We get it, it's summer and you're working from home and you're averaging under 1,000 steps a day. But you're still not willing to give up your ice cream habit. After all, during times of upheaval, surely now we need dessert more than ever.
Thankfully, you can find a plethora of sweet treats across the UAE that aren't pumped full of chocolate and cookie dough, and are even marketed as "healthy".
Whether you're in the mood for dairy-free, sugar-free or simply low calorie, try one of the options below for ice cream without the guilt.
The Brooklyn Creamery
The latest addition to the UAE's healthy ice cream craze, The Brooklyn Creamery has recently launched in Dubai.
The ice cream, originally founded in New York, markets itself as low calorie, low fat, free of artificial flavours and additives and low in sugar and comes in five flavours – including sea salt caramel and cookies 'n' cream. The vegan selection is less icy than many dairy-free options, and is remarkably "creamy" thanks to its blend of coconut fat, coconut milk and almond protein.
Amid the pandemic, the ice cream is available exclusively on Deliveroo, but will later be available in supermarkets.
This creamy, dairy-free, vegan ice cream hails from Norfolk in England and, for the most part, only uses five or six clean ingredients. There's no soya or gluten, nor any unpronounceable and unrecognisable additions; it simply contains cashew nuts, water, coconut syrup or agave, for example. The chocolate salted caramel version is particularly impressive (even for non-vegans). It's available in supermarkets across the UAE, including Waitrose and Spinneys
Perhaps the most well-known of the healthy ice cream brands in the UAE, Halo Top Creamery launched less than a year ago here, but has already amassed a cult following – thanks in part to it being something of a hype product in the US. An entire 256-gram tub of Halo Top (apparently it has more air whipped into it, thus making it weigh less, but contain the same amount as a 453g tub of Ben & Jerry's) has between 320 and 360 calories. Flavours include peanut butter cup and chocolate chip cookie dough. There are seven dairy and two non-dairy flavours.
The dairy flavours contain between 320 and 360 calories and have 20g of protein per tub. The non-dairy and vegan-friendly flavours are made with coconut milk and are 320 calories with 12g of protein.
Halo Top is available across the UAE and stocked at the major supermarkets: Carrefour, Spinneys and Choithrams.
Here's something a little different. This ice cream is made using avocados and coconuts, so they are animal-friendly and most are completely vegan (some contain honey, so if you are vegan it pays to double check). As an added bonus, it also has no refined sugar, no gluten and no dairy – meaning it's perfect for those with intolerances, too.
Our favourite flavour is the Irish salted caramel. Order Nobo on Kibsons.
This local favourite is made right here in Dubai in a 100 per cent raw vegan kitchen. The plant-based ice cream is free from dairy, soya, corn, gluten, eggs, preservatives and refined sugar. Its recipes focus on providing sweet treats that are focused on nutrition.
As well as ice creams, Coco Yogo also produces delicious nut butters and cheesecakes that are raw and healthy.
Try the matcha mint chip ice cream, the chocolate chip ice cream sandwich, or the bannoffee cheesecake. Order it now on Deliveroo.
You'll instantly spot Jude's products in the freezer, thanks to its recognisable stripy tubs. These have been created by a family of ice cream makers in the UK (the brand is actually named after mum, Jude).
They've worked with top British chefs to develop a range of flavours, many of which are available in the UAE, and that use fine ingredients, from Madagascan vanilla to Colombian cacao and milk direct from a small farm in Hampshire. Ten per cent of all profits go towards charities that work with children and young people. Find them in select supermarket freezers.
Waitrose LoveLife frozen yoghurt
OK, so it's not technically ice cream, but this UK-import is of similar ilk, and its one you can easily pick up as you're doing your weekly supermarket shop. One serving is said to contain only 89 calories, with an entire pint containing about 350 calories.
The frozen yoghurt comes in several flavours, our favourite is the Belgian chocolate variety. Find it at, unsurprisingly, Waitrose supermarkets.