When Minty Met Chippy

If you were to ask me which flavor of ice cream is my favorite, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I adore anything chocolate, savor sweet swirls of caramel and crave a bit of crunch, but with so many varieties out there, it’s nearly impossible to select just one. However, there is one kind of ice cream that not only serves as a delightfully refreshing post-meal treat, but also satisfies that insatiable chocolate craving…Mint Chip!

Mint chip ice cream is one of those classic flavors that is perfect on a hot summer day, but also somehow incredibly comforting on a cold winter evening. It is basic enough that it doesn’t feel over-done but it’s also uniquely decadent that it surprises the taste buds in all the right ways.

Every ice cream maker out there – from Breyer’s to Häagen-Dazs – produces a variation of the flavor with different levels of mint and chocolate additions. While the full-fat, full-dairy, chocolatey chunk-filled manufacturers certainly know how to churn a batch, they’re not exactly the healthiest options when it comes to sugar, fat and carbohydrate content.

That’s why, as an avid gluten-free, health-conscious fitness enthusiast, I’m focusing my review on two of the healthiest options around and placing them head to head for the ultimate chip-off!

First up, Arctic Zero’s “Cool Mint Chip:” This fit frozen dessert is perfectly flavored with just the right amount of peppermint that instantly cools the mouth upon first bite. Although not as creamy as its higher fat counterparts, its consistency is still adequate after a few minutes of defrosting or a quick zap in the microwave. This is a fair compromise, however, as the product is gluten free, lactose free, and GMO free, and its main ingredient is purified water. To make up for it its lack of creaminess is its generous amount of tiny chocolate chips. This pint is jam-packed with teeny morsels of delicious chocolate that pair perfectly with the invigorating mint freshness. At only 75 calories and two grams of fat per half-cup serving , this dessert is also beneficial for post-workout recovery since it’s made with whey protein. Overall, if you can adjust to an “icier” consistency, this mint chip frozen treat is a great option for a daily dessert.

Comparing the former to this second treat was difficult, as Halo Top’s Mint Chip is also a highly enjoyable dessert option. When it comes to consistency and texture, this brand definitely takes the cake over Arctic Zero, but falls short in other areas. First, let’s look at its positives: its mint flavor is absolutely delightful! It is subtle enough that it doesn’t overpower the palate but apparent enough that you feel rejuvenated and refreshed after sitting down to a bowl. After a few minutes on the kitchen counter or a brief stint in the microwave, this pint is ready to devour. It is also low in sugar and carbohydrates, containing half the amount of sugar per serving as Arctic Zero. In addition, it contains double the amount of protein, which is primarily sourced from its milk content. While this pint is also slightly lower in calories, it has a bit more fat, but this contributes to its smoother, creamier texture. Its one major downfall is its lack of chocolate chips. While Arctic Zero’s Cool Mint Chip guarantees at least a few chips in every delectable spoonful, Halo Top’s Mint Chip requires a bit of digging. In fact, there wasn’t a single chip in sight until I got a few spoonfuls deep. Overall, this pint hit the mark in taste and texture, but came in second with regards to chippyness.

So there you have it! The head-to-head battle of the healthiest Mint Chip ice cream on the market. You may have noticed I didn’t call out a downright favorite, because this would be an impossible task. Both have their pros and cons, so it comes down to your preference. If calorie count and chocolate chip content are major deciding factors for you, opt for the Arctic Zero. However, if you’re hankering for a creamy, low-carb option, then Halo Top has you covered!

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