There is a virtually unlimited amount of ice cream flavors. Every brand puts their own twist on classics, and some brands outright invent flavor combinations that have never been attempted before.
Americans do love the fun and exciting twists, but the most popular ice cream flavors are among the classic tried-and-true flavors that have been around since the invention of ice cream.
How Were the Results Calculated?
A poll was conducted to ask 20,000 Americans what their favorite ice cream was from a list of the most popular flavors, including a category for “other” flavors that weren’t listed. Opinions were very divided, with the top flavor receiving only 17% of the vote. Although the poll does declare a winner, the results were far from a landslide.
Chocolate is one of the most universally beloved dessert flavors. It shouldn’t be a shock that this flavor takes the top spot.
Chocolate can be used to flavor many things -- fudge, brownies, cakes, and even spicy Mexican mole sauce all incorporate chocolate. Its unique and distinctive flavor profile makes it just as appealing in sweet contexts as it does savory contexts.
Pure cacao and non-alkalized cocoa powder also happen to offer a whole host of nutritional benefits. Unsweetened pure chocolate is packed with beneficial antioxidants, fiber, protein, and iron. Chocolate can be part of a healthy diet when used in moderation and enjoyed without added refined sugar.
Vanilla has a reputation for being one of the most agreeable flavors. It’s pleasantly sweet and it isn’t too strong. Vanilla ice cream’s versatility is perhaps it's best selling point.
Vanilla ice cream is typically used to serve other desserts “a la mode,” a phrase which means “in the fashion” in French. In America, to serve something with a dollop of vanilla ice cream means to serve it fashionably. Fancy.
Strawberry ice cream, America’s third favorite, is a little bit like the Switzerland of all ice cream flavors. It’s not as subtle as vanilla, but it’s not as savory as chocolate. Strawberries have a sweet, tangy, and slightly acidic quality that pairs well with the creamy richness of ice cream. It entices the palate without overwhelming it.
Strawberries are loaded with benefits, but those benefits are best enjoyed when the strawberries aren’t served in a sugary context. One cup of strawberries provides your entire daily value of vitamin C, which is vital for immune health, skin health, and oral health. They’re also packed with antioxidants to help fight free radicals and protect the healthy cells in your body.
4. Mint Chocolate Chip
Mint chocolate chip ice cream is another way to enjoy chocolate. The bright and fresh flavor of mint is the perfect complement to the deep and decadent flavor of chocolate. The two are essentially soulmates. Mint chocolate chip is light, refreshing, and delicious.
Mint in its natural form is also a valuable addition to your diet, and can even be used to promote digestive health.
5. Butter Pecan
Butter pecan is a southern classic. People in the south are wild about pecans, eager to use them in every dessert. Pecans are a mild nut with a slight crunch. They don’t have as strong of a flavor as peanuts, which is why their flavor is usually enhanced with browned butter.
On their own, pecans are a fairly healthy nut. They’re loaded with healthy omega 3 fatty acids and nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and potassium that work to support your body’s overall health and function.
While butter pecan ice cream is rich, nutty, and delicious, it’s not something that everyone can enjoy. Pecans are obviously off the menu for people who live with nut allergies.
6. The “Other” Category
A significant portion of Americans enjoy ice cream flavors that are slightly off the beaten path. Flavors like matcha green tea are increasing in popularity, and unique fruit flavors like passion fruit and açai berry are rising to challenge strawberry’s spot.
“Other” also includes ice cream infused with candy, cake, brownies, and pralines. You’ve seen those ice cream flavors with more additions than actual ice cream. They fall under this umbrella.
How To Enjoy the Benefits of Ice Cream in a Healthy Way
Many ice creams contain valuable ingredients or flavors, but their value is lost in the nutritional void of the ice cream. Most ice cream is low in protein, high in added sugar, and packed with unnecessary fats. It often contains dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, or add-ins made with wheat, which are five of the most common food allergens in the United States.
This means that most ice cream isn’t a great dessert choice for most people. Where’s the fun in that?
Low-calorie and dairy-free ice creams seem to solve that problem, but you’ll want to look closely at the back of the pint. Most of the time, the labels are deceptive.
Something is not better for you simply because it’s lower in calories.
Calories are often reduced by using sugar alcohols like erythritol and additives like glycerin. Both of these ingredients are difficult for the body to digest, and they don’t provide any value to your diet. Some brands add “natural flavor” without adding the actual ingredient, leaving the benefits of chocolate or strawberries absent from the ice cream’s nutritional profile.
Most dairy-free ice creams are also very low in protein and nutrients. Milks derived from nuts, oats, and coconuts don’t naturally contain a lot of protein. Only some of them are safe for people with nut allergies, and companies that produce both nut milk and nut milk free varieties may accidentally introduce traces of nuts into their coconut or oat varieties. Yikes.
Your local supermarket will stock whatever it believes people will buy, and that’s why the dessert section is full of ice creams that aren’t actually beneficial to your body. Finding the right alternative to traditional ice cream can be difficult, especially when many people value added sugar over nutrition.
There is one major exception, and that’s Snow Monkey.
Snow Monkey is made of fruits and seeds, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It’s allergen-friendly and packs 20+ grams of plant-based protein into every pint. Raw chocolate, fresh strawberries, ceylon cinnamon, turmeric, and other superfoods are used to give each variety its delicious punch of flavor.
Snow Monkey is intelligent fuel for your body, and it’s the only ice cream you can justify eating for breakfast. It’s an inclusive plant-based ‘ice cream’ that fits into plant-based lifestyles and paleo diets while respecting food allergies.
Everyone should be able to enjoy a sweet treat, and Snow Monkey offers most of America’s top beloved ice cream flavors in a more nutritious and mindful formula. You deserve a dessert that can power a workout or replenish your body after a long day. That’s exactly what Snow Monkey is designed to do, all without sacrificing the deliciousness of America’s favorite frozen treat.
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