Even though every other post on my Instagram basically showcases Halo Top ice cream, I haven’t talked about them that much on this blog. Obviously, I don’t want my platform to become known as the “vegan Halo Top haven” (though if I came across an opportunity to receive free pints of dairy free Halo Top on the regular, I wouldn’t pass it up), but I thought I’d share my honest reviews of some of the most popular flavors of both dairy and non-dairy Halo Top: chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate.
There’s no denying that chocolate and cookie dough are two ice cream flavors nobody can go wrong with. Cookie dough used to be my favorite ice cream variety, whereas chocolate used to be one of my least favorites (oh, the irony). Since ditching my weekly Baskin Robbins and Haagen Daaz fix, I never really had cookie dough ice cream until recently. I did enjoy non-dairy chocolate ice cream, but those are still not considered “healthy”, right? The substitutions still contain quite a hefty load of sugar and fat (almost always saturated for the most part) and should be consumed in moderation. But thanks to Halo Top, I can basically have my ice cream and eat it too. At least that’s what’s been working for me.
Anyhow, it’s pretty much about time I break down my 100% honest thoughts on both flavors. Even though I post about these all the time on my Instagram, what does that entail? Do I truly enjoy these ice creams? Do I personally recommend them to anyone? How do they fare in comparison to the other non-dairy Halo Top varieties? Well, keep reading to find our for yourself.
Pretty much known as Halo Top’s bread and butter of the flavors–though I do know that they have countless others that are just as popular and that some people despise this one. While the macronutrients are pretty spectacular, this variety does come with more calories. That being said, I figured that the calories better be worth it. Though I don’t care so much about calories that I think of them 24/7, to a degree, calorie count does dictate the sensory qualities of a food. The more calorie dense a food is, the better it should taste, right? I thought to myself–okay, if this tastes like the birthday cake ice cream, I want my money back.
One spoonful and I’m in heaven. The ice cream is extremely thick, silky smooth, and almost velvety with glorious fluffy chunks of cookie dough and crisp chocolate chips. The base itself is quite sweet as are the cookie dough bits. Personally, I absolutely adore this flavor. It is pretty much neck-and-neck with the cinnamon roll ice cream, aka my favorite of the dairy free bunch. Definitely reasonable to be one of the more calorie-dense pints. The cookie dough ice cream tastes superbly with other garnishes as well, especially with fruit, granola, nuts, seeds, and, no surprise, more chocolate.
My first encounter with Halo Top’s non-dairy chocolate ice cream actually dates back to March. After class, I bought it at a local grocery store near my college campus and tried it the next morning. Once I allowed the ice cream to thaw for a few minutes, I dug. Right. In. Of course, I analyzed the ingredients and nutritional information first. 280 calories, okay, I probably shouldn’t expect anything as decadent as the sea salt caramel or cinnamon roll. Ingredients…same old, same old, but no artificial sweeteners, so it most likely will taste less pungently bitter-sweet.
Needless to say, my spoon dove inside the pint with moderately low expectations. On the flip-side, my tastebuds were pleasantly surprised! I expected a more diluted flavor–similar to those chocolate protein shakes that taste like watered down chocolate milk–from the ice cream but sensed a much stronger and richer hint of cocoa in every bite! Thus, the pint did not last to see the light of the next day.
HOWEVER. Let’s talk about consistency. Don’t get me wrong, the texture of the ice cream inside the pint was perfectly fine–nothing broke down into pieces and I found the texture quite velvety and smooth. But the ice cream’s complex at the scoop shop near me? No, no, no. It is rocky, icy, extremely inconsistent, and pretty much feels incredibly frozen almost every single time I come to visit. I walked through that shop door over 45 times and left with two scoops of both flavors over 45 times. Only once was the chocolate ice cream ever nicely silky and creamy.
As I always say in my Halo Top reviews, this brand is basically the king of high protein and low calorie ice creams. They pretty much pass the finish line first in terms of popularity, taste, texture, macronutrient breakdown (lower calories generally entails lower sensory quality, which is why brand like Low Cow and Arctic Zero are not as popular), and flavor variety (though I really want to see an apple pie and cereal milk ice cream!). Nowadays, they also can be found at almost any supermarket, grocer, and/or health foods retail store. And guess what? They’re FINALLY in Canada. In terms of how I enjoy these two flavors, I would write a whole slew of love letters to the cookie dough ice cream and probably just swipe right with the chocolate ice cream, if you know what I mean.
Once again, Halo Top is one of the more expensive ice cream brands on the market and for good reasons. Protein-based ice creams are pricey to produce, preserve, and package. In addition, the dairy free line-up isn’t as extensive as Halo Top’s dairy collection, so the lactose intolerant and vegan folks are left out of the equation when it comes to enjoying other Halo Top flavors. For myself, I’ve been consistently unlucky when it comes to the dairy free chocolate ice cream. The flavor is pretty solid, but the texture is overly solid. If the consistency paralleled that of the cookie dough ice cream, it would rank much higher on my list.
You can probably tell that my Instagram feed is pretty much now 80% Halo Top cookie dough and chocolate ice cream. Don’t expect anything to change anytime soon. In all seriousness, I may have to cut down a little bit because anything in excess is not healthy. JAY-KAY (well, it really depends on the circumstances)!!! I’ve actually already tried all of the dairy free ice creams that Halo Top has released as of lately, but I still have to post duo reviews of the Toasted Coconut, Chocolate Covered Banana, Vanilla Maple, Sea Salt Caramel, Candy Bar, and Birthday Cake varieties. With that being said, I do plan on posting a complete breakdown of each flavor and how they compare amongst each other so that you can decide which dairy free ice creams you want to try. I highly recommend you check out Halo Top if you haven’t already. Heck, go to your grocery store right now and see if you can grab a pint of dairy free chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream!
OTHER HALO TOP REVIEWS
- Cinnamon Roll + Oatmeal Cookie
- Peanut Butter Cup + Caramel Macchiato
- Pancakes and Waffles + Chocolate Almond Crunch
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