Sunday, November 27, 2016

Enlightened Ice Cream

Originally my plan was to go one by one through the six free sample pints that Enlightened kindly sent over for review. See, while my area does have Enlightened bars available, I have yet to see the pints that they released at some point. The pint containers were originally clear but in the last few weeks Enlightened has let the world know that they have new colorful pint designs to get your attention. Basically they look more like Halo Top and less like Talenti now.

Six of the seven available Enlightened Ice Cream pints available
(peanut butter chocolate chip not shown)

For something like Enlightened, you really do need to heed this suggestion


Enlightened Caramel Oatmeal Cookie Crunch Ice Cream
oatmeal cookie clusters and ribbons of silky caramel
blended with rich caramel ice cream

Itty bitty oatmeal cookie bites, how cute! I take a few small bites and realize the aftertaste is that of oatmeal cookies dunked in milk. I can approve of that. I've had a hard time getting a good read on the caramel swirl. It's not super rich or buttery, instead it's more tame as you might suspect in a healthy option like this.

I've eaten a fair amount of this and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Don't get mad yet though, hear me out. There is a good amount of  bits and swirl, so that is a positive. Compared to other options I've tried that were only a base flavor with no bits or swirl, this is a definite improvement. The texture also isn't bad. It's fairly dense and fairly solid, but it's not scaring me away either, I believe I can adapt once I try a few more flavors.

And now for the side note....

One of the"secrets" to Enlightened being a more healthy choice is that they use erythritol instead of sugar. The other one is that cream is the #4 ingredient behind milk protein and corn fiber. The good news is that skim milk is the number one ingredient instead of water like Arctic Zero. The bad news is that while erythritol is one of the more digestive friendly sugar alcohols out there, I unfortunately still seem to have an issue with it. See, originally I was going to review a different pint everyday, but my system decided otherwise (so I guess I will be avoiding Halo Top as well). For now, I'm just going to throw out a quick few thoughts on two of the other flavors I tried afterwards and then attack the other three flavors in a couple more weeks. I'm sorry to do it this way and I send my apologies to Enlightened. I've just never been very good with sugar alcohols I guess.


Enlightened Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
chunks of soft chocolate chip cookie dough and rich chocolate chips
blended with sweet cream ice cream

The cookie dough flavor sure looks fun enough, but I wish the brown sugar flavoring was much, much louder. It just doesn't taste vastly different than the other two Enlightened flavors I've had. That said, you can flip that and say that if you like their other flavors then I suspect you would like this one as well.


Enlightened Triple Chocolate Ice Cream
A trio of rich chocolate chips, chocolate fudge & creamy chocolate ice cream

My very first impression is something akin to a Jell-o pudding pop. On the second bite I got a little too much of the fudge sauce. It's something akin to Hershey's but felt a bit more potent. Wow, it gets really dark in color if you mix it all together. Now I picked the triple chocolate to see if it would override that kind of taste/texture that has driven through every Enlightened product I've tried, but it did not. I still know this is Enlightened. It makes sense and may even seem overly obvious to some, but it never hurts to verify that the taste never really overrides that base construction of "the good-for-you ice cream".

Ok, that's it for now and I now open the floor for comments. It's certainly a neat looking product with some positive nutritional stats, but is that enough for you? Have you tried Enlightened yet? Will you try it? Do you enjoy the bars and hope to find the pints soon? Or have you tried it and found that you prefer Halo Top or Arctic Zero instead? Let us know!

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks - was going to try it, think I'll pass....stick with arctic zero, for now :)

Dubba Scoops said...

curious, what in particular swayed you?

Danielle said...

On a suggestion of a friend, I tried the oatmeal cookie one a few weeks ago. To me the texture was so odd, and the flavor was gross. It's the only time I didn't want to finish an ice cream product before. I would rather gouge my eyes than eat anything like this ever again. Reminded me of the time I tried the BJ Non Dairy option **shudders

Anonymous said...

The comparison to pudding and the erythritol (plus still having sugar, even with that!) - it gives me tummy sounds. I was still willing to try it, but I think the pudding comparison was the end!

Dubba Scoops said...

HA! Fair enough!

Anonymous said...

Would love to try the oatmeal one! I have a stomach of steel so fake sugars don't bother me at all. I've never seen this in any local store though. May I ask what store you found it in (I realize you live in New England) or did the company send them to you?

As long as they are not too expensive and not similar to Arctic Zero, I would probably really enjoy. I'm also desperate to try Halo Top! Also hard to find in my area and think it will be out of my budget. An ice cream lover can dream.

Caitlin Jennings said...

