Ice Cream You Can't Overeat
Here in Ann Arbor, it's been freakishly warm: 60s and sunny. This has triggered some early spring fever: I've been writing on the porch, driving with the windows down—and craving rosé before dinner and ice cream after. Last Friday, I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up a pint of Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato, but was sidelined by a display of Halo Top, a low-cal, low-sugar, low-carb, high-protein ice cream brand I’d been reading about on nutrition blogs.
If you’re not familiar with Halo Top, the brand is a couple of years old, but the formula and packaging were recently revamped (that's a euphemism for vastly improved) and, last fall, they launched ten new flavors. So it’s practically new; you’re not behind. What makes Halo Top blog-buzz-worthy is that an entire $5.99 pint is about 240-360 calories—or equivalent to one serving (one-fourth of a pint) of popular ice creams like Ben & Jerry’s, Haagen Dazs, Jeni’s Splendid, and, yes, Talenti.
Even more surprising is that Halo Top tastes pretty good. Like real ice cream. Heath and I have sampled an assortment of flavors while the weather’s been warm, and we agree that the best are Red Velvet, Sea Salt Caramel, Birthday Cake and plain old Vanilla and Chocolate. (Lemon Cake and Strawberry are just eh.)
The list of ingredients is also not terrifying. Unlike most “diet” ice creams, Halo Top contains a fair number of additives you’d recognize, such as milk, cream, eggs, cocoa and honey. Where they cut calories is by using Stevia and erythritol (a no-calorie sugar alcohol) rather than sugar—and they add extra milk protein to make up for the reduced fat content. They’ve also laced the formula with plant fiber to help the ice cream melt and refreeze without becoming grainy/icy. This means you’re getting a little extra fiber too, (as well as extra protein from that milk protein) which, for most, is a good thing. Though don’t kid yourself: Halo Top is not a meal replacement (unless you’re this nut).
Bottom line? Halo Top is good. Not Talenti-Sea-Salt-Caramel good, but still satisfying as an after-dinner treat. And the list of ingredients doesn’t set off any major alarms. Finally, at only 70 or so calories a serving—or just 250, even if you eat the whole pint—you'll have to find another way to overindulge. Rosé anyone?
To find a store that carries Halo Top near you, click here.