My favourite ice cream—Haagen-Dazs Coffee, if you were curious—clocks in at 270 calories per half cup. That sounds reasonable, right? But let’s be honest, who actually eats only half a cup of ice cream at a time? I tend to eat half the pint and chuck it in the freezer if I’m being good (540 cal). But there have been times when I have gone back for the rest if I was feeling extra indulgent! (Ouch, that’s 1080 cal!)
To prevent my ice cream cravings from ruining bikini season (which also happens to be rosé season, and well… priorities), I have been on the hunt for healthy alternatives. I’ve tried a handful from Whole Foods, but they were all so disappointing. Luckily, an LA-based creamery recently created Halo Top, a low-calorie, low-sugar, high-protein ice cream whose website states: “FINALLY, HEALTHY ICE CREAM THAT ACTUALLY TASTES LIKE ICE CREAM”.
Maybe you’ve seen it on Instagram, in your grocery’s freezer section, or in that GQ article where a guy ate only Halo Top for 10 days and lost 10 pounds. Regardless, it has blown up in the wellness community since the entire pint is only 240-360 calories. Halo Top isn’t available in Canada yet, so I did what any rational person would do and called up my bestie so we could take a quick road trip to Washington. We filled our coolers with 11 pints of ice cream and treated ourselves to a fun little tasting party…all in the name of research, natch!
Here’s what we thought:
***FYI we threw a guy who’s addicted to Haagen-Dazs/Ben & Jerry’s into the mix to keep things relatively balanced
CHOCOLATE ALMOND CRUNCH
- Yum! This tastes like marzipan! 8/10
- It’s not very chocolatey. Definitely more almond than chocolate. 5/10
- Oooh I really like this one! It doesn’t taste like a diet ice cream! 9/10
PEANUT BUTTER CUP
- I love the salty peanut butter ribbons. 8/10
- If you like peanut butter you’d like it, but I don’t like peanut butter. 4/10
- Oh wow there is a good amount of actual peanut butter in it. 7/10
CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH
- This is okay, but not what I expected of a Cookie Dough ice cream. It tastes a lot like brown sugar. 6/10
- The cookie dough chunks are good! But I would have preferred it with a regular vanilla base. 6/10
- The consistency of this one is nice and soft, but it kind of tastes like cereal milk, I think? 6/10
- This is one of the best! I would definitely get this again! It has a great consistency. 10/10
- Mmm…I don’t even like chocolate, but I REALLY like this. It’s a nice, light red velvet, and the bits of chocolate cake in it are really good. 9/10
- Hey… THIS IS DELICIOUS! This one kind of tastes like chocolate chip cookie dough. 9/10
- Meh, this one isn’t my favourite. I think my hopes were too high for this flavour. 6/10
- It really tastes like yellow cake batter! Though the texture of this one isn’t as smooth as the others. 7/10
- It definitely tastes like cake batter, but I thought that the texture of the sprinkles was kind of weird. It’s also REALLY sweet. 6/10
- Oh this is refreshing! But I think it’s a bit too minty and not enough chippy. Is that a thing? 7/10
- This is one of my favourites. It has a good amount of mintiness to it and a nice ratio of chip to ice cream. I hate it when the chocolate is too large. 8/10
- I like this! But the name is a bit misleading. It’s definitely more of a mint ice cream with just a few chips in it. But I prefer that tbh. 8/10
- This is light and easy to eat. I could easily finish this entire pint… but wait, where are the pistachios? 7/10
- It has a very light and subtle flavour, but pistachio isn’t my thing. 3/10
- I don’t usually get pistachio, but I like that it is not overly sweet. It’s definitely more of an adult ice cream than some of the others which is nice. 6/10
- OMG I LOVE THIS! The texture and density are pretty similar to Haagen Dazs! 10/10
- Ooooh look at all the bits of vanilla beans in this! I would not have guessed that this was a low calorie ice cream. 9/10
- Wow, this was surprisingly the most satisfying of them all. It’s definitely the closest to real ice cream…and I don’t mean crappy no-name ice cream. I’m talking about Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s. 9/10
Overall, we were pretty impressed with Halo Top. No, not all of the flavours were wins, but those that were, were UNREAL. It is less dense than premium ice creams, but it still has the smooth and creamy mouthfeel that other diet and non-dairy ice creams completely miss the mark on.
Would we buy it again?
- If you’re a girl looking for a lower calorie or healthier alternative to ice cream—YES, ABSOLUTELY! You could eat it while sitting next to someone eating Haagen-Dazs and not feel like you missed out in the slightest. It’s perfectly satisfying and really hits the spot.
- If you’re a guy trying to be healthy or watching your macros, then yeah, it’s a no-brainer!
- But if you can afford the extra calories and are just looking for something that you can seamlessly swap out with your usual pint, then Halo Top isn’t quite there yet.
+ Pints are sold for about $6.49 USD each and are only 473ml (vs. Haagen-Dazs at 500ml). We assumed that this was the reason why some Halo Top pints were only filled to an inch or so below the rim, but it turns out that it’s likely due to volume loss during melting and refreezing. You don’t see this in premium ice creams, which are more dense since less air is whipped into them (called overrun), but Halo Top utilizes a lower density to bring its calorie count down. Halo Top pints are full when shipped out from the manufacturer, but may decrease in volume if shelf stockers at your local grocery store aren’t careful 🙁
+ Halo Top flavours that we were unable to review due to a lack of availability or cooler space: Chocolate, Lemon Cake, Strawberry, Chocolate Mocha Chip, Cookies & Cream, Sea Salt Caramel, S’mores, Oatmeal Cookie and Black Cherry