Did you let the pints sit out and thaw for about 10-15 minutes before this review? I ask because I eat these ALL the time and notice it definitely improves the taste and texture! Sometimes I'll be impatient and microwave it, but thawing it is the way to go!
As for your comment on erythritol, I may eat these nearly every night but it certainly doesn't agree with me either and I know a lot of people who have issues digesting it so I'd love to know where the claim of it being more digestible got its foothold.
My personal favorite is the oatmeal cookie followed by the triple chocolate and s'mores, the others are good but not nearly as good as those three. I personally miss the older pints because I enjoyed seeing the swirls, hopefully these newer pints don't mean there will be any less of them because I always thought the transparency was their way of showing it off (so you wouldn't be stuck with a Ben & Jerry's-type pint "core" where it ends and you're left disappointed).
Anywho, I can't wait to hear what you think of these! I tried the salted caramel bar only once (not normally an ice cream bar person) and I ended up spooning it off into a small bowl and adding a shot of espresso to make a delicious salted caramel affogato.
Yes, I'm obsessed. I love Enlightened.

Dubba Scoops said...

@Anon: they did indeed send these over as I only have the bars in my area. If you are having trouble finding them, maybe try something like whole foods. As for Halo Top, they are really expanding and becoming much easier to find. Both Market Basket and Wegmans carry it now. I'm trying to remember if I've seen it at Stop&Shop (Giant) yet.

@Caitlin: I did indeed wait quite a bit to let it temper (melt), but you've been around awhile so you know I can be tough on the texture of products. As far as the erythritol claims, it was something that popped up on the internet though I didnt do any long winded research. Even though it still gives you trouble, do you think it gives you less trouble than when you first started eating it? You would hope/think that your system would develop a tolerance to it over time, but maybe not. Oh, as far as I know the recipes havent changed, just the packaging, but I can ask them just to be safe.

Anonymous said...

I think the oatmeal cookie is good - and the product is good for what it is. That said, I think I would rather eat a small portion of excellent ice cream than a pint of healthy "ice cream." Halo Top and Enlightened are light enough that you can easily eat the whole carton ... not worth the calories.

I do think oatmeal cookie is one of the better halo top flavors. It's too bad orhernajor brands don't make that flavor.

D... said...

Whenever I see any mention of oatmeal and ice cream, I am personally obligated to mention the horrendous loss of one Oatmeal Cookie Chunk by Ben and Jerrys. The best ice cream flavor in the history of ice creams. BRING IT BACK YOU SCROOGES! :-)

Anonymous said...

@D,

I grieve with you over the death of Oatmeal Cookie Chunk! That was my favorite ice cream of all time and I'm still not over the loss of it.

Caitlin Jennings said...

I may tolerate it SLIGHTLY better than when I first tried it, but one pint of the stuff and I'm still battling GI problems that entire day. Certain things, however, affect me more so than others. Halo Top and Enlightened moderately upset my stomach, but So Delicious' line of no sugar added Coconut Milk Pints leave me on the toilet experiencing things that should never be written on an ice cream blog xD
I'd certainly be interested if the ingredients changed though, as I find it odd they would get rid of the transparency. Perhaps they stick out more, but I don't know, I personally find it more cluttersome on the shelf and liked seeing the swirls of what I'd be diving into that night.

Anonymous said...


Speaking about tempering a product, I do it with virtually every ice cream I buy, except the cheaper
ones. They seem to be a bit better when hard. But with HD, for example, I let it sit out for as much
as a half-hour plus before eating - the vanilla becomes more like a soft-serve in this way, which I
love. Tempering also improves flavor as a matter of science. When totally frozen the molecules
are bound-up. As it thaws a bit, they move around more easily, and this brings out certain elements
of flavor, makes is much better IMO.

Dubba Scoops said...

I do not have the patience to wait 30 minutes for a snack let alone 30 seconds. I get what you are saying, that's how a lot of people roll, but many of us can't wait. Question: do you then proceed to eat the whole pint? or do you put back the half melted remnants in to the freezer for another time? I guess in theory if you let it melt every time then you wouldnt be as bothered by any odd textures created when you refreeze the ice cream. I personally do not like refrozen ice cream. I have nothing against devouring the melting edges of a pint, but I do my best to not let the whole pint out too long (I'm a quick eater). You could even get in to the argument that you might be more tempted to eat more of the pint as opposed to when you kind of put a mental clock on getting it back in the freezer. Hope that all makes sense.

D... said...

Dubba, Amen to that. I always start off with such high expectations of my ice cream eating behavior, but every single time when dealing with pints, Ill get home, stick in a spoon, and proceed to eat the entire thing hah I want to be the person who stores and thaws and eats properly but Ive realized it aint happenin :-)