Taste-testing the best low carb ice cream on the market. Which of these keto ice cream brands make the cut? This updated review includes some wonderful new products you may want to try. Plus some delicious homemade low carb ice cream recipes.
You scream, I scream, we all scream for keto ice cream! Nothing will ever trump homemade low carb ice cream and I have tons of delicious recipes. But there are some decent store-bought alternatives now and we are going to review them all.
The ketogenic diet world is expanding and becoming more and more mainstream. This has its advantages and disadvantages. But one of the distinct advantages is the increasing availability of keto ingredients and products.
In the past three years or so, not less than 4 new brands of keto ice cream have come on the market. And I mean truly low carb ice cream, made with real cream and keto friendly sweeteners like erythritol.
There are some posers out there too. Frozen desserts that claim to be keto friendly but really aren’t.And some that basically taste like frozen water and don’t deserve even a single cent of your money.
I think at this point, I have tested almost all of them out. I got a chance to try some new-to-me keto ice cream brands at KetoCon.
So I figured it was time to update this old post with a full review of all the best store-bought low carb ice cream.
Low Sugar Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts
Back when I first wrote this post, there were really only a handful of low carb ice cream brands. And I use the term “low carb” very loosely. They were really more low sugar ice cream. And some weren’t even really ice cream, but very watery frozen milk.
They were (and still are) attempting to play both fields: low carb and low fat. To me, that really isn’t the point of ice cream. Ice cream should be a decadent treat. It can still be very low carb, but it should have a creamy smooth mouth feel.
Arctic Zero (This is my original review with a minor update)
I don’t love giving negative reviews but I did not think this was a very good ice cream alternative. I picked up two flavours at Whole Foods, the Chocolate Peanut Butter and the Hint of Mint. They tasted like….nothing.
There was barely any flavour to them and my son nailed it when he said they tasted like watered down hot chocolate. It’s not that surprising, when you look at the ingredients. It’s not really ice cream at all, as it’s made with skim milk and whey protein. And it’s almost fat free.
In this case, it also seemed to equal flavour free. The nutrition seems to have changed too, so now they are higher carb and even LESS keto friendly. For the Vanilla Bean (the lowest carb) each serving has 14g carbs per serving, 3g of fiber, 9g of sugars.
The verdict: Not keto-friendly. Pass on by, my friends. There are better low carb ice creams out there.
Halo Top (updated review)
I originally gave Halo Top a favorable review but they appear to have changed their mission and now are far less keto friendly than they once were.
This well known brand has recently expanded their line to include a whole bunch of new flavors, including a number of dairy-free frozen treats. I still like the taste but their formula seems to have changed and the carb count is quite a bit higher now. It used to come out to 4g net carbs per serving and now it’s more like 6g to 8g, depending on the flavor.
And all those wonderful exciting new flavors like salted caramel and cookie dough? Full of things like corn syrup and wheat. Corn syrup! Seriously.
I still buy these for my kids sometimes but as a someone trying to adhere more strictly to the keto diet, I give Halo Top a pass most of the time. If you are desperate, stick to the basic flavors like chocolate or vanilla and eat a small portion.
Vanilla Bean per serving: 14g of carbs, 3g of fiber, 6g of sugar, 5g sugar alcohols (Net carbs would be 6g).
The verdict: Not keto-friendly. Pass on by or have only a half portion, if you must.
Low sugar and low fat, this ice cream brand has plenty of interesting flavors and the flavor is pretty good. My kids really like it but similar to Halo Top, it has some iffy ingredients, including cane sugar and gluten.
And being low fat, it isn’t as satisfying as a keto ice cream really should be. Besides, I am a little concerned about how they arrive at their net carb count, because some of the fiber comes from soluble corn fiber. Corn again! But also the fact that it’s soluble fiber suggests that it could affect blood glucose levels. It also contains tapioca syrup.
Vanilla Bean per serving: 14g carbs, 4g of fiber, 3g of sugar, 6g sugar alcohols (Net carbs would be 4g but I am not sure you can truly trust this).
The verdict: Not keto-friendly. Pass on by or have only a half portion, if you must.
Truly Keto Ice Cream Brands
Okay now that we’ve gotten those imposters out of the way, let’s look at some truly keto ice cream brands and how they stack up.
This was the first keto ice cream brand that caught my eye. I started seeing them mentioned on Instagram, before it ever came out on the market and I asked them to send me some to try. They were obliging and sent me a container of the chocolate.
