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Guilt-free ice cream? Count us in!

Los Angeles brand Halo Top is getting plenty of praise for its skinny ice creams.
(Halo Top)

Summer might be unofficially over, but it still feels like ice cream weather. Indulging in the frosty confection doesn’t necessarily mean abandoning that diet plan. Brands are offering functional, high-protein and lower-calorie versions of the traditional dessert, removing processed sugar and incorporating healthful ingredients like green tea and coconut. Here are a few to consider:

You could conceivably eat the entire container of Los Angeles-based Halo Top ice cream and not hate yourself in the morning. The usual suspects are in there — milk, cream, eggs — but instead of regular sugar, the brand uses no-calorie Erythritol and Stevia to sweeten. As a result, a half-cup serving of the Vanilla Bean or Lemon Cake is 60 calories, compared to 250 in a typical brand. Halo Top recently launched seven new flavors, including Mochi Green Tea and Pancakes & Waffles.

Info: $4.99 at Whole Foods, Target, Gelsons. halotop.com

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Sundaes from Daily Harvest are based on superfoods like coconut and cacao, with surprising ingredients like zucchini and black beans. The New York-based brand, which has investors like Gwyneth Paltrow and Serena Williams, ships the frozen sundaes to your doorstep — just blend with any milk and add the included toppings. Options include Coffee Crunch, which has cold brew coffee as well as probiotics and cauliflower, and Strawberry Cheesecake, which comes enhanced with apple cider vinegar, almond butter and Himalayan pink sea salt.

Info: Starting at $6.99 per cup. daily-harvest.com.

Sundaes from Daily Harvest include this Coffee Crunch, which contains cold brew coffee, probiotics and cauliflower, and are part of a trend in functional ice cream. Credit - Daily Harvest
Sundaes from Daily Harvest include this Coffee Crunch, which contains cold brew coffee, probiotics and cauliflower, and are part of a trend in functional ice cream. Credit - Daily Harvest
(Daily Harvest)

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Nathan Carey founded Santa Barbara-based ProYo after recovering from a weightlifting accident and realizing it was hard to find sweet treats that still offered a nutritional punch. The ProYo ice cream contains 10 grams of protein — delivered through whey protein concentrate — and 120 calories in a serving without sacrificing the creaminess of conventional ice creams.

“It’s a fun way to deliver high protein,” said Carey, adding that people also use it as a base in smoothies and breakfast bowls, or as a substitute for milk in their morning cereal. Newest flavors include Salted Caramel Crunch, which has skim milk, coconut oil and low-calorie sweetener xylitol.

Info: Priced at $4.99 to $5.49. Available at various Ralphs, Pavilions and Vons locations. proyos.com.

The extra protein in the new ProYo line of low fat, low sugar ice creams has people eating it for breakfast, or using it as a smoothie base. Credit - ProYo
The extra protein in the new ProYo line of low fat, low sugar ice creams has people eating it for breakfast, or using it as a smoothie base. Credit - ProYo
(ProYo)
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Ranging from 70 to 100 calories, each Enlightened ice cream bar uses rbST-free skim milk and monk fruit extract and Erythritol to sweeten. The New York brand, founded by former personal trainer Michael Shoretz, also makes ice cream by the pint, marshmallow treats and savory snacks made from crisped broad beans, with the focus on high protein and low sugar with no artificial dyes. The ice cream bars are designed to offer the taste of beloved freezer aisle staples like Red Velvet, Fudge and Birthday Cake.

Info: $5.99 at Pavilions, Sprouts, Wal-Mart. eatenlightened.com.

At 70 calories, these low-fat, low-sugar creamy popsicles from Enlightened come in beloved freezer aisle flavors like Birthday Cake and Red Velvet. Credit - Enlightened
At 70 calories, these low-fat, low-sugar creamy popsicles from Enlightened come in beloved freezer aisle flavors like Birthday Cake and Red Velvet. Credit - Enlightened
(Enlightened)
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