When I hear “healthy ice cream brands,” I admit I kind of roll my eyes. And I’ll be honest: When I had a chance to try out these two so-called healthier creams this summer, I didn’t expect to like either of them.
They were both so good that I felt I had to run right here and share them with all of you.
So if you’re looking for some healthy ice cream options — or okay, healthy-ish — then look no further. These two brands are now both parent- and kid-approved in our house.
Coolhaus: A healthier ice cream brand if you’re eating vegan or dairy-free but want a big indulgence.
Both my vegan husband and my lactose-intolerant 3-year-old neighbor love the new vegan ice cream flavors from Coolhaus: Awesome Ice Cream. This cool, women-owned company uses organic ingredients and absolutely no dairy in their dairy-free flavors, yet their desserts taste just like “regular” ice cream.
Our favorite flavor was a tie between the mint chocolate and the cookie dough, but they also have interesting combinations you won’t find everywhere: like matcha, cannoli, and Thai Town Crunch.
That said, my own absolute must-buy-again is their ice cream sandwich 2.0. “Sammies” include two perfectly soft cookies stuffed with their gourmet ice cream in the middle.
Just know that that “healthy” is a pretty subjective term here; while Coolhaus Sammies do check the vegan, dairy-free, organic and whole-grain boxes, one ice cream sandwich still has 520 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 39 grams of sugar. Whoa. Maybe have the kids split one among them? Or among four of them?
Also know that they’re pricey if you want to have them shipped to you, with prices starting at $72 for 6 pints or $60 for 6 Sammies. Instead, look for them in a local supermarket or gourmet store. (I’m jealous that our editor Liz has them right in her neighborhood deli!)
If you want an indulgent ice cream treat but are limiting dairy or eating plant-based only, Coolhaus is so, so good.
Peekaboo Organic: A healthier ice cream brand with veggies in every bite.
If you’re looking for ways to sneak more veggies into your kids’ diets, one way to go that you probably haven’t tried yet is with Peekaboo Ice Cream.
Each flavor from this mom-run company sneaks veggies into every bite. But fear not — they’re pureed into the mix, not like chunks of broccoli in your chocolate ice cream.
I have to admit, the entire thing sounded a bit gross to me, but turns out my kids (and my neighbor’s kids) love it.
We tried the Vanilla (with zucchini), Chocolate (with cauliflower), Mint Chocolate (with spinach), Strawberry (with carrots), and then the least appealing to me, but favorite among the kids; Cotton candy (with beets).
I honestly couldn’t taste the veggies in any of the flavors, and the kids asked for seconds on all the flavors.
Thirds on Cotton Candy with Hidden Beets.
The same caveats apply here when it comes to a “healthy” ice cream brand: A half-cup serving (does anyone really eat just a half cup?) of the Organic Cotton Candy flavor may up your RDA of vitamin A, vitamin B12, phosphorus and riboflavin a bit, but you’re still getting 200 calories, 12g fat and 20g sugar. Double that if you eat a full cup of ice cream.
(Psst…keep an eye out for some upcoming vegan flavors.)
You can find Peekaboo Ice Cream in stores near you, including Whole Foods, or have them delivered for $10 a pint/$50 variety pack of 6, plus fairly reasonable shipping based on your address. (It’s $15 shipping for the variety pack in all the various zip codes we tried.)
While this is not our number one recommended way to get kids to eat their veggies, I guess it can’t hurt to also sneak some in when they’re not looking. Right? I’d skip the asparagus sauce on top, though.