Since then, I have ordered some myself and they’ve sent me a batch of their new flavors to try. I can’t say I am wild about the chocolate because I like my chocolate ice cream REALLY chocolatey. But every other flavor I’ve tried has been delicious and I think they’ve got a great product. I’m a big fan of the butter pecan.
As an aside: Some people complain about the texture of this (and a few other) keto ice cream brands, saying it isn’t creamy enough and has a crumbly consistency. I say… it’s REALLY hard to make commercial keto ice cream. Why???
Well consider my popular homemade keto ice cream recipes. I make them with all heavy cream. I also make them with a mix of sweeteners to help keep them soft in the freezer. Do you know how much using full cream and both Swerve and Bocha Sweet costs per pint? If an ice cream company were to use these ingredients on a large scale, the cost per pint would be absolutely exorbitant. Think way out of the price range of most budgets!
How does Rebel fare on the nutritional scale?
Vanilla: 10g of carbs, 2g of fiber, 0 sugars, 7g erythritol.
The verdict: This is truly keto ice cream and I give it a thumbs up.
I have a particular affection for Keto Pint because it’s made right here in my (adopted) hometown of Portland, Oregon. I have actually met the lovely young couple behind Keto Pint, as they were serving up treats at a local street fair last summer. We got chatting and I was delighted to hear that they were coming out with a keto ice cream.
I supported their Kickstarter campaign and I’ve been pleased with their approach and their ice cream. My family loves the Salted Caramel. They don’t have a vanilla, because they want to be a bit different and come out with more interesting flavors. I’m all for more interesting low carb ice cream!
They have faced some criticism on the texture as well and they reacted to the feedback with a great attitude. They took it to heart and worked on a re-formulation that included just egg yolks instead of whole eggs, for a richer, creamier product.
I am going to stand by these guys too. I think they’re doing a great job.
Again, I think if people are expecting store-bought keto ice cream to be exactly what they used to enjoy, they need to change their expectations quickly. Sadly, ice cream made with erythritol will ALWAYS freeze very hard and be a little more crumbly in texture. It’s the nature of the sugar-free beast. Erythritol is the only sugar alcohol we can fully trust because it is the only one with zero carb impact. And if you want keto ice cream with a reasonable price tag, you need to accept this.
Keto Pint doesn’t have a vanilla, but the nutritional info for the Salted Caramel (our favorite!) is 7g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g sugars (no added sugars), 2g erythritol.
The verdict: This is truly keto ice cream and I give it a thumbs up. And I am cheering them on because YAY PORTLAND!
This was a new-to-me brand that I got a chance to try at KetoCon. Admittedly, I only tried a single flavor and it was a very unusual one that they are producing in limited edition in support of Orca Whales. I think it may go on sale tomorrow (July 15th) and they expect it to run out quickly.
It’s a flavor made with activated charcoal, of all things. It’s black in color and absolutely delicious. Weird but true.
I haven’t had that much experience with this brand but I do hope to get my hands on more of it soon. Regardless, first impressions are important and my impression was that it was incredibly creamy, even straight out of the freezer.
For their vanilla flavor, the nutrition per serving is: 9g carbs, 3g fiber, 0g sugar, 4g erythritol
The verdict: A truly keto ice cream brand and one I am looking forward to getting to know a lot better.
Again, a new-to-me brand I got to try at KetoCon. The problem was that I only got the teeniest, tiniest taste in a very small sample cup. The taste was fine but it was pretty rock solid and yes, very crumbly.
Several people had raved about it and told me it was the creamiest and the best so I was surprised at the texture of the sample. It’s local to the Austin, TX area so I suppose many of them are cheering on Mammoth the way I am cheering on Keto Pint.
I don’t really feel like I can fully review their product at this time except to say it’s another truly keto ice cream brand and I feel the more, the merrier. I will have to try to get my hands on more to give you more info than that. But apparently it is more expensive than the other brands.
Their vanilla weighs in at (per serving) 6g carbs, 0 fiber, 1g sugar (no added sugars), 5g sugar alcohols
The verdict: Truly keto, but I need to do more taste testing to see how it stacks up against the others.
As you can see, I think all of these keto ice cream brands have merit. They have tough shoes to fill, because using keto sweeteners often results in a difference in texture and consistency from the ice cream we may be used to. Personally, I am just happy to have some I can grab once in a while when I don’t have time to make my own.
Be sure to try these great low carb ice cream recipes