Ice cream is great, but, no surprise here, it’s not great
for you. Even frozen yogurt (remember that “Seinfeld” episode?) packs tons of sugar.
But one brand wants to change that. Halo Top, a trendy “healthy” ice cream brand, is about to blow up this summer. The company’s founder says he used to freeze Greek yogurt but hated the “tang,” so he came up with “an ice cream recipe that kept the high-protein, low-sugar aspects of plain Greek yogurt” but ditched the aftertaste.
We tried six of its flavours to tell you which ones taste like the real deal, and which ones to skip.
But while a pint of Ben and Jerry's or similar packs around 1,100 calories, (has anyone ever scooped just one serving into a bowl? Unlikely) the activity of shoveling sugar into your body is one of those things that really only feels good in the moment.
Boasting high protein, low sugar, and only 240 calories a pint -- yes, you read that correctly -- it seemed too good to be true. I assumed it was.
The company sent six pints of ice cream to my apartment: Mocha Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip, Chocolate, Vanilla Bean, Strawberry, and Birthday Cake.
Vanilla and Chocolate have 240 calories a pint, and the rest of the flavours have 280 calories a pint.
For context, my favourite flavour of Ben and Jerry's (Brownie Batter Core) has 1,080 calories a pint. I could eat four pints of Halo Top Chocolate and still come up under one thousand calories. (I don't plan on it.)
But again, most healthy ice creams are low in calories for a reason (the reason being they don't taste anything like ice cream.) So on a sunny Saturday, my cousin, my boyfriend, and I all gathered around the kitchen table to try each flavour, and hopefully, be proven wrong.
You'll notice the nutrition label on the back. High in protein, and low in sugar. 2 grams of fat! It's practically a vegetable! Here is a side-by-side of a Halo Top nutrition label and one from Ben and Jerry's.
When we took the ice cream out of the freezer, the container was rock solid. Couldn't even get a spoon through the ice cream. Woof. The company suggests letting it soften a bit and leaving it out on the counter.
We tried Mint Chip first. It was great. The texture was creamy and rich, and the flavour was on point. The aftertaste was that of ice cream (where most healthy ice creams leave a watery aftertaste).
We were excited for what was to come. But … we hated Mocha Chip. 'It's too bitter,' my cousin Kerry said. We each took a tiny bite, enough to get a real taste, and we never returned.
If you love chocolate ice cream, you will love chocolate Halo Top. It's incredibly chocolatey, and hard to believe it's not loaded with sugar. But it has a … somewhat gritty aftertaste! We weren't jumping at the chance to finish it.
Birthday Cake RULED. This was the one we really all went to town on. It was super sweet and tasted just like any other birthday cake ice cream -- without breaking the calorie bank. We kept eating this one.
Vanilla Bean was very good! We noticed this was the one that tasted better the more it melted. We threw Vanilla back in the microwave for an additional 15 seconds until it had the consistency of a shake. So good.
Strawberry was nothing fancy, but it tasted exactly the way you remember strawberry ice cream tasted as a kid. This was another one we couldn't stop eating, and we were all surprised by how good it was.
The results? Mint Chip and Strawberry, with a tied score of 9/10 were our faves. Birthday Cake, with a score of 8, came in third.
Our least favourites were Chocolate and Mocha Chocolate Chip, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that two out of the three tasters weren't huge chocolate fans. And Vanilla fell in between.
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