by | Jan 30, 2014 | 55 comments

Most of the United States is buried in snow and freezing cold, so I’m sure the name “Arctic Zero” makes you shudder a bit.  But in my world, it is never too cold to enjoy a bit of a healthy dessert, so today I’m excited to review this low-calorie, gluten-free, lactose-free (but not dairy-free due to whey protein), non-GMO dessert with no artificial sweeteners.  If it sounds too good to be true, it might be … this is far from the most decadent and rich ice cream you’ve ever had in your life.  But let me back up and give you a full review. arctic-zero Several months ago,  SkinnyRunner (whose blog shut down at the end of 2013) posted about the Arctic Zero she had just received.  I commented there that I had tried Arctic Zero once and it was very icy.  I said I wanted to like it since it was a great alternative to a more indulgent dessert, but I just didn’t enjoy it, so I didn’t purchase it again.  Well, a month later, I was contacted by Arctic Zero to see if they could “make it right” – they suspected I had purchased a product that the retailer let melt and re-freeze, which apparently messes up the texture pretty significantly.  I agreed to try the product (which was sent to me free of charge, but with no obligations to promote or review the product.  Of course, all opinions are 100% my own).

arctic zero 2

When my shipment arrived on December 5th, I was out of town for work, so Kevin brought it inside.  I asked him to snap a few photos so I could see what they had sent.  A few minutes later, I received 31 photos!!!  He took his blogging assignment very seriously :).

arctic zero 4

Arctic Zero was generous enough to send 7 pints of their dessert, in each of the flavors (Vanilla Maple, Mint Chocolate, Strawberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, and Coffee).  They also sent 2 boxes of their 85-calorie chocolate dipped bars (which come in Vanilla, Chocolate, Orange, and Strawberry). I was really excited to dig in, and tried the Cookies and Cream first.  If you are expecting rich, “normal” cookies and cream ice cream when you try this, you’ll ve underwhelmed.  However, if you are looking for a sweet, cold, creamy dessert that will satisfy your cravings and keep you on track nutritionally, this is a fantastic option.  After a few scoops of cookies and cream, I moved on to other flavors on the following nights.  I won’t take you through every single one, but it turns out that cookies and cream was one of my least favorites.  (In the list above, they are ordered according to my preference, from favorite to least favorite).  A few notes on taste:

  • The Vanilla Maple is far and away the best, in my opinion.  It is fantastic with berries, great on top of a protein mug cake (like this one of mine)
  • Almost all flavors are best (in my opinion) with some mix-ins.  I loved berries, chocolate chips, almond butter, pumpkin protein cookies that I made but didn’t blog, or some low-sugar cereal (always my favorite ice cream mix-in!).  Mint chocolate and coffee are the only ones that are better on their own.
  • The coffee is by far the strongest flavor.  I love my morning coffee, but I have never liked coffee ice cream or coffee-flavored products.  So, this one was my least favorite.  However, if you like coffee ice cream, I imagine this would be a winner!
  • Arctic Zero recommends leaving the pints out for 5-10 minutes before eating, and if you have the patience, this is definitely the way to go.  It makes every flavor taste much creamier!

Overall, like I said, this is not a perfect substitute for the “real deal.”  However, if you’re looking for a healthy, low-calorie alternative and can think of this as a sweet frozen dessert rather than an ice cream substitute, I would recommend trying Arctic Zero.  I had a lot of fun enjoying it and experimenting with the new flavors, guilt-free!  Plus, it has a fairly natural ingredients list (as processed foods go), contains some good-for-you fiber and non-GMO whey protein … and an entire pint is only 150 calories!  I never actually ate an entire pint since I was heavy-handed with my mix-ins, but if you’re going to eat a whole pint of anything, this is a good option!

arctic zero 6

One last word about the chocolate covered bars.  For some reason, I didn’t try these until the very end, and they were amazing!!!  Maybe it’s the chocolate coating on the outside, but these actually do taste like “real” ice cream bars to me.  I will definitely buy these again! Arctic Zero is now available in all 50 states of the US … check here to see if it’s offered near you.

Now for a giveaway!  2 readers (US only – sorry!) will each receive 2 coupons to try a free pint of Arctic Zero.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below (I made it a pretty simple one since the size of the prize is pretty small, but you can always follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter just for kicks – no extra entries.)  If you don’t see the Rafflecopter with the green buttons to enter, just click on the link below)  Giveaway will close this Sunday 2/2/14 at 11:59pm CT and I’ll announce the winners on Monday’s post.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So tell me in the comments … Have you ever tried Arctic Zero?  What did you think?  Are you a “go real or go home” dessert person, or do you sometimes enjoy healthy substitutes?


