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Yes, it is summertime in New England. We had an extra-long winter, skipped spring and slammed straight into summer with its hot and humid weather. With this type of weather comes the inevitable craving for something sweet and cold to cool you down. Not unlike Chevy Chase seeking fun in the movie “Vacation”, I too was on a quest, a quest…for ice-cream.
I began thinking that there must be SOME company that makes ice-cream that is not completely full of additives and preservatives. I just needed to take the time to read labels and find a brand that would fit my needs. One can never be perfect in the world of real food eating. It’s just not realistic to think we can eat like Pilgrims in the year 2018. You are not going to see this girl churn anything, so we need to problem solve.
Many of the real food warriors that I follow suggest the 80-20 rule to keep things in perspective and I have happily adapted that formula. I am satisfied if I can stay on track 80% of the time and I don’t lose sleep over the other 20%. If I want ice-cream in my world on a regular basis I better find something darn good because my 20% is chock full at this point.
Into the ice-cream aisle I go, and I must say I have missed it. It is nice and cool; it has an extra wide feeling to the space. It is lined with every flavor you can imagine, in a plethora of brands, in multiple sized containers. It’s heaven in a New England summertime hell, in a word, Yum.
I start with Breyer’s. I have heard many positive things about the brand and I must say I tried their vanilla once upon a time and it was to die for. We start with vanilla and chocolate in one container. Can that be true? Holy dynamic duo, Batman! The ingredient label is short, milk, cream, sugar, cocoa, a couple of “gums”, natural flavoring, and its non-GMO. I can live with two gums and natural flavoring in this heat. In the cart goes the vanilla and chocolate Breyers.
I am aware that my 20% only goes so far and therefore I have not given up on my search for the realest ice-cream I can find. On to the next brand, the almighty Haagen-Dazs, chocolate flavored. Ingredients list was short on this container too: cream, skim milk, sugar, cocoa processed with alkali, egg yolks. It is also non-GMO and gluten free, that’s a bonus if you are gluten sensitive. The one negative is the pricing is similar, but the Haagen-Dazs is in a much smaller container.
I explain my quest to my husband and he is totally on board with helping me choose the family ice-cream. We dish out some ice-cream from both containers into our bowls and noticed some differences. The Breyers is creamier and a bit softer to spoon into the bowl. The Haagen-Dazs is much darker and is much more solid and harder to serve. In the end, I thought the Haagen-Dazs was better tasting, if only slightly, and my husband, of course, thought the Breyers was better, for the same basic reasons. I was not deterred.
I began to research real food ice-cream and I discovered that Turkey Hill ice-cream also has a real food version. While Breyers and Haagen-Dazs fall into my 80/20 rule, Turkey Hill seems to be the winner, in my opinion. I, of course, sent my husband out to get some immediately upon my discovery. We must try the new ice-cream; the non-processed world is depending on us to determine the best, most real, least processed ice-cream. Time is running out…and my nails are wet, so I can’t go.
Understanding that I let nothing go, my husband went out to retrieve the Turkey Hill ice-cream for us to sample. Yes, they have chocolate, vanilla AND chocolate vanilla in one. These discoveries are too fabulous for me to control myself; I want to jump up and down at the thought of unprocessed ice-cream from the grocery store! (But I won’t because its 97 degrees and my nails are still wet).
Wait…what’s this? It can’t be. The ice-cream that he brought home is full of junk. There is a laundry list of ingredients and I can’t believe my eyes. I go back to the website and shudder in horror as I learn my mistake. There is a specific line of Turkey Hill ice-cream called All Natural and that was the big winner, not this stuff. You can read about the Turkey Hill All Natural here: https://www.turkeyhill.com/frozen/ice-cream/all-natural-recipes/belgian-style-chocolate . The stuff my husband bought is full of junk and corn syrup, so I refused to eat it.
Someday my husband will speak to me again, and perhaps thank me for saving him from the processed madness that was his ice-cream choice. Until then, I have the almighty Haagen-Dazs, Breyers and thoughts of Turkey Hill Natural Recipe.
As they say, “This too shall pass” because we do live in New England, and it won’t be long before the sweltering heat turns to blizzards and below freezing temperatures… sometime in late October.