving is one fourth of a pint). Healthful alternatives such as low-sugar sorbet or fat-free yogurt are usually so bland as to be hardly worth pursuing. But now there are options for ice cream lovers who want to keep lean: Enlightened ice cream bars, a dessert loaded with protein and fiber, are surprisingly low on the glycemic index, with few calories, and, what’s important, full ice cream flavor.
CEO and founder Michael Shoretz was a competitive Olympic weightlifter and personal trainer in Manhattan when he came up with the idea of pursuing an ice cream bar for the fitness set. “My clients would pretty regularly ask me, ‘What is a healthy ice cream option?’ and I couldn’t tell them one, because in the ice cream aisle there’s nothing that’s really good for you,” he recalls. “There’s frozen yogurt and low fat ice cream, but if you take a look at the nutrition label, you’ll see that it’s mostly just sugar.”
Shoretz went to his kitchen and started experimenting with non-GMO corn for fiber, hormone-free milk protein isolates, and natural sweeteners like erithrytol, which is found in grapes, melons, pears, and monk fruit. He came up with an ice cream bar made with all-natural ingredients that also had an impressive nutritional rap sheet: 70 calories with 3 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber.
The bar is now available in fudge, coffee, and orange cream flavors, with peanut butter and toasted almond coming in the next few weeks. Mint and vanilla ice cream sandwiches, made with a combination of wheat flour, oat flour, and whole grain brown rice protein, will also be coming in a few weeks.