If you’re familiar with Foodtrainers you know that it’s not enough for us to look at a label and tell you a food is “healthy”. We need to know what it tastes like. Every summer we pick a day for our Annual Ice Cream Test. There are many great flavors and brands we’ve tried in the past and we really like to bring you new ideas. First, we put the word out to our Twitter, Facebook and Insta friends asking for suggestions. Next, we scheduled an ice cream meeting to be sure we have scoured the city for the best pints, pops and shops. We narrowed down our list and devised a schedule for ice cream acquisition. The contenders were assembled on my desk. And of course we have secret ballots. Each flavor is rated on a scale of 1 to 10 cones. We didn’t share our conclusions until every flavor had been tasted.

For the most part, we agreed. Some flavors tasted “vegany”. Others were “too sweet” or even “too salty.” We fell in love with the texture of the stringy goat’s milk ice cream from Lezzetli. In the end there were three frozen standouts.
Culture Plain (9 cones)
I’m not typically a froyo fan. Part of it has to do with the cease and desist letter I received from a prominent company when I blogged about portion sizes. The other part is that, as I said earlier, if healthy involves sacrificing taste I’m out. Culture has great flavors but the original was our favorite. Culture takes both their ingredients and probiotics seriously and so do we. “There are absolutely no preservatives or additives.” Their product is made onsite from strained yogurt. They have both a Manhattan and Brooklyn locations. We found their kiddie size perfect.
Van Leeuwan Artisan Ice Cream Earl Grey (8 cones) 
This Earl Grey Van Leeuwan flavor elicited wows from us although, if I’m being hones,t our intern did say, “I thought it was weird” which is probably what we liked. It is unique and smoky and not overly sweet. And this is real deal ice cream but it’s made with organic ingredients. This is a treat we endorse and will probably indulge in again before the summer ends. 
Jolly Llama Banana Coconut (8 cones) 
We know our readers hail from many places outside NYC. So it would be pretty rude to make this all NY-centric.  And it just so happens Jolly Llama topped our taste test.These nouveau push pops are 80 to 100 calories, gluten free, dairy free and non-GMO and kosher. Though they are called sorbet pops we tried the banana coconut flavor which, thanks to the coconut, tasted creamy and indulgent.
What’s your favorite frozen treat? Have you tried any of our winners? Which would you want to try?

*certain contenders didn’t make our final list because of ingredients or sweeteners we don’t endorse. For more info on what to avoid in allegedly healthy treats you can read this.

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