Healthy ice cream is having a major moment this summer. Cult favorite Halo Top hit Walmart freezer aisles in April, and the craze kicked into full effect, with reports of sellouts, hoarding, and fans trekking to multiple supermarkets to get their hands on their favorite flavor.
Lately, the low-calorie brand has been bragging that it’s the best-selling ice cream by the pint in the whole country.
At around 300 calories per pint, give or take, this stuff is definitely better for you than, say, Häagen-Dazs. Still, some nutritionists have panned Halo Top’s health-centric claims, saying that the brand uses artificial sweeteners and could promote unhealthy eating habits. “Just because it’s a slightly better choice does not mean that it is a good choice,” New York University professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health Marion Nestle told Fortune.
Well, bummer. Luckily, there is an alternative: Yonanas. These countertop gizmos promise to turn regular old bananas and other fruit into a creamy, frozen treat the texture of soft-serve ice cream. There are two versions, the original ($50) and the elite model ($120), which Oprah has named as one of her “favorite things.” (In case you’re wondering, it’s more powerful and quieter than the basic model.)
Using one is as simple as tossing overripe, frozen bananas into the machine’s chute and pressing down on the plunger. That’s it — no need to add additional sugar, fat or anything else, although for variety, you can mix in anything from peanut butter to cocoa powder. If you’re not that into bananas, users report successful — and yummy — results using frozen Greek yogurt along with mangos, berries, peaches and other fruit. In fact, there’s an entire Yonanas cookbook if you want to get adventurous while getting your summertime dessert fix.
But don’t take our word for it; heck, don’t take Oprah’s word for it. With nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, the basic Yonanas model is the top-selling ice cream machine on the site (even though what the gadget produces is not, technically, ice cream). The Elite is no slouch, either; it has an impressive 4.4-star ranking on Amazon.
Reviewers with dietary restrictions on fat, sugar and dairy praise this machine for giving them back their summer desserts, and parents report that they’re thrilled to find a healthy dessert their kids will gobble up. The reviews section of each machine is also a great place to pick up usage tricks and recipe ideas from other Yonanas owners.
“Love love love this. I can’t believe it tastes like ice cream,” one Amazon purchaser raved. Yonanas might not have a halo, but many owners certainly seem to find it divine.
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