UNITED STATES (5/29/12) – As summer heats up we are constantly looking for ways to cool down. One popular way to do that is to cool oneself from the inside out.
Recently, Consumer Reports conducted a taste test over 21 different kinds of fruit bars, ice cream bars, and ice cream sandwiches, to see which frozen treats came out on top (click here for the full article).
It was found that the best tasting frozen treats had actual fruit, vanilla, or chocolate in them. The desserts that scored lower ratings contained artificial flavors and unsettling textures.
Among fruit bars, 365 Everyday Value (Whole Foods) ranked the highest, due to the fact that they contain large chunks of real fruit, which gives them a fresh strawberry flavor. Consumer Reports also gave Whole Fruit, Dreyer’s/Edy’s, and Blue Bell honorable mention, due to their pleasant flavor, but also remarked that they had a gummy texture.
When it came to ice cream bars, Haagen-Dazs and Dove came out on top because of their strong dairy and vanilla flavors, and delicious dark-chocolate coating. Haagen-Dazs ice cream was reportedly thick, and it was decided that Dove had a more substantial chocolate coating. An ice cream bar that didn’t do as well was Julie’s Organic, which didn’t have as strong of a chocolate flavor, and was considered “slightly chalky” by the tasting panel.
Walgreen’s Old Fashioned ice cream sandwiches were the only sandwiches tested that didn’t taste artificial to the panel, and was the only frozen sandwich mentioned with positive feedback. Tasters considered the wafers soft and cakelike, and approved of its large chocolate flavor. Other sandwiches tested offered an unpleasant gummy texture.
The fruit bars were found to have between 70 and 110 calories. The sandwiches had anywhere between 100 and 180 calories a piece. Unlike the fruit bars, which are fat-free, the ice cream sandwiches had anywhere from 1 to 6 grams of fat per bar. The ice cream bars were the least healthy option topping out at 280 calories, and 20 grams of fat per bar. All treats tasted had about 10 to 25 grams of sugar. Some sugars are naturally occurring and come from products such as fruit and milk. Others were artificial sugars that simply made for empty calories. Interestingly enough, products with dietetic names, such as Weight Watchers and Skinny Cow, didn’t always have fewer calories and generally scored lower than the other products tested.
Some of the treats that ranked lowest included two different brands of ice cream sandwiches. Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla Minis sandwiches were found to have mild artificial vanilla flavor, and the chocolate wafers were considered soft and sticky. Tofutti Dairy Free Cuties Vanilla sandwiches had stale, sticky wafers, and the ice cream inside was considered gummy and tasted artificial.
Overall, the judging panel recommends the frozen treats honorably mentioned above. Ice cream bars were found to cost slightly more than the other treats and most weighed in at 2 to 3 ounces.
To see the ratings chart as it appeared in the July 2012 Consumer Reports Magazine click here and scroll to the bottom of the original article.
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