  1. Michael Anderson

    Wow – they really loaded you up! I said it before, but I love your reviews … because they are honest and opinion driven. No one will accuse you of being a shill 🙂

    I think it is always dangerous to attempt to make a ‘just like’ product. On the one hand you attract people trying to be healthier, on the other hand it is immediately compared. I discovered Yasso frozen greek yogurt bars last year in Kentucky and the fact that they were just nice fruit-based flavors instead of ice-cream-like was a good thing for me.

    I definitely love coffee flavored things – that goes back to being a kid when Friendly’s had about a dozen flavors and one summer day they didn’t have much selection so I ended up with coffee chip … and liked it (I think it is now called mocha chip or something).

    Back when frozen yogurt was first huge (is it still? I totally don’t keep track) the brands all tried to have flavors like ice cream… and invariably were much weaker. AND … they all suffer badly from ‘freezer burn’, much worse than normal ice cream – I assume that is what happened to you.

    Had to laugh about Kevin and the pictures … in my case I would end up saying ‘the pictures are much better today … because I didn’t take them … ‘ 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      Thank you, Michael! I’m glad I’m not a shill in your mind :). I agree with you on the “just like” products … that’s why I enjoyed Arctic Zero most when I told myself I was just enjoying a nice dessert as opposed to a “diet ice cream” or something like that. I really enjoy frozen Greek yogurt bars, too! I don’t think I’ve had the yasso brand, but I like the Weight Watchers brand – not perfectly clean but they’re good!

    • Megan Lyons

      I know, I think the “whole pint has 150 calories” thing kind of makes it more enjoyable, in a funny way!

  2. Amy @ Long Drive Journey

    Totally agree with Michael. It is hard to try to make a healthier version of something else, ESPECIALLY ice cream. However, this might be something I’d try a sample of or something like that to see if I like it. So great giveaway haha! I usually don’t like very sweet things, but when I go for dessert, I don’t want to feel like I’m eating something healthy. Does that make any sense? I kind of feel like, if I wanted a healthy dessert, I’d have a piece of fruit (which most of the time I DO, but when I want ice cream, it’s kind of go big or go home for me). The only exception is froyo, which still isn’t all that good for you, but isn’t full fat like ice cream.

    • Megan Lyons

      I agree with both of you, too! And honestly, Arctic Zero IS a great giveaway, because it’s not cheap to buy, and you’d hate to waste money on something you don’t like, since many of these products are hit or miss. I think it’s a definite hit if you choose the Vanilla Maple, though :). I totally get the go-big-or-go-home mentality, although I kind of tend to do the opposite … I’d rather have a somewhat-indulgent thing on every day than a go-big indulgence one day per week (or whatever). Gotta find what’s right for you!

  3. Brittany @ Barr & Table

    I tried the chocolate PB flavor.. didn’t think it had a ton of flavor, but it was nice when I wanted to just eat right out of the carton and not feel bad 😉

    • Megan Lyons

      Chocolate PB SOUNDS the best (in my opinion), but I agree on the opinion that that one is a bit lacking in flavor – I hope you try some of the other ones (especially Vanilla Maple!)

  4. Raluca T

    Ok, I’m going for the coffee flavor as I love coffee in anything… And I will test the strawberry on my husband. If he doesn’t like it, more for me. How would you compare these to a sorbet in consistency? I bet they are less sweet (which I would really like).

    • Megan Lyons

      I like the attitude of “if he doesn’t like it, more for me” – haha! These are similar to a sorbet in consistency. They are rock-solid coming right out of the freezer, but once you let them thaw a bit they get that creamy consistency. And you’re right, they’re less sweet than sorbet – just a hint of sweetness due to the low sugar content and no artificial sweeteners!

  5. Tara @ A Daily Dose of Fit

    I think healthy substitutes are great…provided they really are healthy and taste quite delicious. I’ve heard good things about Arctic Zero but have never tried it myself. So gracious of them to send you those samples!

  6. Tonya@healthy, Fit, and Frugal

    I love that the WHOLE PINT is 150 calories! I’ve never tried it. My go-to summer frozen treat is skinny cow and tofuti cuties, but they are so good they don’t stick around my freezer very long. This looks like something worth trying!

    • Megan Lyons

      I like the Tofutti cuties, too, Tonya, but they’re so small!! I’m a volume eater so I’m often still craving something else after I eat one of those … which probably means I should reset my perspective.

  7. Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie

    I’ve never tried Arctic Zero but I have been wanting to! I have seen so much buzz about it in the blogger world that I have a feeling I would really enjoy it– especially cookie and cream- my favorite!!

  8. Cori @ olivetorun

    I have never tried it before but if you didn’t know… ice cream is my thing. I would LOVE to try this [and any and all ice cream ;)]!!

    Thanks for hosting 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      Of course! I share your love of ice cream, and I “blame” it all on my husband and his dad, who have a bowl of ice cream almost every night!

  9. BArbie

    I have never tried and am always up for trying any kind of dessert!

  10. Mary ann

    i have been trying to eat whole food and nothing processed with works i can not pronounce and i so miss my ice cream oh and i have been gluten free too

  11. Jordan

    I have never tried Arctic Zero as I have never been able to find it, however, I know Omaha has several locations that carry the brand. I definitely want to try the chocolate bars. YUM! Ice Cream is an occasional treat in this house due to the sugar, fat, calorie content, however, these babies could become a staple if they live up to the expectations. Sounds like you had a ton of fun taste testing! 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      I hope you get to try the bars, Jordan! They’re good! And yes, I had a great time taste testing!

  12. Jordan

    I love the vanilla maple flavor of Arctic Zero. Some flavors aren’t really strong enough, but it’s a great substitute for regular ice cream in the summer, especially post-workout.

  13. Anne

    Arctic Zero is my Dad’s favorite! He is trying to eat healthier and this would be the perfect Valentine’s day surprise to keep him going !

  14. Lauren

    I think it’s good if you are trying to cut calories. It doesn’t taste as great as real ice cream obviously. I don’t think some real ice cream hurt anyone every once in a while. If you spruce it up it’s pretty good.

    • Megan Lyons

      I agree – some real ice cream doesn’t hurt anyone once in a while! But this is a nice alternative for the other days :).

  15. Dorothy Teel

    No I have never tried Artic Zero , but I did find I could get it oat our Sprouts store in Norman, and they do sound good from your review..aren’t you glad they let you try a fresh sample.

    • Megan Lyons

      Yes, I’m so grateful for getting to try the sample! Hope you try it too!

  16. Sarah

    I love arctic zero! I kind of have an obsession with it… I don’t have the patience to just let it sit out on the counter so I tend to microwave it for a bit and it comes out SOO creamy. I eat a pint almost every day!

  17. Hillary

    Arctic Zero is great if you “need” something sweet but don’t want to go overboard. The chocolate peanut butter isn’t bad!

  18. Michele S.

    I have Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Peanut Butter in my freezer! Looking forward to trying them out…and finding a better selection elsewhere!

  19. Lisa @ Running out of Wine

    I am always open to trying healthy alternatives of desserts! I try to bake desserts that are healthier every once in a while…for example using black beans in brownie mix.

  20. Kerry

    i have looked everywhere for arctic zero but haven’t found it at any of my local supermarkets. I love OD’ing on desserts–healthy preferably!

  21. Wild Orchid

    I have tried their products and I think they taste great!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

  22. Erin

    I am obsessed with Arctic Zero! I would love to get some for free!!


    I love arctic zero. Been eating it for about 2 years. If you put a serving in a protein shake it thickens it up, its great! Just wish stores around my area had more than 3 of their flavors

    • Megan Lyons

      What an awesome idea, Angelo! I never thought of putting it in a shake!

  24. Christine

    I just bought a pint of Cookie n’ Cream and I must say it is delicious! I think the next flavor I would like to try is the Strawberry 🙂

    • Megan Lyons

      I definitely think the Strawberry is better than the Cookies n Cream, Christine. Hope you enjoy!

  25. le

    I love the maple vanilla flavor. Its nice to eat a whole pint and not feel too guilty

  26. Joanna

    Wish I lived in US to join.. There’s none available here either :c oh well, good luck everybody else


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Hi! I'm Megan Lyons,

the voice behind The Lyons’ Share. I love all things health, wellness, and fitness-related, and I hope to share some of my passion with you. Thanks for stopping by!
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